Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Shop design and the business of variety

This is how our shop, Mississippi Earrings, looks.



If you look at the pic keenly, you'll find some unique good points about the design. You'll also have some questions. But let me ask you a question. How else could I have planned and designed this space?

Here's my understanding crystallized in a simple form.

Very few shop-keepers understand the design requirements when they start a shop. However, a shop invariably needs to be designed in some way. Since a typical shop these days carries the name 'showroom' and since the cost of real-estate is so high, shopkeepers are blinded by the tendency to devote as much space to 'show' as possible. There's also a tendency to think that showing a hell lot of things increases chances of sales. That's wrong to my understanding or context-dependent at best.

So 4 things to remember when setting up and designing a shop...

First point, divide the shop space into mainly 2 areas. Let me call the two areas as 1) Show Area (from which the name 'showroom' seems to have arisen), and 2) Work Area (or Mess Area). Yes a showroom has to have Show Area and Mess Area.

Second point. To my mind, the ratio between the two should be 50:50. Or it can even be 60:40 or 65:35, in favor of Mess Area. A curious shopkeeper devoted to improving his/her way of working and consequently, the customer's experience will always be up to something. He/she might often have something as work-in-progress. It's important to facilitate the process. Without space, this process might be stunted or even be relinquished. That might not be a good thing.

Third point. One might want to hide the Mess Area through an opaque divider. The point is the sight of Mess Area shouldn't spoil the sight of Show Area.

Fourth point. Mess Area design. You work on excel sheet, right? Erect a similar grid bottom to top on a big wall in your Mess Area section. That will serve you like crazy. Even your Mess Area will look like Show Area. Or may be more attractive.

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