Firefly Store Soltions logo

Hablamos Español

How to maximize your shelf space when things get crowded

How to maximize your shelf space when things get crowded


Planning and strategic thinking can make a big difference when it comes to retail store design. How you utilize your shelves can impact customer satisfaction and store performance.

Managing your retail display strategy can be more of a challenge than it first appears. To maximize your shelf space and improve the customer experience, consider these tips:

Use the right type of shelving units

Each type of shelving unit serves a unique function. While gondola shelves allow many items to be displayed next to each other, boutique shelves can highlight specific items and bring them to eye level.

Retailers need to think about how their store is laid out and how customers will travel through it. For instance, arranging shelves in rows can make it easier for customers to find things, but they might not always make it to the back of the store. Utilizing shelves and rolling racks in tandem can encourage shoppers to move through the entire store. Retailers may find it more efficient to hang jackets and coats, but fold pants and shirts on shelves, for example.

Fold each item for visibility and volume

Recently, people across America have discovered the Japanese style of organization known as KonMari. This method encourages people to fold their clothes so that all items in a drawer or on a shelf can be viewed in a single glance. Retailers can benefit from these folding styles too, because customers will be less inclined to unfold and move merchandise to get a better look at it.

For example, the KonMari method recommends that people lay their socks flat and fold them in halves or thirds so the items can stand upright next to each other. This way, someone can see all of the available pairs of socks without moving any of them. Japanese retailers like Uniqlo use similar folding techniques effectively.

Leave a comfortable amount of space between shelves

Narrow aisles between shelving units can make people feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable. If there isn’t enough space for two people to walk through the aisle without touching each other, the shelves are too close together and should be moved. Likewise, long aisles should be broken up so that shoppers can quickly enter and leave the aisle – otherwise, shoppers could feel trapped.

Use data to optimize product placement

Rather than guessing which pieces of merchandise are most likely to draw new customers to your store, consider using data to guide your decisions. You can analyze your sales data to see which items are selling the fastest, then move those items to shelves closer to the front of the store.

You may also want to experiment with rotating items from the back to see if it makes a difference. The more you can back up your decisions with observable data, the more likely you are to see success with your placement strategies.

Want personalized advice on how to make the most of your shelf space? Call one of our knowledgeable customer service representatives today.