As more people are asking for inclusivity and accessibility in all spaces, it’s important to consider whether your retail space meets the mark. We’ll show you how you can tweak your dream retail space ideas to appeal to customers of all backgrounds. Let’s get started!
Ask Yourself “How Can Customers Maneuver My Store?”Before you think about your layout, it’s essential to ask yourself these four questions:
- Is my store accessible from the outside?
- How much floor space do I need to allow customers to get it and move around independently? It can be helpful to think about service animals or wheelchairs.
- What will be the traffic pattern and how can I make it efficient, especially if the space is near or at capacity?
- Are there any special factors I need to consider, like stairs, ramps, or elevators?
Rethink Your LayoutNot thinking about what your layout communicates is a common mistake made by retail stores. For example, a lot of retail stores tend to place plus-size fashion in the back corner or have no designated section for shoppers at all. This can communicate to shoppers that your store isn’t made for anyone who’s bigger than US standard sizes. To combat this, think about how you’ll designate areas of your store and consider ways you can make it more inclusive, like placing plus-size fashion toward the front of the store and moving the registers toward the back.
Communicate with SignageSigns outside your business can be key. They help communicate to customers before they walk in the door that you are friendly, open, and ready to assist.
Think About Showcasing DiversityThere are many ways your retail space can highlight diversity. Here are some of our top tips:
- Add inclusive models or mannequins that aren’t standard sizes
- Feature diverse models in your brand’s in-store promotional images
- Clearly display plus-size clothing
Introduce a “Quieter Hour”This is a new retail idea launched by the British supermarket chain Morrisons. During this hour, you can do the following things to improve the experience for autistic customers:
- Dim the lights
- Turn off or lower the music
- Avoid store-wide announcements
- Turn checkout beeps or electrical noises down