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Five features of a fantastic retail space

posted: April 2018

Think about the last time you last went shopping, to a ‘real’ space rather than via a tablet while sat on your sofa.  What was it like?

Sometimes shopping experiences don’t leave us with the best memories.  They’re often a bit frantic, or fruitless: items aren’t in stock, or the inspiration to purchase is missing.  Retail experts spend many hours trying to work out how to make us consumers more inclined to make a purchase. We’ve been taking a look at these environments recently, and come up with our wish-list.

Amtico’s five features of a fantastic retail space:

1) Light

A fundamental element are light levels.  While we might not all enjoy a darkly-lit interior, clever lighting systems, spotlighting and display LEDs can entice the eye towards product. Often natural light is most wished for, but when it’s not possible, using layers of daylight LED’s can be a brilliant substitute. Reflective light and colour from wall and floor surfaces, will also enhance a space.


2) Sound

Music makes people happy.  It engages both sides of the brain simultaneously, waking up a shopper. Curated playlists stimulate an emotional connection to a brand.  Changeable levels of sound are mitigated for with the use of furnishings and sound-absorbent materials. Acoustics matter and a good store will take this into account.

3) Smell

This may seem abstract, but does the space have a good aroma?

Using easy-to-clean materials with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) will help. We will pick up olfactory signs, or smells, signalling whether a space is clean or indeed healthy.  It’s a basic requirement driven by human needs – a shop should be better than a home it it’s going to lure us out. We’ve noticed retail designers experimenting with pushing natural fragrances through ventilation systems to encourage extra linger time.

4) People

Obvious, but vital.  How often does the service you receive make you think twice about making a return visit?  Bringing together a team of like-minded, passionate professionals employed specifically to demonstrate and help you experience products is key.  People will make the product better. It also helps create an efficient and enjoyable working environment for staff making better productivity. 


We’ve deliberately left this last on our list, as this is why retailers exist.  Of course, stock needs to be well managed, merchandising planned according to a season or colour trend. But, if sensory aspects are missing, both customers and staff will fail to be engaged and the product won’t be as appealing. 

We imagine a perfect retail space as a blend of all these elements, treated with care by its people but also enjoyed by its customers. 

Product solutions from Amtico:

We work on retail solutions for interiors, creating products with low VOC ratings, varied Light Reflectancy Values and Acoustic backing options. Ask about any of these on 0121 745 0800, and create something great. 

Image reference:

Amtico Signature Wharf Oak, Kura Opium, Kura Caraway in Varied Block laying pattern.