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The-Zhongshuge-Hangzhou-store-by-XL-Muse - retail interior design, Hatch Interior Design blog
Who wouldn’t want to shop in this book store?! XL-Muse designed this space complete with a mirrored ceiling that has an amazing futuristic effect in the oval-shaped reading room.

We have enjoyed having a number of retail interior design projects coming through our office this year! From beer and wine to leggings, it has been great to collaborate with a number of retail owners in Kelowna and the valley to help their visions come to life. Through our past and current experience we have noted a number of considerations specific to retail interior design that we would like to share with you to help ensure your project is a success.

In addition to this post, there are a few points that apply to any and all commercial interior design projects that should be considered in combination with what we are about to share today. These include functionality, brand identity, creativity and uniqueness, budget and schedule. We addressed these areas in a blog post earlier this year, check it out here. On top of the above factors, there are a number of topics to address when looking specifically at a retail project.

Kindo-children's-boutique-by-Anagrama- retail interior design, Hatch Interior Design Blog
We love the playful and varied product displays in this Kindo children’s boutique by Anagrama.

Product Display and Placement

In any retail space it is important that your product takes centre stage. Throughout our process we work with you to determine how to best display your products and how they should be positioned within your space to maximize exposure and, ultimately, sales.
A sample of the considerations we guide you through in regards to product display and placement include:

  • custom vs. off-the-shelf display options : we often land on a combination of both to provide a solution that works with both your brand and your budget. It is a little shocking how few options there are for standard, nice merchandise displays out there!
  • amount of product on display : one piece of advice we always have for our retail clients is to try not to overwhelm their customers with too much product. It’s important to have enough space to move around without feeling too crowded, and to be able to get a good, clear view of the product being displayed.
  • sight lines : it’s important that you don’t create hiding places in your store where shoplifters can escape your view.

Larsson-Jennings-Flagship-Store-by-Studio-Mills - retail interior design, Hatch Interior Design Blog
This Larsson & Jennings store by Studio Mills is very minimalist in design. The cantilevered display counter and use of simple pendant lighting above to highlight the watches below are enough to make any designer fall in love with the space.

Traffic Flow

Another important factor when looking at retail interior design is how you would like customers to move through your space. There are a number of different approaches depending on the experience you wish to create. That’s essentially what we are doing, designing an experience!
The location of your sales counter, progression of products from front to back of store, amount of room to move, types of displays used, and location of change rooms are just some of the pieces that come together to form the traffic patterns of your customers.

Couturist-store-by-Cutler-Vancouver-Canada - retail interior design, Hatch Interior Design blog
Interesting forms in an achromatic colour scheme allow the merchandise to shine in this Couturist store by The Cutler Team in Vancouver.


We cannot stress enough how important lighting is in retail interior design! You not only want to use lighting in a way that makes your store inviting to your customers, it must also provide an appropriate amount and colour of light to accurately present the product. While warm light like you would have in your living room might feel very comfortable and pleasing to the eye, it distorts the colour of the products you sell. A light temperature closer to daylight will accurately render the actual colour of the goods you carry.

In addition to general lighting within your store, feature lighting either suspended from the ceiling or incorporated within displays is essential when you want to highlight specific displays or areas.

Valentino by David Chipperfield - retail interior design, Hatch Interior Design blog
David Chipperfield Architects did a great job of the lighting design in this Valentino store in New York. Each purse is highlighted and casts interesting shadows behind. One of our profs in university always stressed that shadows are free!

Storage and Stocking

In order for your shelves to look just perfectly stocked, not too little and not too much, it’s important to have ample and convenient storage solutions throughout your space. Our team is versed in designing storage into displays, cash desks, back rooms… wherever it fits and makes sense. When you are busy and your stock is flying off the shelves you don’t want staff to have to run to the back of the store to look for something that has run out if possible.

Aesop-Singapore-Store-by-Snøhetta - retail interior design, Hatch Interior Design blog
It’s hard to miss the exterior of this Singapore Aesop retail location designed by Snøhetta. It’s reflective gold facade frames what Snøhetta describes as an upside-down forest inside.

Curb Appeal

We typically focus on interiors (for obvious reasons!), but don’t forget that the exterior of your store should also be considered. Your storefront may be what entices someone to visit you in the first place, so make sure to pay some attention here as well. Your signage and window displays will play a big part in this.

» Do you need help with your retail interior design project? We can help. Contact Hatch Interior Design located in Kelowna, British Columbia – Because Good Design is Good Business™.