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Designing Space for Self-Storage Ancillary Services: Wine Storage, Records Storage, Boat/RV Storage and Retail

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Key Elements of Retail-Store Design
By Nancy Martin Wagner, Vice President of Marketing, Chateau Products Inc.,

When designing your retail area, create a large focal point at eye level. A drywall space that is 8 to 12 feet wide is ideal. Grid wall panels come in sections 2 feet wide and 4 feet high, so even if you have windows between the panels, it will look great. Following are some other design ideas for the space. All of these suggestions can be implemented without spending a lot of capital.

  • A combination of bright, indirect sunlight, fluorescent lighting and spot lighting is perfect for showing off products.
  • Open floor space in front of the wall display should be approximately 15 to 25 feet deep (about 280 square feet or more) to merchandise stacks of box bundles, bubble rolls and floor gondola fixtures.
  • High ceilings are great because they make your space feel big and vast like a warehouse!
  • Use hard, non-marking flooring, or consider leaving the floors concrete and apply a glaze treatment.
  • Have extra wide or double doors with an easy-access, drive-up loading area so customers can wheel out their purchases and load them into their vehicles.
  • The bigger and more open the area, the better.
  • Some self-storage operators have converted units at the front of their properties into a retail store by replacing or adding glass store fronts.
  • Retain countertop space for lock demonstrators and impulse-buy items. Try to position the manager’s counter so customers feel like they’re facing the retail area and front door.

When designing your retail store area for packing and moving supplies, aim to have a large focal point at eye level. (Photo courtesy of Chateau Products Inc.)

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