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Merchandise That Moves: How to Design and Present an Inviting Self-Storage Retail Space

Selling moving and packing supplies at your self-storage facility is a great way to generate ancillary revenue, but it relies heavily on presentation. You need to design a space with a retail feel, one that entices shoppers and encourages them to explore your wares. Here’s how.

Lainey Becker

July 11, 2023

4 Min Read
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StorQuest Self Storage in Denver

Creating a retail-sales center at your self-storage facility can establish a powerful revenue generator for your business. What will take your brand to the next level is knowing how to design this space for maximum profitability.

Your retail store is part of the critical first impression made on customers when they visit your self-storage property. It conveys what they can expect from you in terms of cleanliness and service. It also provides a one-stop shopping experience that adds value for them. The convenience of having moving and packing supplies available at your facility saves tenants time, money and energy. It may even give you a leg up on the competition. In this article, you’ll learn to build an attractive retail space that’s inviting to customers and encourages those precious add-on sales.

Layout Considerations

Designating a reasonably sized area to house your self-storage retail products means more than just sectioning off part of your office. When planning your layout, consider:

  • The number of products to be displayed

  • The size and number of fixtures needed to showcase those products

  • The amount of foot traffic the space will need to accommodate

  • The placement of fixtures and how this affects movement through the space

  • Room for backstock

  • The positioning of visual displays and signage

Any areas used for replenishment should be easy to access for quick restocking when items start to run low. Displays and signage should be easy to reach in case they need to be changed, cleaned or repaired.

Of course, not all self-storage facilities can accommodate a large retail area, and having a small office can present design challenges. In this case, it’s important decide which items are absolutely necessary to carry. Also, avoid the following:

  • Wasting space on items customers don’t need or won’t purchase

  • Confusing shoppers with improper item placement

  • Displaying items that are too large for the space

  • Offering items in excessive quantities

When properly designed and stocked, even a small self-storage retail store can be extremely successful.

Design Aesthetics

Now for the fun part: finding creative ways to implement your retail-area design! It’s exciting but also critical, with only a small margin for error, as a poorly designed or unappealing space can negatively impact your sales performance.

Using a curated planogram—a diagram of how your products or services should be displayed—will help you present your self-storage retail products in an orderly, attractive manner. In fact, you can often get one directly from your supplier. This takes the guesswork out of your design and helps bolster creativity. A planogram can be made to accommodate any size space and used by operators with any level of retail experience.

Also, pay attention to your lighting. It’s a key part of your retail design and makes a nice accent. It also plays a significant role in creating an atmosphere that’s inviting and can subliminally set the tone for your company and facility. For example, do you want to create a warm, cozy space or a bright, clean look? You can even use LED lighting in your brand colors to highlight signage or as an artistic way of making displays more intriguing.

Branding Focus

The best way to strengthen your brand presence within the self-storage retail space is to incorporate your logo, colors, fonts and messaging wherever possible. This’ll create a cohesive look and establish business credibility. Pay careful attention to your signage, also known as “the silent seller.” It speaks to your customers when you can’t! Make sure is says all the right things to help inspire sales and drive profitability.

There are many factors to consider while designing your self-storage retail space. Determine how much room you have. Think about fixtures and placement, then add compelling, attractive displays. Finally, convey your brand in a clear, cohesive way. These things will inspire customers to purchase retail items, and you’ll be well on your way to building a profitable revenue stream for your business.

Lainey Becker is an account manager with Supply Side USA, a supplier of packaging, shipping, moving and storage products for the specialty retailer. The company sells to more than 10,000 outlets in Canada and United States, and specializes in creating retail-merchandising programs for the self-storage and parcel industries. To reach Lainey, call 800.284.7357.

About the Author(s)

Lainey Becker

Account Manager, Supply Side USA

Lainey Becker is an account manager with Supply Side USA, a supplier of packaging, shipping, moving and storage products for the specialty retailer. The company sells to more than 10,000 outlets in Canada and United States, and specializes in creating retail-merchandising programs for the self-storage and parcel industries. To reach Lainey, call 800.284.7357.

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