Darren Gilbert Nov 1, 2017 4:45:12 PM 8 min read

Store Shelving Ideas You’ve Probably Never Seen Before

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When it comes to shelving ideas for your store, you’re only limited by your imagination. You have your traditional retail shelving that includes gondolas wire shelving and so on. And then there are the creative ideas that take your retail shelving to another level and draws you customers in.

That said, it does need to be pointed out you can’t use just any type of shelving to present your products. As we mentioned in a previous article on retail shelving, the shelving you choose needs to fit the products you stock and the type of retailer that you are.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the way in which other stores shelve their products. And that’s where this piece comes in. We take a look at a few shelving ideas that you don’t come across everyday.

Using individual mirrors to sell eyewear

When it comes to looking for different store shelving ideas, it’s important to point out that it’s not only about your traditional retail shelving. It’s also about taking a conventional presentation idea and giving it a modern twist.

A case in point is what an eyewear retail store did in Beja, Portugal. The store was designed by architectural firm, Jorge Sousa Santos, so that should indicate that it’s more than just a store. It’s also a work of art.

Shelving Ideas Eyewear.jpgImage by FG+SG – Fernando Guerra & Sergio Guerra.

Besides the architectural side of the store - there are three levels with each level having a different function - what’s especially interesting is the way in which they present their products. In most if not all eyewear stores, you’ll have your traditional wall mirror so you can see what you look like with on. Nothing too fancy. But this store takes it a step further, ‘shelving’ the glasses on individual mirrors.

The end result is a simplistic but stylish looking store that scores high in the visual appeal stakes. Since the goal of retail shelving is to present products in a way that appeals to customers and entices them to buy, it does just that.

Using store shelving which has a dual purpose

The purpose of shelving, as we’ve already indicated is to present your products to your customers. That’s it’s primary focus. But shelving can (and should) also be used as a design element to enhance the appeal of your products and store brand.

A perfect example of this can be found at a showroom at the headquarters of an international shoe brand’s distributor company in Turkey. Incidentally, it’s also designed by an architectural firm - Zemberek Design.

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Above and below image by Şafak Emrence.

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Just to give context, the showroom is “used for presentation of season products to the dealer agents by the sales representatives of the brand, in order cycles”.

As you can see, both images are of the exact same wall but at a different time period. You thus have an interactive shelf that can be manipulated however you please as opposed to your traditional static presentation of shoes that you’ll find in many stores. It’s also quick and easy to change.

In a retail store context, this opportunity to interact with products is an important part of the buying process. Which retailer wouldn’t want that?

Besides that, the beauty of such a wall display is that it simultaneously acts as a design feature. Even if there are only a few shoes on this shelf, it won’t be a bare white wall that your customers will dismiss without thinking twice.

Using materials in your product to display your product

The above two store shelving ideas are focused on high concept art and design. A lot of money has probably also been thrown at them to get the right look and feel. And that’s okay. But money isn’t everything. And especially when it comes to designing a great looking store.

A limited budget shouldn’t be the reason for why your store doesn’t have proper shelving. Don’t think it can be done? Just take a look at the below image. It’s of a store in Barcelona that had a limited budget. And yet you wouldn’t think that if you didn’t know.

Shelving Ideas Recycled.jpgImage by Jordi Anguera.

The above store sells an Ethiopian brand of shoes. And while you’ve no doubt seen other stores use recycled materials to present their products - it’s a popular visual trick that could be seen as cliche - this shoe brand has every right to use it.

The shoes are made out of recycled tires, organic cotton and koba plant fiber. So what better way to show that off that fact than to use the recycled materials that make up the actual product? The wooden pallets and ropes you see are also recycled, speaking truth to the vision of a brand which is eco-friendly.

While the design is minimalist in nature, it packs a punch. An added bonus is that it shows that recycled products can look good if given the chance.

Use shelving that speaks directly to your store’s location

While using recycled materials that can be found in your products shows off originality, there are other ways to stand out. One of them is to construct a store using materials that speaks directly to its location.

How does that look in real life? See the below image. This store sells skin, hair, and body care products and is located on the edge of Los Angeles’ fashion district. As indicated by contemporist, the walls (and shelving) are made up of cardboard tubes, which is a tribute to empty fabric bolts which are usually found in various studios in the neighbourhood.

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Above and below image courtesy of contemporist.

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It’s not often when walking into a store, that you’ll find everything the same. There will usually be a few retail fixtures and displays that are made up of different materials within any given store. But not here. Even the surface of the checkout counter is made up of cardboard.

In some instances, this sameness might make a store appear boring and unappealing. But in this case it’s a strength. That’s because it’s original. It’s not everyday you’ll see a store with cardboard interiors. There’s also a deeper connection between the store and its location. More than that, it speaks to brand consistency.


Darren Gilbert

With over 10 years of writing and marketing experience, Darren joined DotActiv in 2017 as a content writer where he was responsible for producing blogs, Ebooks and more. He has since worked himself up to the role of content manager, where he oversees all and any content produced by the company. He has a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Stellenbosch.