When it comes to improving your store’s environment, every corner counts. One area that can be improved with simple positioning and furniture changes is the sitting area, which needs to be inviting and versatile to make customers feel comfortable when making important purchase decisions.
In his INSTORE magazine editorial, “Have a Seat,” Paul Holewa shares simple ideas from Ruth Mellergaard, principal of retail design firm GRID/3, that will instantly improve the lounge area of your store:
- Use chairs: Space is always an issue and loveseats and small sofas tend to take up more space than chairs. Plus, Holewa writes that people like the defined space offered by a chair.
- Make it multi-functional: Sitting can become impromptu meeting areas between a sales associate and a customer, couples or kids. Make sure sitting areas are conducive to face-to-face discussions.
- Make it personal: Even if your store has a subdued or neutral color scheme, the sitting area is a place where you can add personal touches.
- Table it: While sitting areas require a place to set items down, avoid space-sucking coffee tables. To keep the area versatile and open, Mellergaard says retailers should use small tables between individual chairs or end tables on the side.
- Positioning is key: Your sitting area should be set off
enough so people can have some quiet time or discuss things in private.
But, Mellergaard says it’s also important to “keep them in the action.”
If it’s too far off, they can lose the connection to the product.
- Extra Tip: Set Apart with Flooring: The sitting area can be set apart from the rest of the store with flooring choices. For instance, a small carpeted portion of the showroom floor establishes a textural and visual separation from wood flooring. Area rugs can work, but Mellergaard advises retailers to tack them down to avoid slips or falls.