5 Retail Design Myths Debunked


Retail store design is an advanced area that continues to improve and innovate, particularly with the development of new POS and shelving products. Changes in consumer behaviour also influence retail design trends. That said, there are some myths about retail design that continue to persist. We debunk five of the most common below.

  1. More Square Metres Equals More Display Space

Not quite. There are many reasons why a simple square metre calculation doesn’t tell you exactly how much more display space you will have. The shape of the store is one of those reasons, as are the features that exist in the space.

For example, a retail unit that is square with one wall that is mostly windows will have less display space than a rectangle store with windows running along one of its shorter ends, even when both spaces offer the same number of square metres.

  1. Serving Customers as Quickly as Possible is the Key to Retail Design Success

Again, not exactly. The assumption with this myth is that because everyone is so busy, they just need to get in and out of your store as quickly as possible, having bought the item they need. There are some areas where work on improving the efficiency of your store is beneficial, including speeding up the time it takes to complete the purchase once the customer has decided what they want.

However, customers who are not in your store are not buying from you. So, instead of thinking of ways to make their experience fast, focus on improving the overall experience. The ideal situation is that customers spend a suitable amount of time in your store because they find it enjoyable and interesting.

  1. All Fixtures and Shelving Should Be Flexible

The idea behind this myth is that flexible fixtures and shelving can be easily changed according to the requirements of your business. For example, if you bring in a new product, you can easily make the adjustments you need to put that product on display.

The problem when this is taken to the extreme is it can create a shop that looks temporary, uncommitted, and even unfinished. So, don’t be afraid of more permanent shelving or fixtures where appropriate.

  1. Adding a Mirror Will Make the Store Look Bigger

Only sometimes with this one. The key is to use the right mirror and to put it in the right place. Just adding a mirror to your store without getting it right could have negative consequences, including making the shop look cluttered. The interior design principle of mirrors creating the illusion of space is sound, albeit with the caveat of proper placement.

  1. You Will Know Immediately if Your New Design is a Success

Unfortunately, this is generally not the case as there are a lot of other factors at play. For example, your new retail design could coincide with the introduction of new products, POS materials, or even a new location. All of these things will contribute to performance too. There is even a novelty factor, where there will be an initial reaction from customers that will change when the new design becomes more familiar.

Optimising Retail Design for Success

The design of your shop will contribute to its success. Good design encourages customer flow, increases sales, and can even build customer loyalty. Take care to avoid the myths above, however, when designing your store.

Read more

Commercial Composting Facilities

Navigating what can be composted at home and what needs a commercial composting facility is an ever increasing problem faced by many of us these days. As we manage our way through new waste minimising intiatives one of the most common questions asked is “Where is my local commercial composting facility?”

Click on the below link to be taken to a convenient list of facilities within New Zealand and let’s do our bit to make a difference.

New Zealand facilities that accept compostable packaging and food serviceware


Read more

Common Store Layouts All Retailers Should Understand


The objective of your retail store is to move products. You need to encourage customers to make a purchase using a range of different strategies and techniques, from stocking the right products to having an effective pricing strategy. The layout of your store is important too.

The layout of your store affects customer flow and helps guide people around your store. It also helps to showcase your products in the most effective way possible, and it impacts the experience of customers, i.e., do customers enjoy shopping in your store?

In many respects, deciding on the layout of your store is the first step to effective store design. Here are the most common types of store layouts that you should be aware of.


Grid Store Layout

This is probably the one most people will be familiar with because it is the one that supermarkets use. In other words, aisles that are parallel and largely uniform, with checkouts close to the entrance/exit. 

This layout offers a lot of advantages, particularly for retail stores with lots of different products and substantial product variation – like a supermarket. You can also guide customers through the store by putting the most commonly purchased items at the back. Grid layouts are also familiar to shoppers, and shelving solutions are commonly available.

This style of store is not very creative or interesting, however. It’s more about function than design and can lead to frustration with shoppers when used in the wrong situations.


Free Flow Layout

The free flow layout is a common layout in boutique stores and is often the favoured layout in shops where there isn’t much space available. There are really no rules with a free-flow design. Instead, it’s about being creative and using the space you have in the best way possible.

While it is common in small stores, it usually works best in high-end retail outlets that don’t have many products to display. It’s also good for experiential retail spaces, and where you want there to be plenty of free space.

The downsides are less space to display products, plus it can be confusing for customers. This style of layout can also have unintended consequences, where the free layout of the store leads to a lack of focus on good retail practice.


Spine Layout

This is where you have a single aisle running from one end of the store to the other, with products displayed on either side of the aisle. It is common in smaller spaces, particularly where there are lots of products to display.

The biggest downside is space, as it can feel cramped, particularly when the store is busy.


Loop or Racetrack Layouts

A store with a loop layout forces customers to follow a pre-determined route around the store. A variation of the loop is a racetrack layout, which has a more varied design but with the same principle.

This layout is often used to ensure customers pass every product as they walk through. It also presents opportunities to strategically locate promotions for maximum impact.

However, it doesn’t suit stores where people know what they want to buy before they go in, as it can cause frustration.


Solutions for All Store Layouts

Whatever layout you choose for your retail store, we have the products and solutions that you need. Browse our range of over 3,000 products today.

Read more

Neo Pegs

If you are looking for a new and innovative 3D display solution this is it.  Say goodbye to boring endcap designs and create 3D displays that will wow your customers. There is nothing else quite like this on the market that will bring a new dimension and function to your retail displays.

Research shows that a lot of the information processed by humans is via the sense of sight, so it is important to offer interesting and eye catching designs instore.

The ultimate goal is to attract, engage, and motivate the customer towards making a purchase.

With the Neo Peg system you can do exactly that with the added bonus of being able to re use the Neo Pegs to create new displays to keep your store looking fresh, exciting and attracting your customers attention to a focal point.

Contact us today for more information!


Read more

How to use display hooks to optimise your retail space

Everything in a retail environment is carefully designed to showcase products to look their best. Retailers try to maximise available spaces as well as arrange displays so that products are appealing, easily seen and accessible.

The entire arrangement of a retail space is treated as an exercise in visual merchandising. For instance, to promote the feeling of a healthy, wholesome space, the produce section is often placed at the beginning of the store. Essentials are placed toward the middle or the end so customers are incentivised to walk through the other aisles and browse other products as well.

What are display hooks?

Display is everything in a retail store and it does pay off to invest in clever display accessories that can create a browser friendly environment.  Display hooks are one such product that can clear up clutter, maximise your presentation and improve sales.

Hooks are detachable merchandising accessories that can fit in neatly on standalone or countertop cardboard construction displays.  They are available in various lengths and styles to suit a variety of purposes.

How can I use display hooks?

Upgrade your display

These hooks make it possible to save floor space by arranging lightweight, compact products vertically on hang-sell displays. This also makes it possible to place key products in your customers’ line of sight.  The hooks help to organise your displays neatly without making your space look like it’s crammed with products.

Versatile positioning

There are a variety of hooks available so depending on the display that you want to create, you can choose hooks that fit into slatwalls, pegboards, cardboard displays or wire grids. Each hook has an end that is bent slightly upward to prevent products from sliding off.

Suitable for a range of products

These hooks are sturdy and can hold a variety of different products including phone accessories, fashion accessories, jewellery, and packets of items. You can choose from different hook lengths to suit your purpose or invest in all the sizes so you have them on hand. This way, you can use whichever hooks work best depending on the stock you have at the time.  You can fix hook locks at the end of these to prevent high price tag items from going missing. Only a member of your staff can unlock and show the product for a customer to examine.

Convenient, easy to use and long-lasting

Display hooks are made with highly durable plastic to ensure that they are long lasting and can be used for years to come.  Display hooks are easy to use and can be fitted or removed by a member of your staff quite easily.


Thanks to display hooks, with minimum investment, you are able to put more products on display and sell more of your stock. The versatility they offer in terms of function and ease of use means that nearly anyone can to put together eye-catching displays for new collections or special products. Display hooks are a staple retail accessory and are not likely to go out of style. So buying them is an investment that you can reap the benefits of for several years.

Thanks to the multiple advantages offered by this clever device, display hooks are often bought and stocked in bulk by chemists, jewellers, dairies, newsagents, clothing and even sports stores. You can choose between plastic butterfly hooks, double loop hooks, multi display hooks or even single hooks.

If we have a confirmed order for pegboard hooks or multi display hooks by 12pm, providing it is in stock, we can assure you that we will dispatch your order on the same day so there is no waiting around, ever!

Specialists in retail display products

Mills Display is proudly Kiwi owned and is based in Auckland, New Zealand. We have built up a diverse collection of retail equipment and accessories to offer you. With over 3000 products in our inventory, there is plenty for you to choose from to create the perfect space. Our knowledge of local needs combined with our commitment to help you succeed and international buying power allows us to offer you complete solutions for your retail needs.

In addition to a wide range of display accessories that are already available, Mills Display also offers you in-house design, prototyping and we can develop bespoke solutions for your space.  If you are unsure of which product would be exactly right for you, our experienced team is happy to help at every step, so give us a call today.

Read more