Anyone running a garden center knows that this business puts a big focus on movement: moving products on and off shelves, the flow of seasons, and even changing the availability of plants and other products season to season.
But there’s also one crucial element of movement that garden centers have to consider on a day-to-day, and even hour-to-hour basis: people moving.
When it comes to building a convenient, inviting, and optimized garden center space, flow and people moving are hugely important. Fortunately, it doesn’t take a miracle to make your customer space well-outfitted for smooth flow—all it requires is a little planning and some smart decision making.
Designing Your Aisles For Easy Movement
In a business where “revenue-per-square-foot” is always top-of-mind, it can sometimes seem counterintuitive to leave empty space on your sales floor. But, in fact, it might be one of the smartest decisions you make.
After all, how comfortable do you think your shoppers will be if they don’t have room to browse and get inspired?
It’s also important to design your walking areas and aisles with more than just foot traffic in mind. If it’s tough to navigate your space without crashing carts or catching your clothes on the corner of a bench, your customers may not have the best experience. That could do damage to your reputation, and prevent customers from coming back in the future.
Room to Make Shopping Simple
There are a few basic things that just about every shopper expects from a sales floor, and your garden center customers are no different.
Is it easy to see the registers from everywhere? How quickly can a customer flag down a team member for assistance? Are related products (like plants and planters) nearby one another for easy reach?
It also helps to consider not just customer expectations but also basic design elements that make shopping easy and enjoyable for guests. Is there space for children to move around where parents can clearly see them? Are there multiple checkout locations for easy in and out? These can be the elements that elevate your garden center from “helpful” to “enjoyable.”
Remember: Not Everyone Likes A Crowd
It’s easy to look out on your empty garden center and think you’ve left plenty of space for casual shoppers. But it’s also important to envision your aisles packed with people on your busiest day of the year. Will everyone have enough space to shop?
This is especially crucial around your registers, as long lines and crowded spaces at checkout can quickly dissuade shoppers from sticking around long enough to make a purchase, and may leave a bad impression that lasts long after that busy day.