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The Importance of Space Planning and Flooring |  September 12, 2022 (0 comments)


West Bloomfield, MI--To help my clients understand this idea of space planning and flooring, I ask them to close their eyes and imagine walking into their store and asking themselves “What does the image say about this business?”

I ask them to think big picture: What are you selling, and who are you selling to? There needs to be a consistency of style and function in your store that have different factors to tie with the whole jewelry shopping experience. For example, if you are selling many diamond jewels in your store, there needs to be an area that stands out as a Wow.

But before we get into all the visual cues a store visitor will receive, I want to touch on one foundational element of your design, if not the most important design element – which is space planning.

I’m always asked how to generate more money out of the square feet they have. The rule of thumb is that the back offices should only take up 25%-35% of the total square footage and the rest of the square footage should be showroom. I am always reminding my clients to think about what is generating money and what is not. For example, I encourage my clients to minimize breakrooms, offices, and sometime scale down the shop area if you can. These areas do not generate money, therefore should not be taking up a lot of the showroom space.

Another important thought when it comes to space planning is you want to choose a floor plan that fits your store’s size and shape. As you create the layout and display options, you can think about whether you want straight, diagonal, geometric, and curved layout options.

Here’s a tip that you might find interesting. There have been many studies that show clients naturally turn right when they enter a store. I always tell my clients that is where their most important jewelry category should be – whether it’s bridal jewelry, fashion jewelry or watches.

I want to shift gears now and talk about the elements and furnishings in a jewelry store to make it beautiful and timeless in the overall design. I always start my projects by selecting the flooring first. Flooring will be one of the largest purchases that you will have in a remodel or new space. I really like to use only two floors in a store. My go-to floorings are very thick (Glued down) vinyl planks and porcelain tile floors. Both floors hold up in a commercial store and require no maintenance – you can mop and go. You will not have to sand and refinish the floors. The wood flooring gives a warmer and more casual feeling to the store while the porcelain tiles can give a more elegant feel. The porcelain tile even can look like marble. See picture of Zorells Jewelry porcelain tile and space plan flow in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Zorells Jewelry porcelain tile and space plan flow. Photo Credit: Leslie McGwire

I also love to use carpet tiles in some areas – specifically the more high-traffic areas. From a maintenance and cost perspective this can be a wise choice for many store owners because you do not have to rip up the entire carpet when there is a stain or if it shows wear and tear – just the 24” x 24” tile. I usually only use denser, more comfortable carpet behind the jewelry cases and POS for the benefit of the sales staff who stands for hours.

These all go into creating an instant impression for the first-time visitor and reaffirming that impression each time a repeat customer enters. You can make a certain color a predominate element of identification and associate it with your brand. Properly chosen colors will define your brands’ value in your jewelry store.

As you can see, there is a lot of thought that goes into making your stores’ first impression both impactful to a visitor and representative of the emotional messages that customers receive when they enter. As a business it’s imperative because this is the first chance to make the best impression.

About the Author: Leslie McGwire™ has over 35 years in business development, interior design, equipment, furniture sales and marketing services in retail and jewelry-based businesses. Leslie has won over 25 national design awards, including the prestigious Salon Today and INSTORE Jewelry Store ​awards. Leslie has a true passion for business, design for the jewelry and retail industries. Visit for more information

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