Figuring out a good layout for your consignment shop can be a difficult and overwhelming task, especially at first. Take your time, think about what you would want to see when you first walk in the door and what should be displayed in the back. Eventually, you will find a wonderful traffic flow and easy-to-follow directions for your clients.
Display some of your best items in the front of the store and use several mannequins in the windows to draw people in. Be cautious, however. If you put the most expensive item at the front door, it could easily entice shoplifters. Show the best quality you have, not necessarily the most expensive. If you can, purchase racks that have glass tops or shelving to display even more. Because there is often so much to look at in consignment shops, display some of your best pieces to prompt shoppers to purchase more.
Divide all of your items into sections, and have a distinct flow and order to your items. Sections could be organized as follows: tops and blouses, pants and pantsuits, skirts and skirt sets, dresses, suits, formalwear, petites, plus-size, juniors, infants, shoes and accessories, equipment, vintage and decor. The possibilities are endless, but always try to group like-items together. Put things in order by color or by size from smallest to largest. Make sure to purchase directional signs to put at the end of the racks to show your customers what they are looking at. Purchase lots of size rings to show the size increases for each section. Put dressing rooms, shoes and accessories toward the back of the shop. When people try things on, encourage them to leave their unwanted items on an easily accessible rack outside the dressing rooms so you can always put back the items yourself. This will help keep things in order and make it easier to locate items if pulling them for a consignor.
Create vignettes when displaying. For example, group three blue glass vases of varying heights together, group different shaped wood picture frames together, or pair a semi-sheer lavender Victorian-style blouse with modern gray pants and strappy metallic sandals. Vignettes will show your clients that you have a knack for creating outfits or putting together rooms.
Check out several store supply warehouses when purchasing things for your shop. Also check out local resale stores and yard sales to see if they have racks, jewelry counters or other display items for sale. You can also purchase these items from local shops that are going out of business.
Include seating throughout your shop for people to rest. Little benches or a cute chair outside the fitting rooms are great for people who come in groups. Also, keep children in mind. Provide a small area with a toy chest or little table with coloring books so they can play while their parents shop.
Change the layout of your shop every few years or move sections around periodically. This will keep repeat clients on their toes and expose them to items they haven't seen before.