Retail stores come in all sizes and are designed in many different ways. They sell everything imaginable and some things you probably never imagined. They are as diverse as the people who shop in them, but they all have a few things in common. The owners all want to make profit and succeed. To help them in their hunt for profitability, many retailers resort to standard features designed to make their shops more visually appealing. The next time you are in a retail store, think about the different physical features of the place and you’re likely to see one or more of these.

Transition Zone

The transition zone is the first thing consumers sees when they approach a retail store. This area is the space at the front of the shop that the customer must pass through to get into the store. The transition zone is designed to be welcoming and attractive and generally make passersby want to come inside. This is especially important in a mall or a store in a row of other shops competing for business.

Usually, displays and other décor used in the design of the transition zone feature the most popular or attractive items the store offers or somehow sets or suggests a mood that shoppers will adopt as they enter the store, putting them in the right frame of mind to shop for these specific products.

Location Specific Bargains or Necessities

Retail stores that have bargain items or extremely popular products because they are a necessity of their target consumers use an area of the store near the rear to place these items. The idea for placing necessities and other items that people are likely to make the effort to look for is useful in two ways. It frees up space near the front of the stores for more exposure to items that are not as likely to be on the mind of the customer as they walk in. More importantly, if items are commonly sought out in the rear of the store, it means that the customer must walk past everything else to get there and then walk past it again to get to the register to pay for it. This exposes the products in the middle of the store to the customer and it encourages more impulse buying. Grocery stores commonly use this tactic by placing milk, eggs and other common grocery necessities in the rear of the store.

End Caps

End caps are aisle displays that are placed at the end of the shelving units so that you do not have to go down the aisle to see the products. Often, these end caps are stocked with products that are part of promotions or sales and are designed to draw customers to the aisle and encourage impulse buying.


The cashwrap is the register area where customers bring their items to pay for them before leaving the store. This area is typically overstocked with small, inexpensive, high-margin items that customers are likely to buy on impulse without much thought. They are typically items that are not necessary, but still appealing.