Using Space Effectively 📏

3 min read

We've previously talked about why using planograms can help your retail business. Here we're going to dive a little deeper into POV planograms and how to use them to use space effectively.

Why Is Spacing Important?

In any form of design, whether it's website design, product design and in this context; visual merchandising, space is your best friend. If you design your displays with a lack of space, it can look very overwhelming and customers might not know how to process the information you're giving them. Spacing works in a very similar way to pause breaks in a speech or a presentation; it allows the listener to take in the information, plus it adds a certain dynamic that keeps the listener engaged.

Here's a poor example of spacing — I'm sure you've seen something similar to this before:

Poor Example of Visual Merchandising Spacing - Image:

Spacing Guidelines.

As you begin to design the selected segment with your planogram try to divide each metre width into grids; ¼ segments (best for maximising space to look "full") or ⅓ segments (gives it a minimalistic feel by using more space) - these widths are easier on the eyes. Depending on the height of the store and the fixtures and fittings you have installed, try to work with no more than 3 rows of height (footwear and accessories excluded) and ALWAYS maintain an eye-level tier.

When designing your store, make sure that you keep the grid style consistent throughout the store otherwise it could look rather random.

Here's some grid examples on how to effectively space your display:

Grid examples

Again, depending on the fixtures and fittings being used, here's some typical sizing guidelines for displaying products:

Forward-facing adult size top
  • If you're displaying a forward-facing, adult size top, allocate two ¼ width segments or two ⅓'s
Tops on a side-facing fixture
  • When displaying tops on a side-facing fixture, this will typically be one or two ¼ width segment or one to two ⅓ segments - usually this can be applied to side -facing bottoms too
Open-facing bottoms
  • Displaying open-facing bottoms, use two ¼ width segments or two ⅓'s
Side-facing bottoms
  • Side-facing bottoms: one ¼ width segment or one ⅓ width (either folded or hung)
Folded tops
  • Folded tops: depending on the folding style, typically will be one ¼ width (when tightly folded) or two ¼ width segments (when loosely folded - great for features or adding dynamic to a folding shelf).

There's also a lot stores out there that purely use rails to display all of their products, although it's hard to apply spacing between the items just ensure that you apply significant categorisation and spacing around the fixture for the customer to be able to process the information you're displaying. Maybe even bring them to life with some features and mannequins.


Just keep in mind that these aren't a set of rules and are only guidelines, it's just what usually works best in majority of the stores out there so feel free to build your own guide on how you wish to design your store.

The aim of this post was to get you to start thinking about the details of spacing and how it works visually for the consumer.

Would love to see examples of the spacing in your store, feel free to send us some pictures.

Email me at

Stay tuned.

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About Chris Jordan

Previously managed high-street stores, now a full-on logistics nerd moving things from A to B — all day, every day!
  • Cambridge, UK
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