Lighting for Your Retail Store

For many people, dark and dreary winter weather is slowly approaching.

For others, as highlighted by last week’s string of snowstorms, it is already here. We hang our heads a little lower, lose some of our youthful summer energy, and just get the “Winter Blues”.

If you ask people why they’re so down in the dumps, and they think carefully about the causes of their seasonal symptoms, most of them will mention cloudy shorter days, and the cold weather.

Lighting for Your Retail StoreWhat they miss most, however, even if they don’t realize it, is Sunlight. Sunlight prompts our systems to produce the hormones directly responsible for improving mood and creating a sense of well-being. In fact, millions of Americans suffer from SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, which many experts believe is caused by a lack of adequate sunlight.

If light can have such a drastic effect on your mood, it’s only natural that retail store operators should focus heavily on how it is used to drive product sales. Customer behavior in retail areas is influenced significantly by perception and a sense of well-being.

The right lighting design can excite, relax, or inspire a customer, increasing the likelihood that they’ll make a purchase without even realizing their change in attitude. Plan the lighting in your store with a specific goal in mind, and watch as customers undergo a gentle transformation as they enter and shop around your store.

To start, following are essential elements of lighting to consider in your plan. Regardless of the space or area being illuminated, the design scheme usually employs a “layered” approach, combining the three basic categories of lighting:

Ambient/General Lighting

The general wide-scale lighting of your store, most often from ceiling fixtures, should produce an environment that makes a customer feel comfortable and safe walking around, examining merchandise, and interacting with your staff.

Accent/Task Lighting

Accent and task lighting allows you to focus the attention of your customer on certain products, giving them a higher level of perceived importance. Use a single accent, or create a pattern to guide traffic to different displays within your store.

Valance/Decorative Lighting

Valance and decorative lighting is typically built into display structures. Valance lighting blocks the light source from the direct view of the customer while highlighting the products beneath it. Decorative lighting, specifically on shelves, allows lighting to be very close to a specific section of merchandise or makes it easier for a customer to see a broader selection of products.

To summarize, as stated by Osram-Sylvania, your lighting design goals should be to create an overall positive shopping experience and encourage customers to make purchases.  It should:

  • Attract and guide customers into and through the store.
  • Provide visual comfort
  • Lead customers through merchandise areas safely and effectively
  • Help them find and evaluate merchandise
  • Call attention to specific merchandise and reinforce merchandising themes.
  • Initiate a purchase

At Midwest Retail Services, we offer attractive light fixtures for basic shelving that serve as accent and valance lighting to increase customer traffic to the desired products on your shelves.

Click here to see some examples of lighting options for your store.



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About Midwest Retail Services

Midwest Retail Services provides all the store fixtures needed to start, expand, or update your retail store. We serve a wide variety of businesses including pharmacy, grocery, pet supply, party supply, book, C-Store, discount, and many other retailers. We also support POP design and fulfillment, retail designers, architects, contractors, installers, and store fixture resellers.