How Important Is Lighting for Retail Stores?

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How Important Is Lighting for Retail Stores?

Lighting is one detail that most store owners don’t think about, don’t take into consideration or just ignore until it is too late and is, in fact, of the utmost importance.

Design and presentation play a highly important role in the retail world. Store decoration, lighting, chosen furniture, window display design and any other visual merchandising and visual branding aspect you can think of is absolutely essential to create the perfect shopping experience for your customers, raise brand awareness and, of course, increase sales.

Retail lighting impacts the shopping experience of any customer, can affect employee productivity and will make our break you brand, through the way it emphasizes merchandise and plays a big role in physical store operational costs.

Bapela store LA lighting design

Lighting technology has reached its peak in our modern times so retailers can now create the perfect lighting effects, with high-quality lights of any color that will most certainly help any type of business grow.

Jewelry stores, for example, pay special attention to lighting because it helps highlight the shine and value of their products, offering an elegant and luxurious view.

It also plays a crucial role in the purchasing decision. Imagine the following scenario: You opted for a cheaper lighting choice that does not highlight your products properly, it might end up confusing customers. Moreover, when a customer wants to try on a pair of earrings, a necklace, a scarf, a hat, or any other type of apparel, they could look pale and have an unhealthy glow due to your lighting choice. In this scenario, you end up losing a sale and there is a high chance that you will lose the loyalty of existing customers, the chance of creating a good impression and bond with new customers, as well as the chance of some good old fashioned word-of-mouth marketing.

Why is lighting important for retail stores?

For a more in-depth understanding, here is how lighting impacts the customer’s shopping experience, the benefits that retailers gain by using high-quality lighting in stores and main effects on employees:

The customer’s shopping experience:

  • Attracts and invites customers into the environment.
  • Guides customers through the store.
  • Draws their attention to specific products and allows for a better examination and appreciation.
  • Creates an atmosphere that helps customers relax, get comfortable or excited.
  • Affects moods, behaviors(people tend to follow bright paths, brightness focuses attention and aids orientation) and buying habits.
  • Communicates the fact that you have a well established merchandising strategy and that you want to offer them the best experience. It can also communicate about the quality of your products/services and even the price range your store has to offer.
  • Increases the chances of a sale.

The bottom line: good lighting can influence customers to spend more time in your store, spend more money, have a higher chance of returning to your store, will most likely recommend your store to their friends and loved ones, simply because they looked and felt great.

If you feel you are not convinced by this list, then we present you an example, a research paper realized by the

The benefits of the retailer:

  • Retailers can fashion a mood to complement their product.
  • Products look their absolute best, by enhancing their appearance.
  • The right lighting has a positive effect on everything from first impressions to checkout.
  • Elevates brand image and helps create a stronger customer-brand bond.
  • Anything from jewelry to clothing and groceries requires fantastic lighting to help drive sales and move merchandise.
  • It is an effective merchandising and marketing tool.
  • Good lighting improves operational costs and helps save on energy consumption.
  • Can prove to be a great advantage over competitors.

The bottom line: products are emphasized and look fantastic, it is a valuable tool to increase sales, it improves the image of your brand and your relationship with customers and it helps you save money.

Effects on employees:

  • They become more focused on their tasks.
  • They enjoy their work more.
  • They become friendlier.
  • They become more productive.
  • It communicates workplace standards and brand standards that help them become advocates and multipliers.

The bottom line: employees are more productive, more focused, friendlier and carry on the message of your brand.

These three main points alone are enough to make you understand why it is important, how quality lighting helps and the benefits you and your business can get out of such an investment.

Where should I focus in terms of lighting design?

Illumination is required in all areas of any retail store, but there are certain sectors that deserve extra attention. These parts include the sales and transaction areas, fitting rooms, the general area for product display, feature displays and of course window displays.

Sales and Transaction Areas

Sales area lighting

Well, it’s kind of clear that you should make your customer’s buying journey as easy as possible, and quality bright lights can help you in this sense. You can also highlight some items you have on sale near or at the point of purchase.

Fitting Rooms

fitting room lighting

Each fitting room requires its own proper illumination, if the customer looks good, he or she will feel good and increase the chances of them making a purchase.

Product and Feature Displays

Product lighting

It is ideal to showcase and focus on products you want to move. It makes no difference if it is new or old merchandise, it is important to shine a light that will flatter the product and will make customers stop, look, interact or want to try it on.

window display lightingThe Window Display

It is where the brand is introduced, it is the shop front, a calling card and a business card at the same time. It is the one that gives the first impression to passersby and, of course, potential customers. You have to ensure that the architecture, concept and lighting of the window creates a seamless visual experience that captures attention. It is necessary for it to be well thought out simply because it is the best opportunity to communicate brand image, values and offers.

It might not be easy to create the perfect store, but just consider the thoughts we have shared with you up until now. Lighting makes a huge difference and if follow our guide, you will understand why.

Quality lighting is a long term investment, treat it as such and not as an expense. In the end, as earlier mentioned, it helps control your energy costs, it doesn’t waste energy, because you can set different patterns in various times of the day.

White light retail store design

Our recommendation is to hire a lighting designer who will surely help you create an amazing environment, cut down on costs and offer you the possibility of working exclusively with quality lighting.

If you would like to know more about lighting and how to make your store more efficient, learn for yourself about all the different types of light sources and technologies, we invite you to follow the links below towards the following articles in our retail lighting series.

The Retail Lighting Guide
Part #2: Retail Lighting Objectives
By | 2017-05-29T00:54:37+00:00 April 16th, 2016|Retail Lighting, Visual Merchandising|

About the Author:

I’ll tell you more about me later. I’m just the guy running ZenMerchandiser and I spend most of my time building stuff at MannequinMall as the Director of eCommerce. When I write, I write about cool stuff in retail, be it related to technology, design or marketing.