A few words on retail shelving

Regardless of how big or small your cafe might be, at Square Mile we believe that a retail space to sell bagged coffee to your customers can bring extra value to your business, especially if it’s done well.

Why? Well, with the rise of the home coffee enthusiast, a cafe that offers a selection of brewers, grinders, coffee books, and a varied range of retail coffee will make your customer’s visit a lot more worthwhile – especially when it’s nearing the weekend or a holiday.

What’s more, a little retail space can add a great look to your coffee shop, particularly if your design game is strong!

Below we pull together some simple, practical tips and picture examples of how some of our customers are doing it right. Remember, add your own creative flair to your space and make it different from the coffee shop across the road!

Tip One – Be simple and logical.

A clean, organised retail shelf is vital! By grouping similar products together in one place it will ease the customer in their buying experience. Start with brewing equipment – group the V60’s, Clever Drippers and Aeropress’ together.

Then, next to them – pop down some paper filters, hand grinders, and coffee books.

And finally, finish with the main event – the coffee.

This obviously all depends on how much space you have, so be creative whether it’s a fully stocked shelf or a minimalistic space.

Photo: Prufrock Cafe, London
Photo Source: Orchard Lane Coffee House, Kent

Tip two – Play with colour.

Making your retail space visually pleasing will always help with drawing people’s attention, and the use of colour is a great way of achieving this.

So ask yourself – what is the colour scheme and tone in your coffee shop? How would a retail space effect this? Would you like it to match with the overall design of your cafe or would you prefer it to stand out in a completely different mood?

Using a contrasting wall of colour could make the area completely stand out or, given the wide array of merchandise available these days – you could let the products do all the talking.

Photo Source: Revolver Coffee, Vancouver
Photo: The display shelf at our roastery covers the main Black-Red color code

Tip three – Lighting is fun!

Lighting is without a doubt the most important way of setting mood or highlighting areas in an interior space.

So, how much natural light does your shop or retail shelf get? Would the use of lamps and extra lights help highlight particular products or brighten up that gloomy corner?

Be creative and light your display. The right touch of lighting will make the merchandise pop!

Photo: Giddy Up Coffee at Giant Bicycles, London
Photo: We love this gorgeous touch lamp from our friends at Tala Led

Tip four – Plants! Adding green will keep them keen.

Research has shown that by adding plants to an inside space will actually make people happier and boost productivity. By adding several delicate hanging plants, a few pots of succulents or a giant cheese plant, it can really change the look of your space. Plants can also often be used to alter the mood and be used to break up or fill in gaps on a shelf.

Photo: Bulldog Edition at Ace Hotel, London

Start with these 4 easy tips and we think you will start to notice the difference.

It is also very important to keep the coffee fresh and rotate your stock regularly, as designing your retail space is all about tailoring it to your own customers. Put on display what they are buying the most and add items that might drive that extra interest or produce a talking point.

In our experience, the cafes that have designated shelving for retail bags of coffee that are clearly for customers to buy and take away are the ones selling the most retail bags.

Photo: Prufrock Cafe, London
Ben Kelloway

Ben Kelloway

Ben works as an Account Manager for Square Mile Coffee. A former barista & coffee roaster, in his spare time Ben can be found listening to loud electronic music and taking care of one of his many houseplants.

Ben Kelloway

Ben Kelloway

Ben works as an Account Manager for Square Mile Coffee. A former barista & coffee roaster, in his spare time Ben can be found listening to loud electronic music and taking care of one of his many houseplants.