How to design and build a store fixture: Design, Prototype, Test rollout, Final rollout

Designing fixtures for your retail stores takes planning and testing to ensure they meet your needs. Here are the key stages to take a fixture from concept all the way to installation:



Start with sketching conceptual designs and making scale models of your ideas using basic materials. Consider factors like functionality, longevity, brand image, assembly/disassembly, and costs. Refine your favorite concepts into detailed technical drawings.



Build high-fidelity prototypes of your top designs using the actual planned materials. This allows you to gauge assembly difficulty, test durability and stability, and get early feedback. Make sure to photograph prototypes from all angles for comparisons later.

Focus Group Testing

With preliminary designs and prototypes complete, conduct focus groups in a mock retail space. Observe shoppers interacting with prototypes and get feedback on aesthetic appeal, usability, and any needed improvements. Revise designs as needed.

Pilot Store Rollout

Select one store to install small numbers of the revised prototypes. This allows real-world testing over time. Observe how fixtures hold up to actual use and get associate feedback. Make final adjustments before wider rollout if time permits. 

Full Rollout

With a proven, tested design, you can confidently mass produce fixtures for installation across your entire chain. Consider logistics of delivery, assembly instructions, and timeline. Provide photos/instructions so consistent installation is achieved store to store.

Keeping fixtures fresh is important – revisit this process every few years to evolve your brand presence through innovative, customer-focused fixture designs.


Jeff Lo is owner and president of TGS Elevate, a certified Minority Owned Company (MBE) that does the work of seven separate vendors – encompassing 2D and 3D design, printing, fabrication, project management, logistics and sourcing – to save clients time and money. TGSE’s minority ownership in printers and fabricators across the country allows control of lead time and pricing. This lower overhead cost gives us the flexibility to find the right production facility and supply chain for your project and gives you one point of contact, from design to installation. 

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