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Creating special retail environments

The five ‘Es’ of emotional showroom design

By Vic Walker

Creating special retail environments
Creating interactive displays and/or promoting the use of open products are great ways to add interest.

There are a number of key showroom design concepts that outdoor living retailers can apply to help enhance the overall consumer experience. The retail environment’s ultimate goal is to make the customer feel comfortable and happy.


Customers should have a positive emotional reaction to the products and the showroom itself. The goal is to create a personal connection with the products and the store brand.


Invite interaction with products that have been opened. Signs that say ‘Try Me’ or ‘Sit Here, I am comfortable,’ for example, promote customer interaction. This gets customers to take their time and makes shopping for outdoor living products fun.


Retailers should use their imagination to create interesting ways for customers to encounter new products and experiences inside the store. Creating interactive displays and/or promoting the use of open products are great ways to add interest.


Every interaction with products, displays and sales personnel are small events. A great showroom experience is full of small events that build into an overall experience.


The overall experience of the showroom should build excitement and energy. Remember, retail associates are helping customers build the dream of a new outdoor space or promoting better health with the addition of a hot tub. This can be a very personal and exciting experience.

By incorporating many of these showroom design techniques, retailers can provide their customers with an unforgettable shopping experience that will keep them coming back for more.

Vic Walker is the product design and marketing manager at Custom Molded Products (CMP), a manufacturer of plastic components for the pool, spa, and bath industries in Newnan, Ga. He has almost 20 years of experience as an industrial designer and more than 15 years of experience in the pool and hot tub industry where he has been awarded more than 15 patents for his contributions.

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