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Trailblazing Store Design

Mike Lawshe hates it when a c-store client says it’s “just” a convenience store.

Lawshe, president and CEO of Paragon Solutions, a retail design firm based in Fort Worth, Texas, sees merit in looking beyond the classic gas, Cokes and smokes model. “I hear that all the time: ‘It’s just a convenience store,’ ” Lawshe says. “No. It’s not just a convenience store. It is a retail store, and you need to create an experience for that retail customer.”

Hesitant retailers aren’t the only ones who need convincing. Plenty of customers have preconceived notions about what convenience stores should be like, and breaking those notions isn’t always easy. “Customers come into a new convenience store or travel center thinking it’s the same old, same old. Breaking those barriers is the biggest challenge,” Lawshe says.

With some creative design choices, retailers can differentiate themselves and prove that their stores are more than “just a convenience store.” Here are 10 of the top design trends from retailers and designers alike that may help deliver an enjoyable retail experience.

Photograph courtesy of Global Partners