Retail’s Forgotten Space: Vestibules & Front Porch

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Retailers are losing out on the free space just near the entryways of their front doors! We are talking about your store’s welcome area, a hot zone for small displays and dump bins that will drive sales up before consumers even fully enter your store.

The front porch and vestibule areas are where virtually all of your customers pass through. Leaving them empty is losing a crucial area that can be used to display a variety of merchandise. There are several ways retailers can utilize these spaces to show more products and bring in higher sales.

Vestibules – According to the Retail Doctor, you want to catch your customers’ attention as soon as they walk through the door. These are areas that are heated and fairly protected. Vestibules are the perfect space for selling products that are fun or unique, focusing on customers’ “wants” and not items they need and are already coming into the store to purchase.

Front Porch – The sidewalk space in front of your store is a great place to display seasonal outdoor items such as plants, gardening tools, or lawn furniture. While people usually expect to find discounted merchandise on the porch or sidewalk area, it is important to add in a few regular priced items to boost sales. To make the most of your outdoor space, make sure to use fixtures that have several shelf levels for an attractive merchandise presentation.

Challenges to Overcome

As with any merchandising strategy, there are always challenges that need to be considered, and the front porch and vestibules areas are no exception.

Limited Space – When working with limited space it is essential to cross-merchandise products that correlate with each other. Cramming too many items that don’t relate will appear unappealing and overwhelm the customer.

Damaged Goods – Sometimes having items in an entrance area can mean they get handled more often, and even destroyed. To prevent damage from occurring it is essential that merchandise be placed on sturdy displays. More delicate items should be placed higher up where children are not able to reach as easily.

Potential Theft – You may hesitate to display items in the entrance or front porch areas of your store for fear of theft. There are several things you can do to limit theft while promoting sales in these areas.

  •  Lighting – Keep all areas that pose a higher theft-risk well lit. Certain types of lighting can even highlight particular items that you are trying to showcase.
  •  Large Items – Display items in vestibules that are large or heavy. Smaller merchandise that can be concealed into purses or pockets should be kept inside near the register.
  •  Increase Security – Koorsen Fire and Security suggest that you can prevent theft by installing security cameras in strategic locations. If this is not financially feasible, use RFID tags for articles displayed in entrances and porches.

Making the Most of Your Entire Store

It is not acceptable to have product haphazardly scattered across the floor. Therefore, choosing the right display is imperative to master the effectiveness of your front-of-store space.  Utilize space with focal displays that are durable and enticing to promote small or seasonal products throughout the year.

 It is also essential to use fixtures that can quickly be moved around or disassembled, eliminating the challenge of rearranging areas on a regular basis.

SPC Retail specializes in heavy-duty modular fixtures that can transition from indoors to outdoors. The top-selling display configurations for the vestibule and porch areas include:

Tiered Rounds – These small displays easily fit into little spaces while offering multiple levels for products of different sizes to be shown, and 360 degrees of shoppability.

Platforms – Small products may pose the threat of theft; however, these sturdy displays can hold heavier products and allow for an elevated appearance to traditional pallet stacks. Raised pallets also will enable you to incorporate graphics and signage to promote your brand.

Step Displays – Store fixtures that feature height variations are an excellent way to make the most of small spaces. Step displays show off merchandise in its entirety while using less floor space.

Long-handle Merchandiser – No longer does long-handled merchandise need to be displayed against back walls.  Pull difficult-to-merchandise items such as rakes, tiki torches, or brooms into high-traffic areas.

High-quality displays that are both durable and easy to assemble will elevate your storefront and promote merchandise for add-on sales.


Contact SPC Retail to find a wide variety of fixtures perfect for your vestibules and front porch space. We offer a variety of sizes and can easily incorporate graphics for that extra-special touch! Let us help you to fill that free display space.


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