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Take a Seat: An Expert’s Tips on Client Comfort

Gerry Gonda covers more about seating in 500 words than I’ve ever considered!

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HOW MUCH thought have you given to your seating options for customers?

I received a column this week (which we’ll run in full in INSTORE later this year) from Gerry Gonda, an interior designer working for retailspaceplanning.com, on the topic of showroom seating.  Some considerations he addresses include:

  • Where the salesperson should be in relation to the client
  • How tall the chair should be in relation to the showcase
  • How tall the showcase display should be in relation to the seated client
  • Whether or not the seating should have arms
  • Whether a bench is a good idea for seating

In short, he covers more about seating in 500 words than I’ve ever considered!  Gonda goes into detailed measurements regarding seating heights – and I won’t do that here – but in general, he recommends that the salesperson be seated if the customer is seated.  It feels too awkward to the client, otherwise.  The chairs you use should be about three inches from the top of the seat to the underside of the showcase.  He also recommends against building your showcase displays too high where a seated customer would have to reach up to touch the item. 

Gonda reminds retailers that if you put arms on the chair, it won’t fit under the showcase, which means the client will have to sit on the edge – not a comfortable position.  If stools are used, recessed casters add a nice touch of mobility.  But when it comes to benches, they are too large and heavy to be easily moved.

What are your own tips for seating clients?

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