Tight space design: Munchy Mart, University of Northern Colorado

Designing around three columns was just one of many of the Munchy Mart's challenges.

With retail, Brown says, you usually want open spaces and natural light. This space had neither. In addition to using bright lighting to make the space look more open, the team turned two shelving gondolas sideways to save space. The department also carved out space for coolers for its self-branded grab-and-go items.

"As a narrower room without a lot of windows or space to work with, coming up with a great design that allows us to have a good customer flow in and out of the store was key," Brown says. "But we still needed the ability to stock our shelves. We originally wanted three gondolas, but it was just too tight."

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