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Glass sells: The importance of glass in retail

Store frontage is integral to showcasing what’s inside and, more importantly, who is inside.

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December 13, 2018 |
Elizabeth Cotton

Retail business owners, especially those with brick-and-mortar stores, must attract foot traffic. Without people coming into their store and browsing, it is nearly impossible to make money – particularly if the establishment in question does not have an online presence. Today, with more large retail companies selling everything and anything online for less than some physical retailers, competition for the consumer’s attention is greater than ever. Store owners can launch online or social media ad campaigns, e-marketing initiatives and more, but if their physical outlet is unattractive, foot traffic will diminish. To keep retail businesses competitive and current, they must appeal to the shoppers need for an interactive experience at an awe-inspiring destination. Not only can glass play a vital role in showcasing available goods, but it can create this exciting destination for the shopping experience.

Store frontage is integral to showcasing what’s inside and, more importantly, who is inside. With large glass windows at the exterior made from an ultra-transparent glass like Clearvision™ from AGC Glass North America, the world’s largest glass manufacturer, ample light can filter through the interior, highlighting everything and everyone shopping. A popular space will attract attention and curious customers who want to see what all the fuss is about. An extremely low-iron glass, Clearvision has a visible light transmission of 92% at 3mm, making it ideal for large shop windows and entrance doors. Clearvision has a very high color rendering index, which means colors are more true when viewed through the glass, making everything just look better.



Many studies have indicated that daylighting plays a huge component in human well-being. In a retail setting, having plenty of daylight coming into a store can flood the space with natural light. This can achieve a pleasant, inviting atmosphere, in addition to enabling the goods or products for sale to be seen from the street. Clearvision used for street-facing windows is one way to maximize natural light and make a store more inviting and open.

Interior design elements made of glass can also add to a store’s aesthetic appeal creating a captivating destination. This can be particularly significant for attracting customers in the present Instagram age, where experiences are rendered in carefully-curated images. As AGC has the widest range of glass products, its offerings also extend to Lacobel®, an interior back-painted glass with a glossy finish, and Matelac™, an interior back-painted, glass with a satin finish. With the possibility of bold colors and designs, Lacobel can serve as attractive shelving, enticingly colorful tables on which goods can be displayed, and wall coverings for dramatic effects. Matelac can be used for a variety of purposes, from changing room doors, to murals or partitions throughout the store adding a subtle comforting look to the space. The combination of these colors and contrasting finishes can create that coveted Instragram-worthy spot.



As retail continues to evolve both on and offline, it is important that building owners and designers select strategic materials to keep enticing consumers. With anything possible, designers can push the visual envelope within retail spaces, meet modern demand, and still keep physical stores competitive -- all with different types of glass.


Elizabeth Cotton
AGC Glass North America
Product Manager – Interior & Specialty Products

Elizabeth Cotton has successfully managed a variety of products and is currently the Product Manager – Interior & Specialty Products for AGC Glass North America.  Elizabeth is responsible for managing the North American product portfolio and developing/maintaining the roadmap for interior decorative glass products.  She establishes product positioning following market trends and manages promotional activities and launch strategies across North America.


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