Any avid shopper will tell you that the fun part of going from store to store is being rewarded with a unique experience each time you step in the door of a different establishment. Walk through a shopping mall and you’ll realize that every store offers something that makes them stand out from the others…and that each store is fit out according to the items it sells.
Make Your Shop Fit Out the Right Choice for Your Business
Truly, a shop fit out for a retail store can range from very simple and rather rustic to quite elaborate. Stores that peddle baby items, for example, might be decorated in calm pastels with plenty of room between the shelves and racks for mums to push the wee ones down the aisles. A shop that sells urban clothing might be decked out with metal shelves and industrial lighting, typical of a rough-edged city look.
An upscale dress shop will probably include traditional racks and shelving with plenty of mirrors and lighting that makes the customer look their best. The choices are endless…and you need to make the right ones for your store.
Hire a Fit Out Specialist
It takes an amazing shop owner to tackle shopfitting on their own, and in many cases, local laws demand that licensed professionals be hired for certain tasks. So, whether you’re moving into a brand new location or one that demands a lot of renovation and rejuvenation, don’t try to handle it by yourself. Start by choosing a fit out professional that’s right for your job.
You’ll probably want to interview a few before making your final decision, and to make that decision you’ll need to ask the right questions. The most important will be whether or not that company or individual has experience fitting out stores like yours. If you’re preparing to open a small boutique, for example, don’t hire a company that specializes in department store shop fitting.
You should also consider whether or not the fitter has on-premises capabilities as far as manufacturing of displays is concerned. That often helps the process move along more speedily.
You’ll also want to inquire as to how much input you’ll have on the project. Choose a shopfitting specialist who listens to your wants and needs and then makes suggestions. Your store should be a good blend of your ideas and their expertise. However, don’t be so caught up in your own ideas that you refuse to listen to your designer’s suggestions.
Do Some Research
You don’t want your store to be a carbon copy of someone else’s shop but you can certainly garner interesting ideas by visiting stores like yours or researching shop fit out on the internet. Social media sites like Pinterest are full of photos of clever shop fit outs and you’re sure to have some “light bulb moments” while surfing the web. Share photos with your designer and then let him/her steer you in the direction of similar ideas that will work for your establishment.
Set a Budget
After you’ve talked about style, equipment, and other particulars of your pending shop fit out, be sure that your ideas fit your budget. New shop owners shouldn’t go into business with a large shop fitting bill weighing them down. You may find that you can’t yet compete with some of your competition as far as elaborate shop fitting is concerned.
That’s okay. You want to make your shop uniquely yours and a good shopfitter can help you do that on YOUR budget. That might mean purchasing gently used display cases, lighting, or other items and then spending more of ideas that you believe will truly brand your shop, like signage.