So you’ve found the perfect location for your next (or perhaps first) store. Your lease is being negotiated and it won’t be long until you receive the keys. The next step is thinking about how you’re going to fit-out your store. How it’s going to look? Which partners you’ll engage to help your vision become a reality. Though quite a daunting task, it really needn’t be. It’s all too easy to find just another shop fitter who can deliver just another store. But, our handy guide will help you deliver a stand-out store (a must in today’s retail environment) and find the perfect fit-out partner.
1. Before planning your store fit-out, establish your company branding & identity
This seems like an obvious point but being clear on how you will translate your brand identity into bricks and mortar from the outset will save you time and money in design changes . And it will help speed up the process in reaching the final agreed design. Whether you have the facilities in-house to design your store, use a design agency, or partner with a shop fitter who has the knowledge and capabilities to design your store – having a clear vision from the start is vital.
2. Partner with a fit-out company who share your brand ethos and goals
When looking for a fit-out company or contractors you can ensure peace of mind that your projects are in safe hands by choosing them carefully. Collaborating with a like-minded fit-out company, who understand your vision and brand ethos, will help take the worry out of delivering your store on time, on budget, and to your exact design.
3. Choose the right store design partner
When considering your store design, it is important to choose a design partner who understands not only your brand and message. They also need to ‘get’ your company identity and most importantly your customer. Be sure to consider how the placement of your fixtures and fitting effects the flow of the store and the customer journey, and the overall customer experience in store. By choosing a partner who understands all of the above you can help ensure your new store is profitable and a worthwhile investment.
4. Have thorough discussions about your store fixtures and fittings in the design stage
Now, this is really important. It is counterproductive to rush through the fixture and fitting design stage only to find once manufactured and in store that the fixtures just don’t work for you and your brand. If your budget allows, ordering bespoke fixtures and fittings will mean you can ensure your brand identity is consistent throughout the store. It will also mean that once you have agreed on the store identity, you can replicate this look easily over multiple stores. Prototyping fixtures will allow you to identify any weaknesses in the design. But, if you don’t have the time or budget for this then a thorough review of the designs will help iron out most issues.
5. Have your store lighting layout professionally designed
There are plenty of opportunities in your shopfit costs to save money, but lighting shouldn’t be one of them. Engaging with a fit-out company who can provide you with a lighting layout designed around your agreed shop design is a worthwhile investment. And the right lighting can be the icing on the cake, really showcasing how well-planned your store is.
6. Allow time at the end of the store fit-out to conduct a thorough handover
A good fit-out company will provide their client with a thorough and detailed handover of the store. Not only to go over the finished store with a fine-tooth comb, but also to relay important information about installed systems to staff. They are to provide a detailed O&M manual for future reference. At this stage any snagging can be identified and put right, ready for your new store to be merchandised and opened to your customers.
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