5 Shopfitting Tips for Increasing Coffee Shop Footfall

In the coffee shop game, it’s all about getting as many people in your shop as possible. Without the right amount of footfall, you’re never going to increase your sales, as you need to get people in the shop, soaking in the ambiance and looking at what you have to offer. However, when it comes to coffee shops having a signature blend or interesting menu options isn’t all that matters. Often what matters the most is the look and feel of your coffee shop. In this article, we’ll take a look at 5 tips that can help you to create the perfect space to increase your footfall.

1. Make Sure Your Branding is on Point

The first chance that customers get to judge your coffee shop is from the outside. For this reason, it’s important to have your branding and signage on point, right from the entrance. Coffee shops are very much a new-age concept, and if your signs look old, or out of style, your target clientele may just walk on by. Trendy signs that effectively capture your coffee shop’s branding elements will help to encourage people to look twice at your store.

2. Make the Space as Cozy as Possible 

For many people, going to a coffee shop is a chance to escape the rat race and sit somewhere comforting and cost with a warm beverage. If your coffee shop doesn’t give off that feeling with your design choices, then people will be less likely to choose your shop over another one. When designing your space, try to use warm but modern color schemes. It’s also a really great idea to choose comfortable furniture. However, there are a lot of people that choose cozy coffee shops as work locations so it’s a good idea to include some suitable but comfortable tables to accommodate them too.

3. Place the Seating Area Near the Door

In terms of layout, it’s a good idea to place the counter and barista bar near the back of the store. This way, passing customers will be able to see a lot of comfortable customers enjoying a nice drink, as opposed to a busy barista bar with a long queue. It’s also best to do this because it discourages people from walking straight back out with their coffee. If they see the comfortable seating areas as they walk through, they may be more inclined to get their coffee to stay, and maybe eat lunch or have more drinks.

4. Choose Warm Lighting 

If your keen to create a space that people want to hang out in, it’s always a good idea to choose nice, warm lighting tones. Some coffee shops choose brighter lighting tones, but this tends to create a more ‘grab it and go’ atmosphere. Whilst this is a legitimate business model for a busy high-street coffee shop, most smaller shops rely on people staying for a while and ordering one or more items from the menu. Choosing a warmer lighting tone will help your customers to feel welcomed and relaxed and can help to encourage your customers to hang around, or select your coffee shop for hanging out with friends. 

5. Advertise Your Eco-Friendly Practises 

Being Eco-Friendly is all the rage in the coffee shop industry, and coffee consumers are keen to know that the places they’re drinking are following good eco-friendly practices. If you want to encourage more footfall, make sure that your efforts to be eco-friendly are easily noticeable. You can do this in many ways. Signs outside about where your coffee comes from and any charity efforts are always useful. When it comes to shopfitting, you can also advertise your eco-friendliness. Certain design schemes such as ones that use reclaimed wood and furniture give off a vibe of eco-awareness that coffee shop dwellers tend to enjoy. 

Bonus Tip: Have Super Fast Wifi Installed

Although it doesn’t strictly come under the heading off ‘shopfitting’ ensuring your cafe is well connected can really help to boost footfall and sales. Lots of coffee drinkers like to keep themselves entertained by surfing online, and if your cafe boasts great wifi connection, they’re likely to choose your coffee shop over one of your competitors. If you’re having your cafe refitted, talk to your shopfitter about this, and they may be able to advise you about the best ways to ensure that you have a strong connection throughout your space. 


So there you have it, 5 tips to help you make the most of your cafe and increase footfall.

5 Tips From Shopfitting Experts For Encouraging Return Custom

Getting people into your store isn’t always difficult, especially if you are in an area with good footfall. However, to increase sales, it’s important to take steps that will encourage people to stay in the store, make purchases and keep coming back. Returning custom is important for any shop, but it can sometimes be hard to master. In this article, we’ll look into five tips from shopfitting experts that may help to encourage more return custom.

1. Change Displays Regularly

When it comes to encouraging return custom appearance is everything. Your display window is the first opportunity that a customer gets to decide whether or not your store is worth entering. Even if you have the best displays in the world, they’re only likely to catch customers attention once. If a previous customer passes your store again and the displays are the same as they were a few weeks ago, they’re likely to keep on walking, as they’ll automatically assume that they’ve seen everything your store has to offer.

Changing your displays regularly can help to prevent previous customers from passing by without entering, as the new display will signal to them that there may be new products to be found inside. Even if you don’t change up your stock all that often, it’s unlikely that the customers looked at everything last time the came in.

2. Decorate for the Holidays

Staying up to date with the latest holidays is another way to keep customers coming back for more. Even if you won’t be stocking anything particularly related to the holiday in question, it’s still a good idea to decorate accordingly. If your previous customers see new decorations in the store, it will give them a sense that something has changed and that your store is worth visiting, even though they have been in there before.

3. Relaunch

If you’re considering having a refit or refurbishment on your retail space, then don’t let it go unnoticed. A relaunch is a perfect way to entice your previous customers to give your store a second glance. In the run-up to the relaunch, whilst the store is closed hand out leaflets in the local area, advising customers that your store is getting a makeover. If your previous customers liked the items they bought from you, but haven’t returned since they’re likely to be keen to check out your store’s new look.

4. Change the Layout

Another shopfitting tip that can help you to encourage more return custom is to change the layout of the store. Move products that were near the back of the store to the front. This way the customers that have just dropped in and out of the store in the past may be enticed by products that they never got a chance to see last time.

A new layout can also help to bring in customers that weren’t too impressed with your store last time. Shoppers can be extremely sensitive when it comes to space, displays, and layouts and some people simply won’t enjoy shopping in certain spaces. However, a change in the layout may encourage customers that were unhappy with the old layout to give your store a second chance.

5. Reduce Your Stock

Another thing that could help to encourage more footfall from return customers is to reduce the amount of stock on the shop floor. Cramped spaces deter shoppers, so it’s good to avoid having to much stock on show at one time. This is also useful if your store is located in a busy shopping center, as return customers may turn to your light and airy shop to take refuge from the crowds and cramped stores in the area.

When reducing your stock amount, be selective about what sort of products you have on display, and be sure not to cram too many items around the entrance as this could put off customers.

Bonus Tip: If you’re keen to increase return footfall, you could also try running promotions or loyalty schemes too. Whilst this isn’t a tip that’s strictly related to shopfitting, it can be a great way of encouraging customers to keep coming back. You don’t have to offer costly rewards, even something as small as a free gift or limited edition bag is enough to entice some customers to spend more and keep coming back.

So there you have it, 5 tips (and a bonus tip) that can help you make the most of your space and your return custom.

5 Interior Design Tips For Cafe Refurbishments

Creating the right interior is crucial for the success of all commercial establishments, but this is particularly true in the cafe industry. Think about it: a huge chunk of customers that frequent cafes do so specifically for the ambiance – and ambiance is all about interior design.

Sure, the quality of your cups of coffee is important. But even if you create the greatest tasting cup of joe in the world, nobody’s going to stick around to enjoy it if your cafe doesn’t look and feel right too.

With that in mind, here are some interior design tips that might help you out when it comes to fitting out or refurbishing your cafe.

1. Determine the Type of Cafe Your Business Represents

‘Cafe’ is a broad term. Generally, it usually means somewhere that sells hot beverages and light meals. However, there are many different types of cafes, and it’s important to determine exactly what type of cafe you’re hoping for yours to be in order to get the refurbishment right. Here are some different types of cafes:

Grab n’ go – this is the kind of cafe where your customers mostly order their coffee to go. Your customers might be busy professionals on their way to work; the kind of people that don’t stick around.

Hangout cafe – these cafes are the total opposite of the aforementioned type. Hangout cafes are cafes where people go to socialize and relax. Your customers might be students who want somewhere with a relaxed, friendly atmosphere to sit with their friends over lunch, for example.

Old-style cafe – these cafes opt for a very specific vibe and opt for a more ‘homely’ feel. They feel less like large chains and more like small hideouts where you can read a book. Your customers might be creatives looking for a place to work, or bookworms looking for a nice relaxing spot to drink coffee and read.

2. Utilize Space Appropriately

Once you’ve determined the type of cafe you’re going for, you can use this to inform how to utilize space efficiently during your refurbishment.

For example, if you’re a grab n’ go cafe, you might want to dedicate more space for queues to form, and have longer counters.

Conversely, if you’re trying to create a hangout space, you may prefer to keep queue space limited and use that space instead for more ample seating.  

3. Create an Open, Inviting Exteriors

The exterior of your cafe is probably the more important part of the overall design. You need to get people through the door to make money.

During your refurbishment, speak to your fit out company about window space. Many cafes opt for lots of tall windows to give potential customers a clear view of the space inside in order to entice them in.

4. Incorporate Different Kinds of Lighting

Cafes tend to make use of three different kinds of lighting: ambient lighting, accent lighting, and decorative lighting.

Ambient lighting is the ‘key’ lighting and is there to spread lighting throughout the space.

Accent lighting is there to draw attention to specific key pieces; for example, you might use accent lighting to draw your customer’s eyes towards your food display or artwork.

Decorative lighting is less functional; it’s solely for aesthetic purposes. You might use elaborate light fixtures or even elegant chandeliers to create the right look in your cafe.

You should make full use of each of these different types of lighting. A good fit out specialist will be able to help guide you regarding lighting choices.

5. Use the Right Colors and Design Aesthetic

Finally, let’s talk about color and design. The goal with your color scheme and overall interior design is threefold: to create an inviting space for your customers that makes them want to come back, to help out with branding, and to help drive more sales.

The latter point means you’ll want to think about how lighting can influence your customers’ purchase choices. As you’ll probably be selling food, you may want to utilize earthy colors with gold and red highlights as these types of colors have been shown to stimulate customers appetites.

Red and yellow is an even more effective color combination for stimulating appetite (think McDonalds’ logo) but will probably look out of place in a cafe setting.

Earthy colors and materials are a mainstay of cafes, so you’ll probably want to use these kinds of colors and materials throughout the design. The type of cafe you want to be recognized as should also play an important part in your decision making.

For example, old-style cafes tend to make use of things like exposed brick walls, tall bookcases, and soft, dramatic lighting to create a homely charm.

A good commercial fit out company can help you to make all these kinds of decisions, but it helps to start thinking about them now so that you can communicate more clearly with your company when it comes to it.

Looking For Retail Design Inspiration? These Concepts Stores Have Got What You Need

As a business owner, staying up to date with retail design trends isn’t always easy. The trends and fashion are always changing, and brands with big design budgets are constantly changing what people look for in their shopping experience. However, if you’re looking for cool and quirky design ideas to incorporate into your retail space, there’s no better place to look than in concept stores.

What are Concept Stores?

A concept store is defined as a retail space that uses new and innovative concepts to enhance their shopper’s experience. High-end brands are well known for designing top of the range concept stores to promote their high ticket items. Whilst concept stores can be expensive to pull off, they offer a great marketing opportunity for brands to show off their products in the chicest way possible. As small business owners, creating a concept store would be basically impossible, however, smaller retail brands can look to these stores for design inspiration and tips.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most beautiful concept stores to check out if you’re in search to for style inspiration.

1. No Youth Control

No Youth Control is a brand which focuses on the idea that age itself is a concept and everyone can stay young. Their concept store in Paris perfectly encapsulates this idea with its color schemes and decor. Not only are clothes and products strung up on nostalgic pieces like playground slides, but it also has a quirkily childish color scheme which adds to the youthful aesthetic. If you’re looking to create a fun and playful style in your store, No Youth Control would be the store to check out.

2. 33 New Road

33 New Road is a concept store in Britains trendiest city – London. The store is housed in a converted Georgian townhouse, in keeping with its British location. When you enter the store, you’re greeted by a selection of carefully selected decorative pieces that feel as though you’re in a modern art gallery with a difference. The whole concept was created by the clothing store Hostem, but it is really much more than a clothes shop. All of the art and decoratives are also on sale, and you can even book a stay in the super cool house conversion overnight or for long stays  

3. Barber and Parlour

Barber and Parlour is a converted warehouse concept store presented by the luxury British brand, Soho House Company. The concept store really is a one-stop shop for any activities that might take your fancy. Inside the stylish warehouse, you can purchase Soho House company products.

But that’s not all, the building also houses a nail parlour, barbers shop, and cafe where you can buy in-house cold-pressed juices. You can also kick back and relax in their basement movie theatre, ‘Electric Cinema’. Aside from all it’s luxury amenities, Barber and Parlour sports a sleek and modern design that is good inspiration for anyone looking to inject some minimalist class into their store.  

4. Stylenanda Pink Hotel

Stylenanda is a Korean brand the offers a range of cosmetics, fashion items and accessories. If you’re looking for anything girly Stylenanda is the place to go. In keeping which their girly theme, Stylenanda opened the Stylenanda pink hotel in Seoul.

Sticking out from the high-street, the giant pink building has the look and feel of a luxury spa hotel, but it’s pink! The store includes a cafe for relaxing and getting an Instagram worthy picture and six floors of shopping and recreation spaces. Stylenanda does a great job of utilizing a strong color like pink making it a good store to check out if you’re looking to use bright colors in your designs.

5. Graanmarkt 13

If you’re looking to incorporate a hip modern feel into an unconventional space then Graanmarkt 13 could be great inspiration. The store converts a traditional Antwerp townhouse into a homely but modern 6-floor concept space.

Aside from the first-floor retail space, the building also hosts a gallery, event space and super cool restaurant with an award-winning chef. Whilst it might not be possible to open a restaurant in your space, Graanmarkt 13 still has some enviable design elements that are worth checking out.


So there you have it, 5 awesome stores that are sure to have you overflowing with design inspiration. It’s worth noting that there are hundreds, if not thousands of cool concept stores across the world which are worth checking out if your keen to learn more.

Retail Design Trends in 2019 – What to Expect

Every year, retailers and shopfitters are required to adapt to meet new trends and continue impressing their customers. In 2019, more and more shoppers are making the switch to online shopping, which further increases the importance of striking retail design which will keep the customers coming back. In this article, we’ll take a look into 5 retail design trends to expect in 2019, to help you to keep your store designs ahead of the game.

1. Bright Colours

In previous years, minimalism and natural colors have been at the forefront of retail design, but in 2019 this trend is set to change. Instead, businesses are expected to make a move towards striking bright colors. Bold and bright colors can be used in conjunction with white and neutral colors to section stores and encourage customers towards certain areas. Bright color schemes and color blocking are expected to be particularly popular amongst stores and brands with a younger target market. In addition, luxury brands are expected to lean towards brighter colors too, but it’s more likely that they will utilize chromatic color schemes to give them a more classy feel. Use of bright colors is also a great way to tie in branding into stores. If your logo or brand colors are particularly bright, they can be used throughout your designs to accentuate your branding elements.

2. Technology

In order to compete with the growing popularity of online stores many shops and retail spaces are expected to incorporate technological elements into their stores in 2019. Use of technology is a great way to enhance a shoppers experience and can be used in a myriad of different ways. In fashion, some stores are looking to install smart mirrors which customers can use to adjust lighting in the fitting room, check for stock in different sizes and browse other similar items.

Retailers in 2019 are keen to encourage shoppers to spend more time in their shops, so some stores are even introducing technology such as charging banks that customers can use whilst in the store. It may seem like a simplistic idea, but shoppers often have a need for extra power whilst they are shopping, and features such as this could encourage them to choose your store over their competitors.

In addition to this, free WiFi is becoming commonplace in major retail stores and is an element that can help to improve footfall and open up new marketing opportunities for retailers.

3.Use of Wood and Natural Materials

This is a trend that first surfaced in 2018, but is expected to stay and grow in 2019. Many companies are making a switch to incorporating more natural materials into their designs in order to appeal to their customers. Use of natural materials like wood and plant life can help to give your store a more relaxing and open feel that can help your customers to feel more comfortable and encourage sales. The move towards natural materials was sparked by a growing consumer interest in wellness and minimalism and is fast becoming one of the most popular retail design trends.

4.Homely Designs

Another design trend we expect to see in 2019 is a move towards stores which have a more homely feel. To encourage shoppers to visit stores as opposed to shopping online, retailers are doing everything they can to make their customers feel relaxed and comfortable as they shop.

This means that more business will be looking to center their designs around warm colors, homely wallpapers and accent pieces like mirrors and vanity areas.

Some companies are even looking to implement coffee shops and comfortable sitting areas into their stores to give their customers a hybrid experience in which they can relax, socialize and shop all in one place.

5.Renovating Old Spaces

In 2019, it’s expected that some companies will be looking for older spaces to call their home. A new trend of old meets new is set to take effect in which minimalist and ultra-modern brands set their products against a backdrop of historical and aged interiors. The trend is part of an effort to make retail spaces different and unique to appeal to younger generations.

As consumers, retail spaces which all look plain and modern have become boring and as such, retailers are looking for ways to add a new level of interest into their designs and old buildings provide exactly that. Old buildings are steeped in history which can help to attract consumers looking for more from their shopping experience.

How Proper Lighting Can be Used to Boost Sales

If you’re the owner or manager of a retail store, office, or any other customer-facing business premise, you’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about how the look and feel of your store can impact sales.

And you were right to. Studies show that the design of a store can dramatically influence customer behavior. It can potentially boost sales and make your business more profitable, which is why so many retail owners invest in shopfitting services.

But what you might not have known is that lighting is potentially just as important as other design elements, like fixtures, displays, and store layout. It’s a crucial part of the shopfitting process that is key to the overall success of the fit out.

To help you understand why, we’ve put together this guide on how proper lighting can be used to boost sales.

Why Lighting is Important in Retail Premises

According to a 2015 study by Lux, in-store increases the average spend per customer. How? Well, the study posited that lighting helps to guide customers through your retail store, thereby helping direct your customers to products and making them more likely to spend more money.

Some retailers have reported significant increases in sales after changing their lighting scheme. Zumbotel, for example – a fashion retailer based in Germany – reported a 12% increase in sales following a renovation in which they introduced lighting designed to better appeal to their target market.

It’s not just about guiding your customers through your store, either. It’s also about creating an atmosphere that makes your customers more likely to buy your products. Depending on your brand, this may mean instilling a sense of calm, fun, excitement, or something else entirely.

Let’s move on to look at the different types of lighting and their usage in shopfitting.

4 Different Types of Lighting

We can broadly categorize lighting into 4 different categories:

  • Ambient lighting
  • Accent lighting
  • Task lighting
  • Decorative lighting

Ambient lighting is the main lighting of the store. How bright or dim to have this lighting will depend on the mood you’re trying to evoke. You have to be careful to walk a fine line between too dim and too bright. Too bright and you risk giving your customers a headache and making them feel too ‘in the spotlight’. Too dim and they may not be able to see your products clearly or read the price tags.

Accent lighting is lighting that breaks up the overall lighting of your store in order to draw attention to specific areas. Remember how we mentioned that lighting can be used to ‘guide your customers through your store?’. Well, accent lighting is a key part of that. You can use it to highlight certain promotional products to push your customers towards it. You can also use it in window displays and entranceways in order to get customers through the door.

Task lighting is less for customers and more for the staff. Rather than being used to create a certain ambiance, task lighting serves a very functional purpose. That is, to allow you to see better. For example, it may be used in checkout areas so that your cashiers can see their tills more easily. It can also be used to highlight signs to make them more readable, and in fitting rooms to help customers see their outfits better.

Decorative lighting is the polar opposite of task lighting. It serves no functional purpose and is all about visual appeal. It’s intended to beautify your store and invoke an ambiance. For example, let’s imagine that you were trying to encourage customers to make a seasonal purchase. You may want to evoke feelings of nostalgia reminiscent of the Christmas period by using strings of small, ‘christmassy’ lights

General Tips for Choosing Lighting for Your Store

A good shopfitter will take time to understand your store, customers, and brand personality in order to devise the best lighting for your store. However, if you’d rather do it yourself, here are some general tips for choosing store lighting:

  • Start by choosing a ‘temperature’ of lighting. Dimmer, redder lighting creates a ‘warmer’ temperature that can help to create an impression of familiarity with your customers and make the space seem smaller. Brighter, whiter lighting creates a ‘cooler’ temperature that can make the space seem larger and more professional.
  • Aim for variety. Do a wide mixture of different types of light fixtures and experiment with alternative lighting sources, such as neon fixtures.
  • Consider energy. This is more of an economic consideration than a design one, but it’s equally important. You want to make sure your lighting uses the amount of energy you expect. If you’re aiming to be energy efficient, less is more.

6 Office Design Trends to Expect in 2019

Every year, office design trends change in order to incorporate the wants and needs of employers and employees alike. Gone are the days where you could put some desks and telephones in a room and call it an office. In 2019, office design is big business, as more business owners are realising the effects that offices can have on their staff’s productivity. As a result of this, offices need to be more exciting and more inspired than ever.

According to statistics, as much as 85% of employees in a recent survey reported that they were dissatisfied with their workplace, which for most employers would seem shockingly high. The impact that office design can have on employee happiness and productivity is substantial. If you’re planning on redesigning your offices in 2019, these 6 design tips may help you to make the right decisions about your office designs.

Trend # 1: Focus On Staff Enjoyment

This year, office designers are expected to spend more time finding out what staff want from their offices. Employers are becoming increasingly concerned with staff happiness as more and more people every year attribute mental health issues and depression to the environment in which they work. As a result of this, office designs in 2019 are expected to lean towards better recreational facilities for staff. This can mean anything from gym and yoga facilities to readily available kitchens, fridges and tea and coffee making facilities or even Foosball tables! The aim of introducing these elements is to give the offices a more laid back and recreational feel which staff can look forward to spending time in and, as a result, be more productive and happy in the workplace.

Trend #2: Preserving Old Spaces


As was the case in 2018, more businesses are opting to repurpose old buildings instead of choosing brand new developments as a location for their offices. This trend is expected to continue in 2019, with designers choosing to create a fusion between old buildings and new modern designs. Old buildings such as barns and mews lend themselves perfectly to this trend. Designers often choose to restore key elements of the old buildings such as brickwork, staircases or pillars whilst surrounding them with modern, sleek items like desks, tech and sofas. The blend of the two creates an inviting, characterful and homely space, whilst still maintaining all the modernity required for a productive office in 2019.

Trend #3: Diversifying Workspaces

This year, employers are expected to do what they can to ensure that individual employees can choose where they would like to work. Due to the diverse needs of employees, its becoming imperative for offices to provide a variety of different workspaces for staff to use in order for the workers to be as productive as possible. This means that designers are waving goodbye to linear communal desks and square offices. Instead, designs will be expected to incorporate small spaces such as libraries, quiet individual pods and lounges, to allow staff to choose their desired work location.

Trend #4: Bright Colours

Office design in 2019 is set to move towards including more bright colours in designs. It’s likely that designs will marry dulled and natural colours with flashes of bright colour which can be used to brighten the space and create focal points in each room. For businesses with iconic branding colours, it’s likely that the branding colours or colours complementing them will be used throughout the design. Business with no particular branding colours will be likely to steer towards turquoises, yellows and oranges to create their flashes of colour.

Trend #5: Green Spaces

It’s expected that 2019 office designs will attempt to bring the outdoors inside in order to create more natural, green and productive spaces. Many studies have shown that plants and fresh air can have a positive effect on staff productivity, which is why its expected that business will choose this for their office designs. It’s also great for creating a good first impression on clients, as more and more people are concerned with the environment in 2019 than ever before, and a nod to the environment within office designs can help to impress visitors.

Trend #6: Natural Light

Studies have shown that 1 in 3 office workers would prefer it if there were more natural light in their workspaces. With this in mind, it’s likely that office designs will adapt to incorporate more natural light sources. This can be anything to replacing walls with windows and glass doors, to implementing skylights.


Why In-Store Tech is Becoming Increasingly Important in Retail Shop Fitting

One of the latest trends in retail fit-outs is the widespread use of innovative, experimental technology. Think cashier-less tech like Amazon Go, augmented reality products that let you try on clothes without actually trying them on, and robot shop assistants that help customers to find inspiration.

All this might seem like a passing fad, but the reality is that all this ‘futuristic’ technology might actually be the future.

It seems that the retail stores of the future are likely to include all manner of technological products that improve the in-store experience for customers, and the future might be closer than we think. In fact, some experts estimate that we might be seeing widespread use of this technology within just a few years.

Here are a few reasons why:

1. It Helps Retailers to Meet the Changing Demands of In-Store Shoppers

In 2017, online shopping in Australia increased by nearly 10%, while in-store footfall lagged far behind, increasing by just 3%. Elsewhere across the world, we can see the same trend. In the UK, for example, online non-food product sales have increased by more than 12% since 2012.

What does all this mean? It means that e-commerce is growing rapidly. The online shopping industry is successfully competing with traditional brick-and-mortar retailers for business, and it’s winning.

If in-store retailers wish to compete and stay afloat in the years to come, they need to adapt, and studies suggest that switching their goal to providing experiences for shoppers may be the answer.

Seeing as brick-and-mortar stores can’t compete with online stores when it comes to providing convenience, they need to add value in another way. In other words, they need to make shopping fun.

We can already see technology being used to provide ‘mini experiences’ for shoppers. For example, some retailers are having their shops fit with ‘selfie mirrors’, which allow shoppers to pose for pictures with their friends and upload them to their social media accounts while in store.

This novel idea allows shoppers to stay connected and have a fun, mini experience, while simultaneously functioning as a free marketing tool for the store. Customers that post their selfies to social media inadvertently advertise the store while doing so.

2. It Can Help Retailers to Unify Online and Offline Sales Channels

Retailers which have both online and offline sales channels can more effectively utilize them by using retail technology. For example, we’re now seeing technology being used which allows customers to browse their e-commerce portals while in store. This means that customers can browse a larger catalog of items and find products that might not be available in store.

This technology sometimes takes the form as a window display, meaning that shoppers can still browse products through the window even when the store is closed, which helps businesses to avoid losing out on business.

This is especially important in light of the fact that online sales now make up for a significant portion of total annual sales. As online sales continue to grow in the years to come, it will become even more important for businesses to merge their sales channels.

3. It Can Help Retailers to Cut Costs

So far, we’ve talked about how fitting your store with retail technology can improve the customer experience and, in doing so, drive more sales. However, it’s not just about boosting sales, it’s about cutting costs too.

Retail technology can also help businesses to cut costs by reducing their reliance on manual tasks. For example, cashier-less technology like Amazon Go, and products like self-scanners, can reduce the need for checkout staff. This can help retailers to cut down on labor costs and also process sales faster, thus increasing efficiency and productivity.

Another example of ways technology might help businesses to reduce running costs is by using smart systems to automate power usage. For example, smart systems which automatically control things like lighting might help you to reduce your energy consumption and the costs associated with this.

4. It Can Help With Market Research

Experts have suggested that ‘smart store’ technology can be utilized by businesses to aid with market research. Technology such as light detection sensors can track customer movements in-store, enabling retailers to collect valuable data on their behavior.

For example, it can help you to learn which aisles your shoppers are visiting the most, how long they spend in each aisle, and which of your promotions and displays seem to be the most effective.

What Does this All Mean?

This shows that the future of brick-and-mortar stores is brighter than it might seem. On the surface, it seems like the growth in technology might be the death of the high street, but on the contrary, it might actually save it.

As we see technology like augmented reality and AI become more sophisticated, in-store retail might even have the edge over e-commerce, providing customers with a more personalized and enjoyable experience.

However, we’re not there just yet. Futuristic technology is still out of the budget for most retailers – particularly smaller, independent stores. Nonetheless, if you’re considering refurbishing your store, you might want to give a lot of consideration to the use of technology.

5 Retail Design Tips From Shopfitting Experts

As a shop owner, you may feel that the way your store looks is less important than the products you stock, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The art of selling is an intricate game with a lot of components and product placement and shop design go hand in hand to create sales. It’s been proven time after time that changing the layout of a store or optimizing the store design can have a huge effect on sales which is why more business owners are prioritizing shop design above all else. In this article, you can find 5 tips from expert shopfitters, which can help you to improve your store design and boost sales.

1. Be Aware of Your Store’s Traffic Flow

Most retailers record things like footfall and sales, but what they fail to pay attention to is what shoppers do between the door and the checkout, or more importantly, where they go. The way that customers choose to move when they enter the store is of utmost importance as it will help you to maximize sales via placement of ‘hot’ products within the store.

Studies have already been done on retail traffic flow, and have proven that customers choose their direction based on the road traffic direction of the country they live in. This means that countries with right-hand driving will most likely move in a clockwise direction and customers who live in a country with left-hand driving will move counterclockwise. On the surface, this may seem like an arbitrary fact, but knowing the route that customers are going to take through your store can be used to inform decisions about layout and product placement.

2. Don’t Put High-Ticket Items At the Front of the store

The entrance to your store and the next few feet of space are known by retail experts as ‘the decompression zone’. Essentially, this zone is the space that entering customer use to adjust to the new surroundings. If your shop has a change in lighting, music or temperature from the outside of the store, which most do, then customers need a few seconds to adjust before they actually begin looking at the items in front of them. Despite the adjustment, shoppers will not stop walking, they will simply career past the items at the front of your store without noticing them at all.

This is why it is important to fill that area with lower ticket items that aren’t as important to your sales. Higher ticket or popular items are best displayed behind the decompression zone so that the customers notice them once they’re focused and ready to browse.

3. Maximize your Q-Line potential

The Q-line area is the place where customers will wait to be served if there is a queue. Unfortunately, business owners often overlook the potential of this area and don’t take advantage of impulse buys. When a customer is waiting to be served, there are two things we know to be true:

– They’re already prepared to spend money

– They’re killing time and will be more interested in their surroundings

These two factors combined create the perfect atmosphere for a customer to impulse buy, which is what makes the Q-line area so important. Whilst it’s unwise to place high ticket items in this area, small and cheap items sell much better in this area than anywhere in the store. Once the customer has already made the decision to buy the items they’re waiting to pay for, a few extra dollars for a small, useful item is more likely to appeal to them. A good Q-line is filled with things that everybody uses, but nobody will go to a store specifically to buy. Good choices for this area are socks, underwear, and toiletries in fashion stores and snacks and cold drinks in food stores and supermarkets.

4. Don’t Cram Too Much In

When most store owners pay for their retail space by the square meter, it can be tempting to use every inch of space available to house products. Whilst this may seem like a great tactic to increase sales, overfilled stores have been proven to put off potential customers from buying products, or in some cases even prevent customers from entering the store at all.

For shoppers, finding the right items is much like eating a meal; A large plate that is stuffed with many different items can be over facing and cause you to lose your appetite, whereas a well-presented meal with small plates which you can enjoy at your own leisure is much more appealing and will lead to you consuming more food overall. This is an important fact to remember about shoppers when choosing how to layout your store. Select your products wisely, display them neatly and give shoppers enough room to maneuver and breathe, and this will help to boost your sales.

5. Refresh your Displays Regularly

Displays such as product displays and window displays can often be the reason that customers choose to enter your store. If your displays remain the same for a long time, customers may be discouraged from entering the store, as they may feel they have already seen everything you have to offer. Whilst it’s tempting to hold on to a good display, as they take a lot of time to create, it’s important to create a fresh look to entice customers. Even if you haven’t changed your product line much, you should still try to create a new feature, as it may encourage customers that have already seen the products to look at them again, maybe even in a different light.

5 Ways Office Refurbishment Can Boost Productivity

Your office is, first and foremost, a place of work. That means that, when it comes to refurbishment, your priorities should be a little different than they would be in other commercial settings, like restaurants and shops.

In restaurants, the top of the priority list would probably be to create a design that creates the right ‘atmosphere’ for your customers. In shops, a functional design that makes it easy for customers to shop would be best.

In office spaces, though, it’s all about productivity.

The primary goal of office refurbishment is to create a space that enables you or/and your employees to work their hardest – to create an inviting, bright space that increases effort and minimizes stress.

But can the design alone really achieve such a goal? The evidence seems to suggest so.

Several studies on workplace productivity have found that an employee’s physical environment is the most important factor affecting their ability to focus. In fact, many have suggested that a well-designed office space can boost productivity by around 20%

But how exactly can a refurbishment boost productivity? Let’s find out:

1. The Colour

Did you know that color is very closely linked to human psychology? Colors impact our thoughts and feelings in all kinds of subtle ways, a point which we’ve already written about extensively in our article ‘The Importance of Colour in Commercial Refurbishment and Shopfitting’.

When it comes to productivity, it’s been shown that the color blue is important. Blue can elicit more productivity and create a calmer, more relaxed atmosphere.

Lots of colors can also cause distractions which can be detrimental to productivity. That’s why most office spaces opt for light colors and minimalist designs.

A good shopfitter will carefully assess and plan the best colors to use in your office space to meet your needs.

2. The Lighting

A well-lit office is extremely important to productivity. Good lighting can help you to stay focused, awake, and creative. Bad lighting, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect.

It’s been shown that spending a lot of time in dim or dark spaces can impact your mental health and cause or worsen depression. It can also leave you feeling lethargic, miserable and unproductive.

Lighting that is too strong or unnatural can be equally bad, causing headaches and eye-strain. If, like most others, your office space contains computers, then bad lighting can also lead to glare which can make it difficult to see what you’re doing and further damage productivity.

A comprehensive shopfitting service will look at lighting as well as the design and use of space in the office, and make sure that the lighting is suited to the space.

3. Space Organization

In large offices with many people, space is probably the most important factor impacting productivity.

Workspaces need to be designed so that employees have adequate room to move around so that they can do their jobs better and faster.

Desks need to be far enough away from each other so that employees aren’t constantly distracted from the person next to them and have a degree of privacy.

Departments or individuals that need to communicate with each other frequently need to be close enough that it doesn’t take minutes to walk across to them to get the information they need. The quicker they can communicate, the more they’ll get done.

Toilets, chillout/common areas, and kitchen spaces all need to be in the right place to maximize productivity.

A good shopfitting service will handle all of this for you. They’ll take the time to talk to you to better understand the nature and needs of your business and design the best use of space possible around that.

4. Access to Nature

One thing we know about human psychology is that we’re deeply affected by the natural world around us. If we break it right down, we’re all still just animals that have evolved to survive in a natural environment.

If you take that natural environment away, it can have a dramatic impact on our mood and productivity. For example, studies have shown that people who have access to a window with a view onto a green area like a park tend to feel happier than those that don’t.

Office spaces are indoors so, naturally, they do limit our access to the natural world. That’s why it’s worth considering a refurbishment which brings some of the outside into your office. This is especially important if you’re in an office that doesn’t have windows.

Large plants, natural; wooden flooring, and skylights are all ways this can be achieved, and a good shopfitter will consider all these options and more when planning your refurbishment.

5. Temperature/Air Quality

Both temperature and air quality can have a big impact on productivity.

Poor air quality can limit your ability to focus. It can also damage productivity indirectly by boosting the spread of bacteria around the room, which can mean more employees get sick and take leave.

In terms of temperature, an office that is too cold can be a distraction – employees might be too busy shivering to focus on the task at hand! Similarly, an office that is too hot can lead to employees feeling sluggish and lethargic. Both of these will damage your productivity.

Managing temperature and air quality effectively means hiring a shopfitting service to carefully plan air control units in your office space. It may mean improving or changing your air conditioning setup, or adding air filters to recycle the air and improve air quality.

5 Ways Commercial Refurbishment Can Save Your Business Money

The most important financial consideration that the management of a business has to make is deciding the best way to invest the funds available to them. It’s necessary to make sure you’re getting the most out of your cash and making the best decisions possible by carefully considering whether any investment you make will offer worthwhile returns for your business.

When it comes to shop fitting, this can sometimes be a tough call to make. A good commercial refurbishment can cost your business thousands of dollars, so you’ll want to be sure that you’re going to see adequate returns on this investment before you begin a project.

To help you make this decision, we’ve put together this list of five reasons that a commercial refurbishment might actually save your business money in the long run.

1. Increased Sales

The most obvious reason to invest in a commercial refurbishment is to boost your annual sales. When it comes to retail spaces, a good shop fitting service will make your store more attractive to your customers which may, in turn, boost your sales.

In fact, there are lots of anecdotal reports of businesses experiencing a turnover increase of 15-30% in the 12-24 months following a store fit-out. This is usually more than enough to justify the cost of the initial investment as, with these results, the fit-out more or less pays for itself within a couple of years.

Even if your store doesn’t see an immediate increase in turnover, you’re likely to see the benefits over a longer period of time, as the new fit-out may very well strengthen your branding and lead to long-term gains and increased customer retention.

2. Efficiency

A new shop-fit out can increase the efficiency of your business operations in many ways, which can save you money by reducing business expenses and thus provide a return on your initial investment via savings.

One way in which it can achieve this is by integrating energy-saving lights and other electronic devices in your business space. Switching to energy-saving lighting can reduce your electricity bills and your carbon footprint. This has the added benefit of making your business more environmentally-friendly and attractive to the conscious-consumer market.

A shop fit-out can also make your store more energy-efficient in other ways. For example, installing new windows and doors with adequate installation can keep your store warmer and make you less reliance on central heating, reducing your heating bill and saving you money over time.

In addition to making your store more energy-efficient, it can improve your efficiency in a more general sense too. For example, your store may benefit from updating equipment such as checkouts and barcode scanners to newer models, allowing manual tasks to be completed faster and potentially reducing the time your staff needs to spend on these tasks.

By rearranging the layout of your store, it may be possible to make the use of space more efficient, so that tasks such as store merchandising and cleaning can be completed faster and more effectively.

3. Fewer Repairs

Updating your old fixtures and equipment to new models will likely make them more durable and less likely to fall into disrepair. Whilst it might be tempting to cut down on the costs of a refurbishment by using old fixtures, this might not save you money in the long run as you’ll have to frequently replace this equipment when it becomes damaged.

Updating your equipment and fixtures is important for other reasons too. From a health and safety perspective, using old equipment may increase the risk of your staff or customers injuring themselves whilst on business premises. Loose screws, jagged edges, and damaged flooring can all be health and safety hazards.

Not only is this bad business practice, but it could also potentially lead to lawsuits if a customer or staff member was to be injured and pursue a claim. Refurbishing your store or business premise every few years will minimize this risk by refreshing the space and making it safer and more up-to-date.

4. Free Marketing

A typical business allocates a large portion of their funds to their marketing budget. This makes sense as your advertisements and promotional efforts ultimately drive sales and profitability. However, you may be able to save on marketing costs by refurbishing your store.

This is because your store itself can function as a marketing tool. A store fit-out could redesign the front of your store to make it more eye-catching and enticing for passing customers. This is often a better promotional tool than any billboard or poster could ever be.

Having a store refurbishment also gives you a great opportunity to do a full-scale ‘relaunch’ of your store. A relaunch provides the perfect promotional opportunity as you can market the relaunch event and drive new customers to your store, boosting sales and providing returns on your investment.

5. Deter Shoplifters

It might seem not seem intuitive, but refurbishing your store might actually help with loss prevention by helping you to minimize losses from shoplifting. The layout of your store can have more of an impact than you might think on how difficult it is for shoplifters to target. In some cases, changing the layout of your store can be more effective than investing in security personnel.

For example, changing the layout so that the more expensive items are at the back of the store can help to prevent grab-and-run-style opportunistic thefts. You could also utilize fixtures that make it more difficult for shoplifters to access expensive products, or increase the visibility of certain areas of your store by rearranging it so that your staff/security cameras always have a clear line of sight to every area.

Made Up Your Mind?

If you’ve already made your decision, and you feel that your business could benefit from investing in a commercial refurbishment, Oakridge Building Group may be able to help. Our team of professional shop fitters can help turn your design ideas into reality. Get in touch today to find out what we can do for you.

5 Things To Think About Before Hiring a Shopfitter

Having your shop refitted can be an exciting time, but there is also a lot of planning involved. Rushing into shopfitting can often lead to situations in which the customer is unhappy with the end result.

With the right amount of preparation, shopfitting can be a positive experience that increases the success of your business. In this article, we list 5 things that can help you to ensure that your shopfitting experience is positive and productive.

1. Your Budget

Budget is often the driving factor behind most shopfitting decisions, and that’s why it’s important that both you and the shopfitter you plan on working with have a clear idea of what you are willing to spend and what you want for your money.

Before taking on a shopfitter, you should make sure you have a good understanding of the average prices for shopfitting services, and how much the services you require should cost. Of course, every shop is different, so you’ll want to be able to determine exactly what your shopfitting will cost ahead of time. You can arm yourself with a rough idea of what you can afford beforehand which will then help you to find a shopfitter that is willing to work within your budget.

2. Your Timescales

Timescales are extremely important when organizing shopfitting. Depending on the type of shopfitting services you require, your shop could be out of action for hours, days, or even weeks.

It’s important to consider the impact this can have on your business and address this before arranging shopfitting services. You will need to decide how much time you can afford for your shop to be out of action so that you can communicate this to your shopfitter. Without clear deadlines in place, the whole operation could take longer than you expected and could end up costing your business too much money and time.

Try to be clear with the shopfitters about how much time you have and how you would ideally like the whole project to pan out. If you have found a reliable shopfitting service, they will do their best to accommodate your needs and carry out the project with the minimum amount of disruption to your business. You should, however, be prepared for the possibility that it will take longer than expected, and allow yourself a kind of ‘buffer zone’ in your plans to minimize the impact that this may have.

3. Design Ideas

In order to achieve the end result you are looking for from your shopfitting service, you need to have a good idea of what you would like the end product to look like. The shopfitters will likely be able to help a lot with this once you’ve hired them but, in order to get an accurate quote, you’ll want to be able to give the shopfitters as much design guidance as possible.

Spend some time researching different shopfitting trends, materials, colour schemes, and fabrics and compile them to show to the shopfitters when you first meet with them. With the use of the internet, this is pretty easy to do. You can use popular sites like Pinterest to prepare a board which will give the shopfitters a feel for what you like and the sort of designs you are hoping to mimic. Once they have this, the shopfitters will be able to build on this and use ideas gathered from other sources to create unique designs that fit your brand and budget.

4. Reputation and Reliability

When you begin to think about hiring a shopfitter, it is important that you don’t jump in feet first with the first company you meet. Although they may be the company you choose in the end, it’s a good idea to sample the market and see what else is available first. When it comes to shopfitting, most companies are reliable and offer excellent customer service. But, as with anything, there are some companies that won’t. Before officially hiring a shopfitter, you should always check out customer testimonials and reviews.

If the company you are looking at has a high proportion of good reviews, you could be onto a winner, but you should still pay close attention to any negative reviews that you find to see if there are any trends to customer dissatisfaction. For example, even if 95/100 reviews are positive, if the other 5 are all unhappy about the same thing, it might indicate that this is a problem area.

It’s difficult for companies to maintain 100% positive reviews, but check out what the negative reviews have to say because they could have experienced issues that might heavily affect you. For example, previous customers who didn’t have a tight timescale may have been happy with the service, but customer working to a deadline might have been unhappy with the turnaround times. If these are things that could be a problem for you, you might want to try a different company.

If you’re struggling to find companies to work with, you could also try to ask for recommendations. Head into shops that you love the design of and ask the manager if they know which shopfitters they used. Most people will be happy to share the information and might tell you a bit about their experience too.

5. Your Business Goals

Shopfitters are more than just shop decorators – they also have a wealth of expert knowledge about how their designs will affect your business. When you meet with a shopfitter, you should discuss with them what you are hoping to achieve from your shop’s new look. Maybe you have a particular product line that you want to take centre stage, or perhaps you want to modernize your electrics and POS systems.

The shopfitters can help you with all of this and they can also advise you on the right lighting choices, layout, and features to help you to achieve your business goals.