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.

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.

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, Whiteoak Developments 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.

The Importance of Colour in Commercial Refurbishment and Shopfitting

Commercial refurbishment and shopfitting are all about creating commercial spaces that keep customers happy and make them want to spend more with your business.

In a retail space, this might mean making sure merchandise is correctly displayed and providing a comfortable, spacious environment for customers to shop in. In a restaurant setting, this might mean creating a space which is warm, relaxing and inviting for customers to dine in so that they keep coming back. For an office, it might mean designing a space that is conducive to productivity so that more work gets done. Whatever your business is, it’s important to make sure that this commercial space is well-designed and a good shopfitting company will do this for you.

But there is much more to shopfitting than meets the eye. It’s not just about selecting appropriate shelving and display units. Shopfitters are keenly aware of consumer psychology and make the best decisions they can to attract customers into your shop, and one key component of this is selecting the right colours.

Why Are Colours Important?

Believe it or not, colours affect the way we behave in many subtle ways. You might not feel that seeing a certain colour evokes a certain emotional or physical response, but it often does. Many studies into the psychology of colour have been completed over the years and the results are clear – colours really can incite us to take specific actions.

As colours only really affect our subconscious, it might be difficult for your conscious mind to accept that your decisions really are affected by colours. To assuage any doubts, let’s look at some proof.

Take the McDonald’s sign, for example. You know that strikingly familiar red and yellow that it uses? Well, they chose that colour because it makes us hungry. Ever notice how a lot of fast food restaurants use similar colours? Burger King, Hardees, Pizza Hut… the list goes on and on. The effects might be subtle, but they affect consumer behaviour enough to warrant companies to base their
whole brand image on them.

So why is it that red and yellow makes us hungrier than other colours? One theory is that it’s due to the wavelength of the colour. Colours like red and yellow have long wavelengths and thus are related to ‘warm’ things like fire. Conversely, colours with short wavelengths, like blue, are considered ‘cool’ colours.

Several studies have looked at the different effects of cool and warm colours on consumer psychology. Some have suggested, based on the results of controlled experiments, that warm colours like red and yellow, attract attention and speed up the blood flow of our bodies, this blood flow goes to our digestive systems and consequently stimulates our metabolism, which causes hunger.

It might also be due to simple association. We learn to associate the things around us with their colours. This subconscious association might affect the way we see other things of the same colour and the feelings they evoke within us.

In our representative example above, the answer might simply be that many people like McDonald’s and, therefore, associate red and yellow with the brand. Other fast food companies might want to capitalize on this and make their brand logos red and yellow in the hope that customers will associate them with McDonald’s and eat there instead.

Whatever the reason, the fact remains that colours are important. Now that’s been established, let’s look at what effect different colours can have on commercial spaces.

Shades of Green

What are the first things you think of when you think of the colour green? Two answers that might have popped into some of your minds are money and plant life.

Dark greens and wood colours can lend a commercial space a feeling of elegance. They can make a room feel quieter and more natural. This makes these colours a popular choice in offices, restaurants, and retail spaces where natural imagery is important to their brand image.

Brighter greens have a slightly different effect. They hold connotations of health, which makes them ideal for retail spaces which sell healthy lifestyle products, such as health and fitness stores, juice bars, organic restaurants and more.

Pale greens have similar connotations but are more calming, which makes them more suitable for relaxed environments like spas and massage parlours.

Blues and Purples

Remember how we said that blue was a ‘cool’ colour? Well, this gives it a calming effect. It’s unassuming and creates a sense of calm and control. It’s also associated with authority figures, dependability and trust. As you might have guessed, it’s often used in banks, offices and in uniforms. It’s also a versatile colour that can work well with other colours and can be used to create interesting designs.

Many people associate the colour purple with passion, creativity and originality – particularly darker shades. You’ll see purple often used in beauty stores, clothing shops, and hair salons.

Black and White

Black is powerful, dramatic, and sophisticated. We associate black with boldness and power, so it’s often used in high-end establishments alongside accent pieces of brighter colours to lend the space an air of class and sophistication.

White, on the other hand, is simple and clean. Consumers associate it with cleanliness, simplicity, freshness and professionalism. It’s often used in office spaces and certain retail stores. It’s also the perfect background colour and can function as a blank canvas to set off other colours.

What Else is Important?

Colour isn’t the only important consideration to make when designing a new commercial space or fitting a shop. It’s just one of many tools that shop fitters and interior designers utilise to create the perfect interior atmosphere.

Fixtures, use of space, lighting, music, temperature and scene all combine to make a space what it is. Relying on the above colour guidelines isn’t recommended as, whilst these associations are common, not everybody is the same. Different customers will react differently depending on their culture, life experience and personal preference.

A good shopfitting company will be able to take all things into consideration and come up with a design solution that fits your customers and brand.

What Fields Contribute to Commercial Refurbishment?

Designing and stocking a store is a unique skill, and it’s one that takes experience and expertise to master. However, many people fail to realize just how much goes into shopfitting and why it’s worth bringing aboard experts when it’s time to open or revamp a shop. Here are some of fields that influence commercial refurbishment and why they’re so important.

Psychology

The field of psychology is broad, as it’s based on the study of human behavior. Countless psychological studies have shown that small factors can influence whether a visitor is likely to make a purchase when visiting a store, and commercial refurbishment experts use this information when working with clients. Professionals can help you redesign your entire store’s layout, but sometimes a few small tweaks can have a major impact. Furthermore, commercial refurbishment experts can explain the reasoning behind their suggestions, allowing you to make the most of your redesigned store.

Marketing

Marketing is often viewed as a subset of psychology, and for good reason. When you work with a shopfitter, you hire someone who knows what the latest in marketing research reveals and how store owners can use it to their advantage. Maximizing your store’s potential requires ensuring all elements of your store work toward your goals, and marketing is a cornerstone to these efforts. Marketing also involves following the latest trends and determining if they’re worthwhile. If you’re interested in new marketing ideas, Commercial refurbishment experts can provide valuable insight.

Accessibility

Laws and regulations ensure that stores are appropriately accessible to people with disabilities. These laws can help you maximize your client base, but they can also be difficult to interpret. Commercial refurbishment experts study these rules and cases where they’re relevant, and they can relay this information to you when you’re opening or reopening your shop. Accessibility mistakes can cause you to lose potential customers, and they can lead to fines. Furthermore, errors can cause you to have to pay for potentially expensive redesigns. This expertise is invaluable, and the cost of hiring a commercial refurbishment experts is typically far lower than the cost of failing to provide adequate accessibility.

Energy Expertise

Green businesses are more likely to attract customers, and energy-efficient businesses can enjoy the benefits of lower power bills. Commercial refurbishment experts understand how important efficiency is when running a store, and they can provide valuable guidance. They can help you set up a store that minimizes waste while still providing a comfortable environment for customers and clients. Although it might still be worth hiring an independent energy expert, working with a commercial refurbishment expert can ensure you get off to a strong start.

Logistics

Although customers will only visit your store during certain hours, running a shop requires a substantial commitment. Maintenance is essential for keeping your store safe and welcoming, and restocking supplies is essential for maintaining your day-to-day operations. Commercial refurbishment experts understand the long-term process of running a store and can help you design yours to be easier to maintain. Factors as simple as making cleaning supplies easy to access can help prevent messes and clutter from building up.

Artistic Sensibilities

Strong branding is essential for making your store memorable to current and potential customers, and the commercial refurbishment expert you bring aboard can help work to create a cohesive brand for your store. Although you may want to hire an artist to create your logo and other elements, the guidance you receive from commercial refurbishment experts will be invaluable for ensuring you make the most of your artistic elements. Furthermore, stores need to be painted on occasion, and a fresh coat can help you enliven your store. Commercial refurbishment experts can point you in the right direction and find the right experts to help you along your way.

Construction Knowledge

In some cases, shops require significant reworks to best make use of their space. A commercial refurbishment expert can help you work through options for redesigning the physical layout of your store and work to uncover ways to do more with your limited space. Not all stores require extensive work; in many cases, a few small changes are all that’s needed. However, knowing what options are available is useful when making decisions for the present and the future.

Running a store is about more that just providing products and a place for customers to gather. Fortunately, expert help is available, and hiring a commercial refurbishment expert can ensure you’re on the right path. If you have any questions about commercial refurbishment, maintenance, or shopfitting, make sure to contact us to find out more.

How Experts Can Help Your Commercial or Retail Refurbishment

When launching or refurbishing a shop, store owners often feel it’s best to tackle the project alone. Bringing in experts, some think, can detract from their vision. In reality, however, most stores will greatly benefit from expert help, and shopfitters and refurbishment experts can help make the change as effective as possible. Here are a few of the reasons why experts are work consulting along the way.

Clarifying Your Vision

Envisioning your dream store is a great way to get started with a refurbishment. When it comes to putting a plan in action, however, complications almost inevitably arise. Details matter, and experts can work with you through all the elements your refurbishment will need. It’s easy to overlook small but critical details along the way, and problems that arise can compromise your vision or lead to much higher costs. Working with experts ensures you can meet your goals and achieve your perfect store.

Making Your Vision More Effective

Preparing a store is an art, but there is a considerable amount of science involved in the process. Psychological studies have given invaluable insight into what helps impress customers and sell products, and hiring an expert will grant your access to decades of research. In nearly all cases, these changes won’t interfere with your vision for your store, but they can help you make decisions about the implementation process. Refurbishment experts will work with you to find the ideal way to combine your vision with best practices.

Cutting Costs

There’s a reason why so many people work with refurbishment experts: The money they help you save is typically far less than the cost it takes to hire expert help. As with most fields, navigating the market for supplies and other products is a skill that takes time and experience to master, and these cost savings can be passed on to you, allowing you to use your money in more important areas. After working with an expert, you might find that you can achieve even more ambitious plans than you originally envisioned.

Space Efficiency

In most cases, shop owners can’t realistically expand their store while remaining in the same space, so using your space the right way is essential for making the most of your investments. There’s been a considerable amount of study into how to make the best use of limited space, and experts can share this information with you to craft your perfect store. Furthermore, experts have ample experience working with stores of all shapes and sizes, and their expertise can give you ideas you’ve never considered before.

Setting a Timeline

Refurbishments are notorious for taking longer than anticipated. As the owner of a shop, time spent on refurbishment can lead to fewer sales, potentially causing significant financial pressure. By working with professionals, you can better craft a timeline for your refurbishment and better plan out the process. Furthermore, you can even break your refurbishment into discrete stages, allowing you to keep your store up and running while refurbishment phases are underway. Even being able to stay open an extra day or two can cover the cost of hiring an expert to begin with.

Stay Within Regulations

Accessibility laws help ensure everyone can access stores, but these laws can be notoriously complex. It’s easy to run afoul of these requirements while refurbishing your store, which can possibly lead to fines. Furthermore, violations will need to be rectified, and this can lead you to have to revamp your design at a potentially high cost. Experts understand these laws and can point to where your vision needs to be tweaked in order to remain compliant. This expertise also ensures your store is accessible, so everyone who wants to visit is able to do so safely.

Preparing for the Future

Fads come and go, but there are always future changes store owners need to keep an eye on. Your networking infrastructure, for example, might become key for customers in the future. Refurbishment experts keep track of these changes and develop the judgement to know which changes are likely to be relevant in the future. A bit of preparation can go a long way to future-proofing your store, and working with professionals is essential for properly preparing.

Working with refurbishment experts doesn’t require you to change your vision. On the contrary, they provide the feedback and framework you need to bring your vision to life. If you have any questions about how refurbishment expertise can help in your store’s launch or redesign, make sure to get in touch with refurbishment experts to learn more.