Refurbishing Your Retail Store: Some Lesser-Known Benefits

Some of the benefits of refurbishing your retail store are clear: Refurbishments let you take better advantage of your limited floor space, and they can help rejuvenate a store that’s become stale or outdated over time. Some of the additional benefits, however, are less obvious, and learning these benefits might help you determine that it’s time to invest in refurbishment. Here are a few of the lesser-known reasons why a refurbishment can benefit your store.

Mental Refresh

Refurbishing your shop can be a bit stressful at times. However, with the stress comes excitement, and knowing that your store is going to emerge as a better place can be exciting. The greatest benefits occur after the refurbishment is complete, as reopening your store with a brand new look and layout can be tremendously rewarding. This refresh helps employees on all levels as well. For point-of-sale employees, showing up to the same store day after day can be a bit tiring. Having a new store to show up to can make long days a bit more enjoyable, and the changes you invest in can lead to a more pleasing work environment.

Energy Savings

Store refurbishments differ greatly in scope but many entail some degree of structural change. When refurbishing your store, you’ll likely be able to take advantage of energy-saving technologies that can help you cut back on electricity, lighting, and heating costs. Even small improvements can lead to significant savings over time; saving just a small percentage on your heating and cooling bills by upgrading your windows, for example, can save your hundreds or thousands of dollars each year in expenses. In fact, many of these changes eventually pay for themselves over a few years. In addition to saving money, these energy savings also help you reduce your store’s impact on the environment, and meeting certain standards lets you advertise your business as eco-friendly.

New Retail Infrastructure

Computers have long played a role in the retail business, and this trend has accelerated dramatically in recent years. While a business-class router and business internet connection are often enough to adopt new technologies, there are plenty of hardware options that let you make the most of these new advances. A new point-of-sale interface, for example, can help you serve customers better; equipping employees with tablet devices, for example, can help them prepare orders while working with customers on the sales floor. Today’s shoppers also enjoy free wireless internet access, and installing a few access points while refurbishing your store can lead to a more seamless experience. Modern flatscreen televisions are far cheaper than those in the past, and hanging a few throughout your store can give it a thoroughly contemporary look for an economical price.

Adjust to New Trends

Trends affect nearly all type of retail stores, and these trends can render your previous layout incompatible with current sensibilities. Smartphones are a great example of how new items can change retail stores dramatically, as competing in the electronic retail industry entails stocking smartphones and tablets, and many stores simply weren’t designed to display smartphones and let customers try them out. While change comes more slowly in other industries, it’s still inevitable. Refurbishing your store lets you change your layout to accommodate new types of products, letting you remain competitive. These changes can also help stores that are growing by making more efficient use of space.

Soft Relaunch

Launching a store is a great experience, and it’s one that you can’t repeat in the future. However, soft relaunches can go a long way toward recreating that feeling, and an effective refurbishment can make a relaunch even more exciting. Consider combining the end of your refurbishment with an advertising campaign going over the changes you’ve made, as people who haven’t visited your store in a while might be interested to see how it changed. Refurbishments are also a great time to consider rebranding or even renaming your business. A new logo or color scheme, when adopted alongside a refurbishment, can give your business an exciting new identity.

Catch Up

Procrastination is fairly common in the retail world, and it’s easy to let small tasks pile up over time. The best way to handle these tasks is often to do them all at once, and a store refurbishment serves as a great opportunity to catch up and finally cross off everything on your to-do list. Because refurbishing your store often entails clearing it out entirely, cleaning tasks and other chores are often easier to accomplish. If you have carpet stains you’ve wanted to address, for example, a refurbishment is a perfect opportunity to bring in experts or replace the carpet. Catching up can also help you relieve stress, as finally getting ahead of procrastination feels great.

Add or Remove Office Space

Office space plays an important role in retail stores, but different stores have differing office needs, and the building you’ve purchased or rented might not be ideal for your store’s needs. Refurbishments provide a chance to add in more office space if it’s needed, giving you the backroom area you need to operate most effectively. In some cases, stores have more office space than they need, and tearing down walls can help you open up your floor space without having to relocate. Create a rough blueprint of your store and determine if your floor space and office spaces are proportioned appropriately.

Meet with Consultants

Refurbishing your store provides a great opportunity for taking an inventory of your operations and finding ways to improve your business. Before and during your renovations, consider if there are any ways you can operate more efficiently and effectively by bringing in experts on retail store operation. IT consultations can help you make the most of your technical infrastructure and ensure you can handle new technologies on the horizon. Bring in a branding consultant lets you perform your refurbishment in a way that improves your branding. General management consultants are great for preparing your employees for new operations and to provide better customer service. While all of these consultation services can be helpful at any time, changes are often easier to implement in conjunction with refurbishments.

Create a Safer Store

Running an effective retail store means creating a safe environment for all visitors. Many older buildings have potential safety risks that can cause potential harm to customers, which can damage your reputation; some injuries can even lead to expensive lawsuits. When performing your refurbishment, you’ll be able to identify potential risks and mitigate them before your open again. Again, it may be worth bringing in a consultant who can help you identify possible problems that take an expert to notice. As with everything in your store, ensure safety is a top priority, and run potential changes by experts to ensure they’re as safe as possible.

Fight Shoplifting

There are more tools available to fight shoplifting today than ever before. Because shoplifting represents such a significant expense for businesses, it’s worth investing in infrastructure changes that help prevent shoplifting. Effective layouts provide employees with a better view of would-be shoplifters, and these arrangements are often compatible with contemporary design sensibilities that favor open retail environments. Furthermore, security camera technology has never been cheaper, and it’s fairly inexpensive to install cameras throughout your store and save a large amount of footage cheaply. Refurbishing your store provides a great time to invest in these new technologies.

Create Unique Spaces for Customers

When first running a retail store, many owners focus primarily on maximizing their floor space. However, modern retail stores often provide seating areas for customers, which allow them to try out products and talk with sales agents about their needs. Refurbishing your office gives you an opportunity to explore these options and find new ways to create a unique experience for your customers. Modern retail shoppers want a unique experience, and investing in elements that make your store stand out can help you build a loyal customer base.

The brick-and-mortar retail industry is under tremendous pressure due to the ubiquity of online shopping. However, there is still plenty of room to compete, and those who make the most of their retail space can remain competitive by providing an enjoyable, personal experience. While many store owners consider the possibility of refurbishing their retail outlets, many fail to realize just how powerful a proper refurbishment can be. If you have any questions about how a refurbishment can help your store, contact to learn more.


Reasons Why Your Office Could Benefit From Refurbishment

Your company’s office space is one of its greatest assets. A clean, well-designed office space is invaluable for both employees and clients. Perhaps you’ve noticed that things are looking a little worn or that productivity is suffering. You may have been considering a move for various reasons, but have you thought about commercial refurbishment? An office suffering from an aging design can be given bold new life with a refurbishment. Refurbishing your office can create a more efficient and productive space for your employees to work and do business in. There are numerous benefits to refurbishing your office. Here’s a few for you to consider.

Refurbishment modernizes aging workspaces

Many companies find themselves working out of offices they’ve rented for years, if not decades in some cases. Structures become worn, walls need repainting, and designs simply grow old. By refurbishing your office, you can recreate your company’s space into a clean, organized, and modern work environment. New furniture can liven otherwise emotionless rooms. Glass divisions and walls give a sense of transparency and openness. Rooms can be reworked to fit more desks in an open, collaborative environment. Today, many companies are choosing to get rid of the conventional “cube farm” and are opting to create an open setting where workers feel like they can communicate and collaborate without artificial barriers. Increased interconnectedness like this can boost morale, productivity, and help motivate employees to work together to push the company further.

A new look brings new productivity

Company morale can be rejuvenated by something as simple as a fresh coat of paint and new furniture. If everyone’s stuck in a collective rut, consider refurbishing your office to bring a new feel to a familiar environment. Keeping things fresh can lead to increased productivity, as employees don’t feel trapped in an unchanging environment.

Refurbishment ties right in with rebranding

Is your company currently going through or planning on beginning a rebranding? If so, it’s the perfect time to refurbish your offices. A company’s office is an integral part of its image, even if it’s an aspect rarely seen by consumers. Do you have a new logo? Take this chance to update your office and paint it proudly on the walls. You can even match the office color scheme to your business’ graphic design identity, further tying it all together. A new look compliments the change brought on by a rebranding and gives the company a fresh face for visiting clients.

Create positive first impressions with a clean space

It’s important to consider the first impression clients receive when visiting your office for the first time. Does the space convey a sense of cleanliness and order, or are they struck by the outdated design? Your office may be a comfortable environment for your workers, but how do potential clients feel about it? You’ll want to be sure that when a new client enters your office they feel welcomed not only by the people but the setting as well. By refurbishing your office, you can be sure your company is putting its best foot forward when it’s presented to new customers.

Maximize efficiency of existing space

Perhaps there’s a need for a new boardroom, additional space for desks, or departments that need to be in closer proximity. Problems like these have solutions in office refurbishment. Refurbishing your office gives you the opportunity to reconsider existing layouts and change the way different parts are connected. During refurbishment, you’ll be able to consider your space from the top down and plan exactly how to best make use of its resources. Is there a particular section that’s feeling cramped? Maybe a boardroom that could benefit from the privacy of a different floor? Would workers like for partitions to be set up to provide privacy? Is there a lack of proper storage space that can be settled with a new room? All of these things and more are easily accomplished when you refurbish from the ground up and give yourself a clean slate to work with.

Remove hazards and strengthen safety

As buildings age, they present a variety of safety hazards that may not be immediately apparent in the day to day functioning of a company. When you refurbish your office, you’ll be able to carefully assess the potential dangers that may have been overlooked otherwise. Aging structures and fixtures may present hazards that may not appear obvious. Things like exposed wires, cluttered workspaces, and a lack of adequate storage can create a hazardous work environment that may eventually result in an otherwise preventable injury. Workplace accidents have been known to happen in an office setting and addressing safety when refurbishing can help prevent that.

Easily downsize or reorganize

If your company has recently downsized, now is the perfect time to refurbish your office. Take the space that’s been freed up and put it to good use by creating a new boardroom or expanding existing areas. Perhaps your staff could benefit from a new common room, or you’d like to create a lobby in which to receive potential clients. If you’re down to a smaller number of workers, it’s also beneficial to rework the office to be sure everyone is close enough for collaboration but separate enough for privacy. There’s no reason not to take advantage of the new space created from downsizing to not only create new rooms but also give workers the space they need and deserve.

Make a move towards operating as a green office

Your company’s carbon footprint can likely be reduced by restructuring and refurbishing the office. If you haven’t upgraded appliances recently, consider doing so now when a variety of eco-friendly electronics are entering the market. You can reduce electricity usage by maximizing the use of existing space and avoiding the creation of unused rooms. Increasing the number of shared resources can lessen your company’s environmental impact by encouraging employees to waste less and share more.

Improve the atmosphere of your office

One of the most overlooked attributes of a well-run office is the atmosphere. This includes the lighting and feeling of openness that comes from having access to windows and fresh air. By removing unnecessary clutter, you can liberate your office and give it a new sense of openness. If there are only certain rooms with access to windows, consider converting a few to office spaces or common areas where employees can take a few minutes to recharge before continuing their day. Numerous studies have shown that natural light boosts a person’s mood greatly, leading to increased productivity and morale.

Comply effectively with newly introduced legislation

As countries across the globe make a push for higher standards in environmental care and ethical employee treatment, it can be useful to use a refurbishment to comply with these new regulations. Instead of viewing new laws as restrictions, try to view them as opportunities. If you find yourself forced to restructure for legal reasons, use it as a chance to improve your office setting for the betterment of everyone in the company.

There are many benefits that come with refurbishing existing office space. You can use it as an opportunity to reorganize rooms and furniture to maximize space, situate employees in a setting that is comfortable and productive, and update the office appearance to better fit a new brand. Every office is filled with overlooked potential that a simple refurbishment can reveal easily. Consider working with your local shopfitters Sunshine Coast so you can create a plan to rework what you have available and breathe new life into your company by creating an environment that’s productive, efficient, and all around a joy to work in.


Conscientious Shopfitting – How to Remodel Your Business Using Greener Methods

Part of being a responsible business owner is making sure that nothing in your shop poses a hazard to the environment. However, with all of the aspects that you have to review from time to time such as sales, marketing, and expenses, this one often gets overlooked.

Fortunately, WhiteOak Developments employ a conscientious team of staff who can redesign your shop up to environmental standards, so you are free to run your business without the guilt. Here are just a few steps you can take to achieve a greener business.

Brighten with LED

One of the simplest ways you can liven up your shop without taking a toll on the environment is by utilising LED lights. These compact bulbs offer various lighting options that can help highlight key areas in your store and create mood, thereby enhancing customer experience.

While you may spend more initially when purchasing LED bulbs, they consume less power and last longer than traditional light bulbs. Additionally, the costs of LED lights have significantly dropped down as compared to when they first appeared in the market years ago.

Use Renewable Materials

For many, shopping is an opportunity for them to unwind, which is why it is important to provide them with a calm, soothing environment while inside the store. This can be achieved by including raw material fixtures.

Recycled timber materials are on trend, and can easily match your concept by sealing with solvent-based or synthetic product. For artistic flooring, you can use stencilled or stamped concrete.

Consider Eco Paint

Going green doesn’t have to be dull and boring. To make your retail space more vibrant, consider repainting using water-based low VOC solution and biodegradable acrylic based paints. These products significantly reduce negative effects on health and the environment.

In addition, most zero or low VOC acrylic water based paints can be applied to floors, walls, doors, window frames and trims. They come in a variety of shades, are scruff resistant, and produce minimal odour. WhiteOak Developments also offer painting services which can be tailored to match your existing concept.

Go Digital

Thanks to today’s advances in technology, it’s much easier for businesses to help the environment by reducing paper use. The availability of software such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management), POS (Point of Sale), and other online document sharing platforms significantly reduces landfill wastes and saves retail owners time and money as well.

By going for digital signage and online marketing, wasteful materials such as paper and cardboard will be minimised or even eliminated completely. Not only that, but going paperless increases productivity and allows for better control and organisation.

You can encourage your customers to participate in your environment-friendly efforts by offering to email receipts instead of using the traditional carbon receipts. It’s also a smart tactic to obtain their emails for your future marketing campaigns.

If you’re looking for shopfitters in Sunshine Coast who share your passion of minimising business-related environmental hazards, you can count on WhiteOak Developments to utilise clean and green methods in brightening up your retail space.

Things to Consider for Shopfitting Your Sunshine Coast Business

If you are starting a business, you need to make sure that you have the space to make it happen. However, if you buy a building or space, you are not guaranteed that it’s going to be the best way for you to get what you need. How can you be certain that you have everything set up in a way that makes sense and that will work well?

Shopfitting Sunshine Coast is a very common practice that businesses use in order to make sure that they can get the most for whatever they may be trying to do or achieve with their business. What this entails is the process of putting together a commercial area in a way that is going to be beneficial for those who are running the business and how they want to get things done. While that may take time and effort to really figure out what needs to happen, shopfitters Sunshine Coast have the expertise and knowledge necessary to ensure that it all gets done the right way.

What considerations do you need to make when you start the process of shopfitting? Here are a few that you may want to keep in mind:

  • How much space do you need? Depending on what sort of business that you have, you may have different needs when it comes to the space that you are using. Take a little time to explore what’s out there and to make sure that you get your hands on something that makes sense for what you want to be able to do.
  • How much space do you currently have? Obviously, you can’t figure out what sort of space that you need or a layout for it until you know what building space or rental space that you have available to work with. Take some time to really look at what’s out there and to see what you can do with it. In the end, it will make the process of putting it all together just a little bit easier for you to take care of.
  • What sort of business are you looking to run? A restaurant is going to need something different than a café does, and a café has different needs than a bookstore. By knowing what sort of needs you have going into it, you can put together a setup that really works well for you in the long run.
  • How much do you have to spend on the process? Budget is always a concern, so make sure that you know just how much money that you have and how you want to get it all taken care of. It will help you to be a little more reasonable when it comes to just what you want to do to get it all to work.
  • Do you need it to be adjustable? Do you need to be able to move tables or desks around? Do you need dividers that can be adjusted as needed? Make sure that you know that information ahead of time as well.

Getting help from shopfitters Sunshine Coast is a big deal, and Whiteoak Devleopments want to help you figure out what steps that you need to take and how to move forward with your ideas and your plans for your small or large business.

What is Involved in Building Maintenance Sunshine Coast?

When you are someone that runs your own business, you have a number of concerns which you need to keep track of. Not only do you have to take care of things like the financial concerns of your business, but you also need to make sure that, no matter what you may be experiencing, that you have the opportunity to look at your building and keep it in the best shape possible. What is involved in building maintenance Sunshine Coast in the first place?

  • Repairs on the building itself. If you own your business building, you know that there are a lot of responsibilities that come with taking care of your building. How do you know that you’re getting what you need and are you able to find ways to make it all work? How do you know that your roof isn’t falling apart or that you aren’t going to end up spending way too much on the process? That’s where building maintenance Sunshine Coast can help you to keep it all in order.
  • Inspections and code updates. You are likely getting regular inspections and the codes of your city or province are likely changing on a regular basis. Because of that, you need to make sure that your building is keeping up with the changes that need to occur. Businesses like Whiteoak Developments that focus on building maintenance Sunshine Coast will do everything that they can to make sure that your building keeps up with these codes and inspection needs.
  • Arranging and changing the interior setup of your business. Are you looking to remodel or rearrange the way that your storefront is set up? Maybe you are in a situation where you are seeking out options for an addition. By looking at everything that is available and making sure that you know what you’re looking at with it, you can discover options that make sense and that are going to help your business look great and work efficiently. Many times, you can find options for shopfitters Sunshine Coast that can make this work better as well.
  • Cleaning and other maintenance concerns. General upkeep can take a lot of time and effort if you don’t go about things the right way. Because of that, you want to make sure that you’re looking for a company that doesn’t only deal with shopfitting Sunshine Coast, but that they are going to be able to come in, clean up, and maintain pretty much anything and everything that you could want to have done to make your business look great all of the time.

There are a number of options for you to consider when you start to look at building maintenance Sunshine Coast. If you are seeking assistance for your needs or you want to ensure that you get help from professionals that know the business well, you can find a number of solutions on the internet and through various channels. Getting help for your business maintenance needs can be a huge asset and help your business to grow and thrive.

Looking at Common Commercial Building Issues

When you are looking at all of the options that can come along when you are looking for a commercial building for your business, you want to be certain that you are doing what you can to stay ahead of everything. Running and owning a commercial building takes a little time and effort and, if you’re willing to keep up with it, it can be a major investment for you and the future of the business that you are running.

Here are some of the most common issues that may come along when someone is attempting to keep up with a commercial building and the needs that arise with it.

  • Roofing problems. The roof is one of the most important things that your building has, because it protects you from the elements and ensures that you don’t have any additional issues that may arise when you’re trying to get things done. That being said, if you get your roof inspected and maintained on a regular basis, you can ensure that you don’t end up with additional problems that could come along as time goes on.
  • Heating and cooling. When you are trying to be sure that your heating and cooling needs are being met, you want to look at all of the different options that you have. It can be hard to keep up with these needs in a commercial building, so you want to be certain that you’re going about it in a way that works and that is going to allow you to feel more confident and comfortable with whatever may be next for it.
  • Expansion and renovation. So, you need more room, or you’re trying to make sure that you don’t miss out on any details that may come along when you advance your commercial building. This can be a problem depending on what is going on and how much you want to be able to put into all of it. In those cases, just talk to an agency and see what they can help you to do to make it easier on yourself.
  • Cleaning up your commercial space can be a bear, and if you don’t have the resources to do it, you want to talk to a cleaning or maintenance agency in order to get the job done correctly. This will allow you to focus on some of the most important aspects of running and maintaining all of the businesses that are located in your building.

If you are dealing with any of these common issues, then you may want to contact WhiteOak Developments, who takes care of a variety of tasks related to building maintenance Sunshine Coast that may come along when you are attempting to keep your business in the best shape possible. You want to be certain to talk to them about the issues at hand so that they can assist you with all of the things that you may need in order to achieve your goals and keep your business building running.

Trajan's Market Shopfitting Sunshine Coast

Exploring Trajan’s Market, The World’s Oldest Shopping Mall (and what it can tell us about today’s shopfitting trends)

Trajan's Market Shopfitting Sunshine CoastIn today’s world, obsessed with technology and innovation, there seems to be an unspoken bias that “newer equals better”. While we agree that technology has done more to enrich lives, foster equality and open communication, and offering opportunities that would have been impossible for regular citizens a century ago, things are not necessarily better just because they’re newer.

Life is constantly growing out of the ruins of the past, like vines encompassing a derelict building in a deserted city center. It’s preposterous to think that everything was backwards and dysfunctional, historically, as the past, quite literally, created the present.

Instead of reacting out of these unspoken prejudices, let us take a moment to consider one of the oldest commercial properties on the planet, and see what it might tell us about where today’s shopfitting might be heading.

Exploring Trajan’s Market, The World’s Oldest Shopping Mall

With over 150 shops, delicate marble work, an on-site library, Trajan’s Market was a marvel of the Ancient World. Although its precise origins are lost to history, Trajan’s Market is thought to have been built by Apollodorus of Damascus, the royal architect for Emperor Trajan, roughly around 113 CE. This makes Apollodorus of Damascus one of the earliest shopfitters in history.

The shops, which circled the first two levels of Trajan’s Market, varied in size and shape. Many shops were like small closets, where the shopkeepers were thought to have greeted the customer at the door, retreating into the shadowy shopfronts to retrieve their wares.

The impressive, sprawling complex was covered with a vaulted roof, as a precursor to today’s indoor shopping malls.

Not only was Trajan’s Market the earliest shopping mall in history, it also served as headquarters for Emperor Trajan. Trajan’s Market was originally conceived as an expansion for the Roman Forum, which had been blocked in by hills and existing buildings. State officials, politicians, and shopkeepers had apartments above the shop floors, making Trajan’s Market an early example of a live/work space.

To accomplish this impressive feat, Apollodorus of Damascus terraced the hillsides, to make room for the market, in an early example of terraforming. He then arranged the market in a semicircle, known as the Great Hemicycle, to better withstand the pressure from the Earth.

Trajan’s Market is not only still standing, it still functions as a marketplace, 2000 years after it was built. If only all designs could withstand the test of time as well!

What Trajan’s Market Can Tell Us About Today’s Shopfitting Trends

The fact that Trajan’s Market is still a functioning marketplace, millennia after it was built, is a testament to the timelessness of its design and execution. In many ways, many of Trajan’s Market central design concepts are still as relevant as ever, if not more so, although some have fallen by the wayside, over the course of history.

Starting in roughly the ’90s, shopping malls have been on the decline, in favor of, what the website calls “a sign of the decline of suburbia and an embrace of a city-centric, centrally-planned, new age, creative class, sharing-economy, walkable, kumbaya cultural future.”

Shopping malls offered high-quality shopping experiences to suburbanites who may not have had easy access to lavish urban shopping, nor the means to afford them, even if they did. Shopping malls were an early example of the average consumer beginning to aspire to higher class aspirations.

This promise, ultimately, culminated in the hyper-connectivity of e-Commerce, where every shopkeeper on Earth is competing to offer the lowest prices, with storefronts that never close.

The progression to e-Commerce was probably inevitable. A few decades into Internet shopping, however, has left us craving the physical shopping experience. Brick-and-mortar storefronts, around the world and across industries, are experiencing a renaissance, as customers search for the speed, convenience, and interactivity of physical shopping. To make the most of the rising tide, retailers are beginning to offer lavish, luxe shopping experiences that no VR headset will be able to surpass.

Likewise, live/work arrangements like Trajan’s Market fell under rampant criticism, during the late ’70s/early-’80s, as consumers began to be skeptical of the all-inclusive arrangement, being the modern equivalent of the Company Store.

Ironically, this setup speaks directly to the “city-centric, centrally-planned… walkable future,” mentioned above. While shopping malls may have once been the ultimate sign of capitalist expansion, might these mighty edifices offer a possible solution to some of today’s urban plight? As oil becomes more and more scarce, walkable shopping centres such as these will continue to rise. Perhaps the live-in retail centre might be the most New Age concept of all?

Suffice it to say, Trajan’s Market provokes some thought about traditional shopfitting, and which way it might be heading.

Looking for shopfitting that will stand the test of time? Let one of the Sunshine Coast’s leading shopfitters help your storefront flourish! We also offer competitively-priced, comprehensive commercial building management for the Sunshine Coast.

Shopfitting Sunshine Coast

Trascending Anonymity: What Mannequins Are Telling Us About Modern Shopfitting

Shopfitting Sunshine CoastGreat design – like any form of High Art – speaks volumes about the values, hopes, fears, and dreams of contemporary culture. In today’s world, design – whether graphic, fashion, interior, or shopfitting – actually says MORE about the world we’re living in that other, more traditional, “High Art” forms like abstract painting or dance, that enjoy a dedicated, but highly specialized, audience.

Design is like everyday art, for everybody.

Mannequins have long served as anonymous receptacles for our hopes and aspirations, being blank and generic enough for nearly anybody to imagine ourselves enjoying the wares they’re peddling, no matter who you are.

Today’s consumers are proving remarkably resistant to this brand of bland, generic advertising, prompting savvy shopfitters and retail designers to update the still life figurines for today’s modern audience.

Shopfitting Trends: Modern Mannequins

Modern mannequins are getting fitted out with the latest, most innovative digital solutions, like nearly every aspect of commerce. Not only are retailers working signal beacons into their floor plans, alerting potentially interested shoppers to deals they might like in their vicinity, even the mannequins are getting in on the action.
High-tech retailers are incorporating touchscreens, digital displaas, and personalized messages, via the aforementioned signal beacons.

Some savvy designers are using technology to negate the anonymity that many critics accuse digital devices of cultivating. Rather than just being another figure in the crowd, another faceless member of a broad demographic, Los Angeles-based designer Chad Michael Morrisette of the design firm CM Squared Design, employed an innovative blend of display screens and digital camera, letting passers-by actually visualize themselves using the products.

Outdated technology is being employed, as well, to help mannequins stand out and say something distinctive. A Best Buy store on Michigan Ave. in Chicago recycled old technology by gluing motherboards and circuit boards to the lifelike sculptures, in a way that speaks to today’s concerns with upcycling and sustainability.

Also in Chicago, mannequins were a major part of last summer’s Project Windows competition, where Michigan Avenue retailers were invited to participate to help spread the word on a major Magritte retrospective that was happening at the Art Institute Of Chicago.

Not all of the technological innovations are so rosy and optimistic. There’s a new model of mannequin on the market, called the “bionic spy”, that features cameras in the eyes, to keep track of shoppers using facial recognition software. The “bionic spies” are able to log age, gender, and race into a database.

Last but not least, even traditional mannequins are getting a makeover. Sal Lenzo, the visual merchandiser for the legendary Bergdorf Goodman department store in NYC, has spoken on the usefulness of mannequins with detailed heads and faces, in telling a fashion narrative.

“If you’re going to use the mannequin to tell your story, to express your point of view, heads and faces simply have more personality. And heads with faces gives you the opportunity for accessorizing with hats, sunglasses, makeup, jewelry and the like,” stated Lenzo sagely.

Like every other aspect of retail, generic and hasty isn’t going to cut it, if you’re looking to stand out and get noticed in today’s competitive – but thrilling – retail world.

Want to find out how one of the Sunshine Coast’s leading shopfitters can help bring your storefront into the Future? Contact us today! We also offer comprehensive, competitively-priced commercial building maintenance packages for the Sunshine Coast, to help your business stay looking its best!

Shell Shopfitting Refit

How Shell Improved Its Margins By 5% With A New Design

Shell Shopfitting RefitUK retail designer/shopfitter Craig Phillipson was surely being modest when he described his craft as “the forgotten bastard-child of design” during the second day of London’s Retail Design Expo 2016. Even if he was being hyperbolic, his statement reflects the way shopfitting is perceived in this day and age, as well as the errors in that thinking.

Phillipson was intimately involved in a major, chain-wide overhaul of the gas-powered monolith, utilizing extensive customer data and research. Phillipson interpreted the data and insights, via decades of retail design experience, in an innovative symbiosis of technology, social sciences, and solid, traditional shopfitting.

According to Phillipson, ““People’s active peripheral vision is 60 degrees for men and 65 degrees for women. Shoppers want to turn to see things at no more than 45 degrees, and they also only buy when a product is 1.2 metres away,” he explained, in a torrent of useful information.

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“Using these principles, stores were re-pointed in such a way that we got incredible results. Food category sales – one of the main product types we wanted to increase – improved by 49.2%; total shop sales increased by 15.1%; while shop margins improved by 19% because customers were buying more higher margin items.”

Phillipson assisted Shell in three different formats, designed to capture three disparate audiences. The first was geared towards what Phillipson described as “transient visitors” – high-mileage drivers, for whom food was the primary concern. The second is closer to the modern convenience store, being customized for local shoppers, focusing on snacks and alcoholic beverages. The final category was solely for people getting gas, which put the most precedent on to-go snacks.

A wider range of alcoholic beverages, for the local shoppers, and high-end Costa Coffee machines for the long-haul drivers, were some examples of these customizations.

These retail re-designs are already yielding maximal results, according to Phillipson. “We’ve converted about 400 stores since 2012, and are doing another 50 per year, but already we’re seeing that overall store margins are three times the margin tobacco provides – where just four years ago, the margins were the same.”

These revisions aren’t designed to manipulate the consumers, or sell them what they don’t need. Quite the opposite, in fact. Shell’s re-design is giving consumers more of what they want, which is converting into real-world profit margins. “In 60% of transactions, there are now convenience retail purchases too – which is up from 40% in 2012. Moreover, in 30% of transactions we are seeing convenience-only purchases – that is no fuel purchases at all – meaning our stores are becoming places people want to go to.”

If a retail re-design is enough to make a gas station/convenience store into a desirable destination, just think what a shopfitter on the Sunshine Coast could do for your business? We also offer commercial building maintenance!

shopfitting Sunshine Coast trends

How France’s Carrefour Is Integrating Lighting And Mobile Technology

shopfitting Sunshine Coast trendsOne of the biggest trends in physical retailing, these days, is the integration of the digital and the physical. Companies are rolling out loyalty apps in droves, as part of the pursuit of an exceptional retail experience.

A French company, Carrefour, unveiled a striking new concept in physical/digital integration to a capacity crowd at London’s Retail Design Expo 2016. The concept – known as visible light communication – updates traditional retail lighting, to serve up extremely accurate, location-based signals throughout a physical space, to guide shoppers to sales they might be interested in, throughout the storefront.


Philips Lighting is responsible for this innovative new technology, as part of their commitment to moving “beyond illumination”. Carrefour already had plans to update their Lille location, and decided to take the opportunity to try out the new lighting strips. The feature comes standard in all new Philips Lighting strips, but buyers can opt to use the pay-as-you-go function or not, as they see fit.

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According to Carrefour’s director modéles commerciaux et innovation Céline Martin, “With such a large retail space, and the fact we run between 400-600 promotions every week, it’s essential we help customers find promotions. Using our app, customers can see exactly where they are in the hypermarket, and see promotions that are nearby, or promotions linked to what’s on their shopping list.”

So far, only 3600 customers have downloaded the app since it was unveiled in 2013. These numbers aren’t all bad, however, as 1% of the app owners use the app on a regular basis. Of that number, 50% will be in-store.

A representative of Philips Lighting, Gerben van der Lugt, claimed, “This technology is making use of smart phones increasingly becoming a shopping companion for people… We already know eight in ten people use their smart phones while shopping, while other research finds 50% of shoppers say they would be happy to receive location-based alerts – including details about promotions around them.”

Are you ready to take advantage of this brave new world of Retail Design? Talk to the leading shopfitters on the Sunshine Coast, and step into the future!

Shopfitters Sunshine Coast

4 Subtle Influences That Could Be Affecting Your Shopfitting Design

Shopfitters Sunshine CoastHuman beings love to feel superior to the Natural World that surrounds us. We have an awful lot to be proud of, having fought our way from being snacks for saber-tooth tigers to being the kings and queens of all we survey.

Sometimes, we have a tendency to come off like New Money in an established affluent community. We love to show off what we know, and what we have, to show how far we’ve come.

While we have good reasons to be proud, we also run the risk of forgetting where we come from. We are as affected by our surroundings as any robin, cicada, or chimpanzee, even though we don’t always like to admit it.

Every living thing, as a byproduct of staying alive, follows its own circadian rhythm, which tells us when to eat, when to sleep, when to feel happy, when to get nervous. These cues are dictated by our environment, with the rise and the fall of the seasons. Since we don’t live as close to nature as we once did, these factors can slip into the background, escaping our notice, but having an influence on our moods and thoughts, nonetheless.

Here are four subtle factors that could be affecting your storefront, to watch out for:

Use White, Natural Lighting

Let’s not forget, the first rule of shopfitting is presenting the product in its most attractive light. In this case, that is quite literal. It is tempting to utilize some kind of colored light, in an attempt to sway your customers’ moods, but that plan could backfire, once they take their product home to discover it as a different color than what they intended to purchase. That’s not to say you can’t use mood-altering as an accent. Red-hued lights tend to energize, while blue lights radiate calmness and serenity. Blue/green trim can also be used to give a more futuristic look to a space.

A Colorful Facade Can Grab Attention

On a similar note, the color of a storefront can greatly impact a potential customer’s mood, when they cross the threshold. As everyone’s been ravenously exploring the possibilities of color theory in the 21st Century, this has led to a certain amount of bright, bold overkill. A bright storefront or an illuminated exterior can make your customer feel excited and positive, while browsing your wares, but it’s easy to overdo, to become chintzy and cheap-looking.

“Cool” Colors Are Getting Cooler

A color’s temperature is measured in Kelvins, indicating the likely source of the light. Traditionally, temperatures greater than 5000 Kelvin are considered “cool” colors, while Kelvin temperatures between 2700 and 3500 are considered “warm” (appearing yellowish white and red). As our eyes have become more acclimated to the blue glow of technology, our idea of what constitutes cool is shifting. 2700 Kelvins is the new cool.

Watch Out For Flicker

It’s easy to have smooth, consistent light when running at 100% capacity, but dimmer switches tend to make that operation a bit more tricky. This can lead to a buzzing, flickering, low-light-level LED, which is pretty much the polar opposite of the calming effect you’d hope modern lighting would achieve.

Are you ready for truly exception retail design, from some of the Sunshine Coast’s leading shopfitters? Contact us today, and let us help your storefront really sparkle and shine!

Shopfitting Innovations from Retail Design Expo 2016

Check Out The Retail Innovations From Retail Design Expo 2016

Shopfitters Sunshine Coast News2016 stands to be the year when the digital and the physical come together, to bring customers the best, most optimized consumer experience, judging from the top innovations on display at this year’s Retail Design Expo.

2016 saw the first year where the most excellent, cutting-edge retail designs were honored, in the inaugural edition of the Innovation Trail and Awards.

A panel of industry professionals came together to shortlist 18 innovative designs, giving a good general overview of what this year’s top shopfitting trends might look like.

For instance, a lot of retailers are adopting VM Technology from Icomeme, which brings together the brick-and-mortar and the virtual for customers who have downloaded the app. The app alerts shoppers to sales in the store, within 30 m, with detailed product information, sale prices, and even be guided directly to the display. VM Technology from Icomeme makes the best of technology, functioning somewhere between a circular ad, minus the annoying (and wasteful) paper, a push notification from your favorite app, and an immersive, interactive physical retail experience.

The VM Technology also allows customers to store their favorite outfits, for future consideration, in a style similar to popular sites like LookBook and Polyvore.

Some trends we’ve been seeing for a while continue to be important, particularly green shopfitting solutions. The company Global Display is tackling this problem head-on, with a line of sustainable mannequins (pictured at top of article), constructed using natural fibre-reinforced polymers and patented production technique, for a distinctive new type of display.

Shopfitting Innovations from Retail Design Expo 2016In another bid to reduce paper and carbon imprint, Umdasch Shopfitting revealed their Electronic Shelf Labeling system. It is to Umdesch’s credit that their design manages to look both futuristic AND classic, with crisp, colorful graphics conjuring images of an old-fashioned marketplace, but with all of today’s best bells-and-whistles.

Judging from these three cutting-edge designs, shoppers are ready to get out of the house for some face time and fresh.

Are you ready to take advantage of the foot traffic? Contact us today, and see what some of the Sunshine Coast’s leading shopfitters can do for you!

Not looking for a whole overhaul, but want to keep your storefront in tip-top shape? We also offer a wide range of commercial building maintenance services for the Sunshine Coast.