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Six Ways New Technology Will Change Shopfitting

The development of new technology has always had a strong and immediate impact on the world of commerce. New hardware and software is very quickly translated into practical applications for online and offline businesses. You might be thinking of fitting out or refurbishing a retail space in the near future. Here we’ll examine six ways in which these new developments will affect both the process and the result of your shopfitting endeavour.

Cashier-less shopping
Major retailers are now experimenting with shops that allow customers to make purchases without ever having to interact with sales staff if they do not wish to. This can be achieved by a number of means. Some systems use mobile apps linked to credit cards which the user can scan themselves using the camera on their phone. Other setups use cameras to observe customers and link that to information gathered by bluetooth sensors to determine their identity and the products they have chosen. This staff-free checkout process must be balanced with security and theft concerns. However, many customers express a preference for this style of shopping which could rejuvenate foot traffic to some physical locations. This technology is still being proven, but it maybe be desirable to arrange your retail space to allow for easier integration and conversion in the future.

Fully dynamic pricing
Some retailers tend to have large volume of products on their shelves, each individually priced. For the first time, the technology needed to remotely update and display information and prices for each item is becoming affordable and easy to install. Based on electronic ink systems, these individual screens may be programmed wirelessly or integrated into the local network of the shop. This will then allow prices to be continuously updated and refined based on time of day, demographic changes, pre-programmed sales and other factors of your choice. Using a system like this will require careful analysis and planning before committing to your fitting out.

Pre-visualisation of shopfitting
In order to make a commercial space into a successful venture, it is necessary to fully understand how it will look and operate before starting the hard work of making it a physical reality. Architects and designers have many tools at their disposal to demonstrate 3D walkthroughs of their mockups and proposals. New software which integrates with mobile phones and tablets will allow this pre-visualisation process to take place in the store itself. By moving the device you will be able to see a live view of the potential design. This will allow the design to be tweaked and refined and snags to be overcome before starting your fitting out. The main benefit of this it that it is always less expensive to make required changes mistakes earlier rather than later.

Virtual store assistants
The use of bluetooth beacon technology has become more widespread lately, and one potentially interesting use case is to assist customers without incurring extra staffing costs. Some retailers are now using assistant apps which work on mobile phones being used by people in the shop. The beacons allow the app to know exactly where the user is located, and can then offer directions and assistance in finding particular items. Additional useful information such an online reviews for individual items can also be offered to the customer. Using this approach will require the development of a custom app as well as highly-integrated beacon system when fitting out the shop.

Magic mirrors
Although expensive, new mirror systems which integrate displays and interactive touchscreen technology allow retailers to support and encourage customers during a vital time in their purchasing decision-making process. Shoppers can be helped to feel safe and relaxed when trying on clothes using magic mirrors, which allow the lighting to be altered, different angles to be displayed, or even alternate sizes of clothes to be requested and brought to them. Users may also be identified using their phone, allowing past purchasing history and preferences to be displayed, and individualised recommendations to be made.

Proximity marketing
This marketing technique also relies upon the use of beacon technology. Certain locations inside the retail space are outfitted with sensors which can identify individual smartphones in the immediate area. Special offers and coupons may then be sent directly to a customer via bluetooth or a specialised app. For example, the system maybe observe a customer lingering near or repeatedly returning to a particular item. Since this often indicates indecision about their purchase, they will be then be given a custom time-limited offer to encourage them to make a choice. This technology requires careful installation and placing of the beacons during the shopfitting process, as well as a suitable choice of software vendor.

Five Shopfitting Trends Shaping The Market In 2018

The retail industry is easily one of the most competitive markets globally with so many dynamics coming into play especially with the overwhelming influence of the internet. In contemporary times, failure to connect at deeper levels with customers will result in a financial loss no matter the amount of marketing dollars spent. While shopping was largely an impersonal chore in pre-internet days, today, stores must meet customers’ expectation of a branded experience and a nostalgic one at that.

Where is Retail Shopping Heading?
Retail shopping has had its fair share of doomsday prophecies predicting the imminent end of walk-in shopping as the online alternative grows. However, predictions of the internet bringing an end to in-store store shopping are yet to materialise. A 2015 survey conducted by Oracle showed that 69% of Australians prefer in-store shopping over the online experience. This is a contrast to shoppers in Germany (57%), France(54%) and the US (50%). Forward-looking stores are actually fast adapting to consumer lifestyle changes with sensory experiences that stimulate customer desire to visit and make purchases the old-fashioned way albeit with a difference. According to Trent Innes, Managing Director of accounting company, Xero which commissioned a consumer shopping behaviour survey in 2016, “…70 percent [of shoppers] say they shop the same or more in-store now than they did three years ago,”

Where Does Shopfitting Fit In?
A popular saying states that you only get one chance to create a first impression. This may sound like a cliche today but it certainly fits the purpose of shopfitting which is to create a truly sensory and nostalgic in-store experience for shoppers. This entails engaging all the senses with the layout design and installed displays, showcases, wall fittings, counters, floors, fixtures and doors among others.

The ability to create this uncommon customer in-store experience is looking like a gamechanger for many retail stores in 2018. Already, some trends are evident. Here are just a few of them.

i.Smart Lighting Solutions
Easily one of the most critical elements of interior design, lighting is now being better used than before. Professional shopfitting now enables stores to creatively use indirect, natural and LED lighting to provide the right ambience for relaxed shopping. Small spaces look bigger while big spaces look intimate rather than intimidating. Shopper mood is typically affected by the presentation of the inventory and this is done by lighting them up in a subtle yet stimulating way.

ii.Complementing Online with In-store Shopping
The internet is not going away and stores that will remain profitable will learn to leverage the inherent power of the internet to complement and streamline both dimensions of shopping. Forward-looking stores are encouraging shoppers to complete their shopping experience in the brick and mortar stores. It may start online but for some products, it may have to be completed offline. The challenge lies in consistency and this can be handled with a good brand strategy that effectively harmonises both dimensions. Elements such as colours, typography and other brand elements should seamlessly blend both online and offline shopping environments.

iii.Creative Shop Formats
Uniformity of form design is a much-touted advantage yet in some instances, space sizes vary. Shopfitting professionals creatively use smaller spaces to achieve big effects without diluting the brand experience. A notable example is Nordstrom which has unveiled its ‘mini version’, just over 2% of its traditional 140,000 square feet space. Specially designed to meet the needs of highly mobile shoppers, it is changing the way shopping is done. According to GlobalRetail Data’s Neil Saunders, “The days of the one-size fits all store model are fading, and the future will require a more flexible approach with a variety of store formats designed to address different locations and markets.”

iv.Seamless Blend With External Environment
Screaming colours that are meant to attract attention are fast fading with time. Subtlety seems to be the emerging order as stores are employing the use of colours that integrate into the surrounding environment without any fuss or clamour. The result is serenity and this is typically accomplished through the use of natural elements like cork, wood and foliage.

v.Minimalism
The trend in contemporary design may be encapsulated with the statement, “less is more”. Simple yet succinct, it tells the story. Less is indeed more when a store has so much to display yet knows that customers are not looking to get intimidated. The WOW effect is best pulled off in a minimalist atmosphere and professional shopfitters are aware of this. First, it makes navigation around the store easy while individual items may be easily found. Additionally, clustered shopping environments make it easy to ‘crowd out’ the brand thus defeating the objective of inviting the shoppers in-store.

According to Sanford Stein, founder and moderator of Retail Speak, “The internet has had a flattening effect on the industry, and as a result, even the smallest retailer has tremendous opportunity to launch and thrive….Access to both software and hardware to empower selling is also cheaper, and it enables small retailers to develop a bond and an understanding of what their customers want. That, in turn, lets them offer a high level of product and service.”

Shopfitting is not just helping brick and mortar retail stores change the shopping game, it is keeping them ‘in the game’.

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.

Retail Space Lighting And Sales – Does it Matter?

When you talk to shopfitters Sunshine Coast, they will give you a variety of tips in order to ensure that you have everything necessary to achieve your goals and feel confident in what you’re trying to achieve. They want to put together your business space in a way that encourages people to go ahead and buy things from your retail space without a lot of hassle. The fact of the matter is, it is very important for you to go ahead and look at all of the things that could play a role in promoting sales for your business.

That being said, there is a lot of discussion and debate about whether or not it matters that the lighting is a certain way. Lighting can actually give you a sense of friendliness and welcoming, which means that people are going to be a lot more likely to go ahead and look around at your business space. If they feel like they are welcome in the area, they are going to be a lot more likely to go ahead and buy from you as well.

Think about how frustrating that it can be when you’re trying to make sure that you are looking at things that you want to purchase. If you can’t see the right color or you can’t figure out what you’re supposed to do in order to make the whole thing work, then you may not buy something that you were considering. You want to be able to see clearly and find all of the items that you may want to buy without having to pull out a cell phone flashlight – and that can be a big deal when you’re thinking about the lighting for your business area as well.

Are you concerned about your lighting or other aesthetic issues that may be related to your business? Professionals like those at WhiteOak Developments will give you the information that you need in order to put together a plan for shopfitting Sunshine Coast that is actually going to work for your needs. There are a variety of aesthetic things that you want to keep an eye on and, as a matter of fact, you want to be certain that you’re doing it in a way that makes sense and is helpful. By discussing your concerns with them, they can help you to put together a layout that will work for you and your business.

Is There a Lifespan for Commercial Buildings?

There are many questions that arise when you start looking at commercial buildings and whether or not you want to be able to invest in one. The good news is, there are a lot of ways that you can get things done that make sense for what you want to be able to achieve. How do you know that you’re getting what you want? And how long is that investment going to last you? Here are a few factors that may come up when you ask that question.

  • How often are you getting building maintenance on the Sunshine Coast? Are you doing everything that you need to do in order to maintain your building? Are you making the appropriate repairs so that you don’t have to worry about anything? And are you looking to make upgrades as necessary? If you do regular maintenance and upkeep, you will ensure that your building lasts that much longer in the end.
  • What mechanical systems are installed in the building? There are usually a number of mechanical things that are installed in your building. HVAC systems, refrigeration, and a variety of other machines. And, as you know, the machines are not going to last as long as anyone wants them to. While some of the machines may last 10 or 20 years, you may find that some of them break down after 5. This may be a factor in the lifespan of your particular building.
  • Are you going to need to expand your space at any point in time? Sometimes, the business(es) that you run are going to need a little bit of extra space in order to expand and be better at what they bring to the table. The good news is, there are a lot of factors that come into play and if you have the income in which to expand your business, you will find that it’s much easier to get everything taken care of properly and the lifespan of your building will be that much longer.
  • How long are you renting the space out for? If you are renting the commercial building that you’re working in, the inside of the building is usually only put together in a way that lasts for the rental period (5 to 10 years tops). This makes it so that you may either decide to leave the space or get it renovated by the company that is renting to you.

If you are seeking out building maintenance on the Sunshine Coast, you want to make sure that you work with a company like WhiteOak Developments in order to get the job done correctly. They will take care of a variety of different services for you and can make sure that your commercial building has the lifespan that is expected of it. Contact them today via their website to get more information about their products and services.  

 

How Can Shopfitters Help with Good Shop Design?

Data shows that businesses have the ability to increase sales by as much as 40% when the design of their shop focuses on their store’s environment and works well with their business space. Good shopfitters will know that the right design can help make your products and services more relatable and will help meet the demands of your customers.

Your shop design speaks volumes about your brand, which is why it’s essential to have the right design for your product and space. Consider companies like Apple, sure they have an excellent product that people are willing to line up for, but part of their product is the experience they provide for their customers.

Companies like Apple have high because they show their customer base what they want, rather than tell them. Therefore, Apple customers are buying a total experience more than anything, and this is what the right shop design should provide your customers. When they walk into your business, they should feel like they must have your products or services.

Here are some ways shopfitters on the Sunshine Coast are helping their clients raise the roof on sales revenue.

Eye-Catching Storefronts

Many people say, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but most of us do anyway. We’re just hardwired to judge what we see at first sight. Think of your storefront or foyer as the face of your business. Consider the lighting, door designs, door handles, furniture, and what the layout of the space is like. These things may seem trivial or unimportant, but they have more of an impact on your sales than you probably even realize and shopfitting firms on the Sunshine Coast focus on every last detail. See some examples on this page.

The Right Floor Plan

The entire layout of the shop depends upon a few variables:

  • The amount of customers you receive
  • Amount of staff members
  • Your budget
  • The type of fitting, fixtures, and furniture

While you will most likely find a lot of floor plans and layouts online, your goal should be to make yours unique and focused on your brand, giving your customers that total brand experience. Some shopfitters may allow you to view a virtual simulation so you can see some ideas for your layout and get an idea of what customer and staff traffic will be like as they move around your prospective layout.

Display Cases

Depending on your brand and your products, a good shopfitter will include attractive display cases that showcase your products well. For example, Ikea uses white-colored shelving to help their colored products stand out well, and Louis Vuitton shelves are made of clear glass and accent lights.

Colour Schemes

One of the biggest reasons a store fails is because color schemes are often overlooked in the shopfitting process. With the right color schemes, they can inspire your customers to buy and even give them the illusion that there is more space. Colors can also incite positive and fun energy. Really, what you want to do is put your customers in the right mood and enhance their overall brand experience.

What Good Shopfitters Really Do

Shopfitters don’t just provide you with a beautiful storefront or retail space, they can also help you create a good impression and the right impression by giving your store the brand recognition it needs to have a good long-lasting reputation for your products. At Whiteoak Developments, our shopfitters on the Sunshine Coast are all about customization because your brand is unique. Click here to learn more.

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 DailyCaller.com 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.

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!

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!