Tuesday, 4 August 2015

REFRESH

When is a good time to refresh your shop?  With my designer hat on I would say ‘now’, with my retail consultant hat on I would say ‘that depends’.

We all need a change of environment; it helps us to keep doing what we’re doing.  Refreshing your shop can bring all sorts of benefits but it shouldn’t be done without due consideration. Retail is an exciting business to be in but it comes with many challenges.

The cost of refreshing the look and feel of your shop needs to be weighed up against what you are expecting in return, how long it will take to pay back the initial outlay and what will be the added extras that make all your efforts worthwhile. Unfortunately there is no specific formula for this, sometimes it pays off and, if you haven’t done your homework, sometimes it doesn’t.

What I do know is that if you don’t refresh your shop and shakes things up a bit now and again it will affect sales. When a new shop opens it brings new excitement to the high street and being the inquisitive creatures we humans are we want to check it out. The first few weeks of trading can often be above expectations but after a while things settle down and that initial rush of customers will slowly turn into a constant trickle.

If you take a shop like Merci (picture above), in the old historic quarter of Paris, their basic shop interior remains the same but they constantly refresh and reinvent the main entrance space, usually to promote their latest collaboration or campaign. This keeps the customer shopping experience new and exciting, customers keep coming back and there’s always something to talk about.  Merci really knows how to focus on what the customer sees and manages to deliver lots of visual content in their store. And we all know how important visual content is!

Whatever size of retail operation you run there is something to be learned here. I’ve seen this work time and time again and it doesn’t need to be costly. I recently worked with a retailer who had been trading for over ten years with a maximum budget of £1500.00. With a bit of DIY, lots of ingenuity and hard work they completely transformed the look and feel of their shop.  They saw an increase in sales of 25% in the first week, followed by 20% in the second. Although these increases have now slowed down dramatically they are still trading up on the previous year.  Needless to say they recovered their cost quicker than anticipated, cleared a bit extra for future events and now have a space that will afford them the flexibility to do this more often without breaking the bank. They did their homework, understood their customer base and kept a watchful eye on their competition. A positive return on their investment!

However you choose to take this forward, in terms of shop design you need a flexible solution that will allow you to change things around, refresh and make a striking difference with little or no cost. Aim to always be the new kid on the block and keep the customers coming back. And yes, it’s hard work, but if you are going to have the most inspiring shop and run the most successful retail operation in the area then that’s exactly what you need and lots of it!

All the best

Peter
#visualcommunicator  #retailconsultant  #designer
tel      07907 691711

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