Principles of retail design

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Even In the current economic climate, there are still a number of brave independent retailers taking the plunge and redesigning their retail environment.

Refreshing your retail environment need not be a risky business if executed correctly. In fact, a refit can still be a sensible investment during these difficult times. According to Justin Eaton of Replan, one of the leading shop fitting companies, now is the perfect time to refresh.

“It may seem a huge risk, but an appealing retail environment is what customers want to see,” said Justin. “They don’t want to feel that the retailer is struggling in the current climate; they want to have confidence that the retailer will weather the storm and still be there for years to come.”

The benefits of a redesign

A shop refit is an obvious opportunity to update the store’s visual image and even in some cases a rebranding exercise. However there are also key business objectives that need to be addressed, such as increasing footfall and maximising floorspace.

Other reasons at the top of the priority list for any independent retailer are reducing staff costs, increasing security and improving stock flow all of which should result in increased sales opportunities.

Customers want to shop in a modern environment reflecting the high-tech products on sale in an electrical retail outlet. They are looking for the latest technology especially in the brown goods sector and they expect the shop to be equally up to date.

Essential elements

Replan has a tried and tested method of working with customers – a step by step process to make sure all parties are comfortable and working towards achieving the same objectives.

An initial meeting to assess the current situation involves taking a detailed brief to cover the requirements of the redesign, both in terms of meeting business objectives and also the new look and feel of the shop.

Initial visual ideas and Computer Aided Designs are produced and presented to the client. This usually covers everything from product positioning, interior design, and special feature areas to lighting and floor coverings.

A great example of this is Shop@Panasonic, Edinburgh which lately received a refit. The store had recently joined the Panasonic family and Replan created a modern and welcoming retail environment.

The store designs were individually tailored to the client’s requirements, including subtle touches and improvements to enhance this particular store. For example, a wall was removed giving an extra 6ft of shopfloor and Replan streamlined the look of the store.

Bill Forbes, owner and manager of the shop said: “Replan forecast three weeks for the refit and it took exactly that. The finished store is better than I anticipated and our sales have dramatically increased since reopening a month ago. We’ve gained a lot of new business and quite a few customers have commented on how fantastic the store looks.”

What service does Replan provide?

Replan is a full service shop fitting company with over 25 years experience, providing interior design, modern professional shop display systems, and general contracting services, including ceilings, lightings, floor coverings, shop fronts and signage. The family-run company is known for its flexible working practices and long standing relationships with clients.  All new fits from Replan are backed by a five year guarantee.

Clients have a single point of contact at Replan from the outset. The company aims to provide guidance and support throughout the whole refit process. This allows each project to remain flexible at every stage and Replan maintains its relationship with each client once the project has reached completion.

Budgets

Budgets can vary enormously. Obviously, refitting one wall to display modern flat screen TV’s will be far less expensive than gutting a shop and starting from scratch. Replan can advise retailers how to make the best possible use of both their budget and their space.

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