5 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Retail Refurbishments

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5 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Retail Refurbishments

When you think about it, a refit of a retail space is basically just another type of renovation project. Whether that means updating the aesthetics to bring them into this decade, or adding on new functionality via an extension or conversion; the end goal is still the same: improve the user experience and make your business more profitable in the long run. The challenges are different, however. While residential and commercial renovations can often focus on aesthetic details like paint colors and new flooring, a refit of a retail space needs to be functional from day one – no matter how much we love exposed brick and industrial-style lighting. As such, there are some key considerations when planning your next refurbishment project...


Know your budget before you get started

How much does a retail refit cost? Well, that depends a lot on the size and scope of your project. However, you’ll want to make sure you know your budget before you get started. There’s nothing more frustrating than getting a project started only to find out you don’t have enough money to finish. Retail projects tend to fall into that “gray area” when it comes to estimating costs, so knowing how much you can realistically spend before you even begin the design process can help you avoid some headaches down the road.


Plan for the inevitable (and always unwelcome) surprises

Like every renovation project, inevitably, you’ll find some surprises once the walls come down. We’ve found that surprises in retail refits tend to fall along two lines: structural and utility-related. Structural issues tend to be things like load-bearing walls that weren’t marked or known to be there, poor framing or floor structure, or items that have shifted in the years since the building was constructed. Utility surprises tend to be related to the presence of utilities like gas and water lines that weren’t marked or known to be there. At the end of the day, every building has its own story to tell. No two projects will be exactly the same, and that’s why it’s important to plan for these surprises.


Consider your audience and purpose

Who are you trying to appeal to with your new retail space? Are you trying to attract a different demographic than you currently serve? Does your store face an unusual challenge, such as being located in a heavily tourist-oriented district? You may be able to solve some of these issues by changing the layout of your retail space. You can also change the aesthetic to better appeal to your audience. For example, you can make your retail space more open and airy to appeal to customers who prefer a more open and airy feel.


Renovate the most important areas first

Where do your customers spend the majority of their time? Which areas of your retail space see the most traffic and use every day? Start there. Those areas are the most important when it comes to keeping your customers happy, efficient, and spending more money. Start with the layout of your retail space. How are customers entering the building? Is it easy to find the products they’re looking for? How efficient is the checkout process? These are all areas that have the potential to significantly impact the user experience. You can also look at the aesthetic of those areas with an eye towards updating them.


Don't forget the small things

While the layout and aesthetics of your retail space are important, don’t forget about the smaller items as you’re planning your refit. Some quick and easy upgrades that can make a big difference include installing good lighting, investing in a good sound system, and installing a modern-looking cash register. These smaller items can help you avoid common retail pitfalls, such as poor lighting that can cause eye strain and make customers less likely to make a purchase. A sound system that is too low can cause customers to feel like their voices are too loud, which can lead them to leave the premise at a more frequent rate. A modern-looking cash register can keep customers from feeling like they’re shopping in the 1950s.


Bottom line

It’s important to note that you don’t need to refit an entire store to make a difference. In fact, for most businesses, it would be financially unrealistic. You can, however, make small, strategic changes to improve your retail space. That said, when you’re planning a retail refit, it’s important to remember that most customers don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the aesthetics of the retail space they’re in. Start with the layout and functionality of your retail space, and then add in the aesthetics and style to help it become a space customers love to spend time in.


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