As a business owner you don't need us to tell you that your shop needs to be in ship-shape! It represents your reputation, reflects your brand, and houses your stock. If your shop's impressive, potential customers are likely to assume your services and products are just as impressive and of a high standard. But your business premises is much more than just an eye-catching shop front and there is much to consider if you want your shop renovation to be more than a shop fitting, but a complete transformation instead.
1)Layout of your Shop: For a fully -fledged interior transformation, you'll need to consult an reliable and qualified architect in order to discuss and get all the precise measurements, accurate drawings and creative designs that you'll need throughout your shop fitting renovation. An experienced architect will be able to advise you how to get the most out of the space you have and, where your shop layout or size might limit you in some ways, an architect will be able to suggest innovative ways to optimise the space you have that may not have even have occurred to you.
2) Ceiling and Flooring: You may not think people look up or pay particular attention to where they put their feet but the ceiling and flooring elements of a property can make or break a good shop fitting. You need to consider what type of flooring will be safe for customers to walk on as they browse your products or services. Does your flooring meet national HSE standards? How will you ensure it is fitted properly? Is it easy to maintain? You'll also need to think about if the flooring is comfortable to walk on, as well as safe and an attractive style that complements the rest of your shop design.
Ceilings need to be thought about too. Are they too low? Are they safe? Taking the time to research the reliability and reputation of an architect before you hire them, such as if they have the relevant official accreditation (CHAS, FMB, NFB certifications etc.) is highly recommended to ensure fittings are made safely and to a high standard.
3) What Products You Sell: What items you sell or the nature of your business will have a great impact on your shop fitting. The furniture, counters and surfaces you opt for will all be influenced by what your business offers. A book shop would require multiple bookshelves to be laid out in a logical, easily accessible way. An opticians would need ample space to display glasses in neat forward facing racks. A travel agents would benefit from organised shelves to display brochures and space for chairs and desks so customers are comfy whilst visiting to book or discuss a holiday.
4) Storage: Following on from the previous point, practical storage is a must. You and your architect will have to devise practical, discreet and smart solutions to house your stock and other important items. From subtle drawers at the bottom of shop shelves to stash surplus stock in case the shelf gets empty and a customer is asking for a product, to cupboards behind the till, there are many options available to ensure stock is easily displayed and doesn't disrupt your customer's shopping experience.
5) Décor: Along with all the practical plumbing and security systems you and your architect need to plan, decor, including lighting, need to be factored in. Whilst decor needs to be professional, and reflect the chracter of your brand, lighting is important for both safety and aesthetics. The lighting needs to be bright enough for customers to spot hazards in your shop, bold enough to allow them to comfortable check out your products without being too much of an intense glare, and stylish.
Your shop is the first impression some customers may get of your business so any lighting you choose- whether it be down lighting or track lighting should all be symmetrical for an ideal fusion of light and style. It's common for most shops to invest in LED lights which are energy saving. LED backlighting can be a great option if you're after illuminating and highlighting every dimension of your shop.
6) Your Customers: Without your customers you couldn't have a business so their needs and preferences have to be a priority. Think about what type of people come into your shop? What age group do you cater for? It may be that your aisles needs to be wide enough to accommodate mothers with push chairs and be suitable for disabled people in wheelchairs. Your customers may appreciate air conditioning. A shop fitting is a big investment so you may want to carry out some customer research to find out what they would like to see when they visit your business and ensure your renovation is going to be worth it.
There lots of things to consider before you commit to a shop fitting and we hope you haven't been put off! With the right, qualified architect to advise you, you chances of success in your project are greater.