When the term shopfitting is applied to a retail store, it means that the shelving and merchandising displays of the store have been carefully designed and manufactured to make the best use of all available space to maximize every square inch for its best use in making sales and storing products. Companies that specialize in shopfitting, and the people who work for them, are considered shopfitters. Let’s examine advantages of hiring companies that do this type of work and how to choose a good one.
Have you ever walked into a retail store and had a difficult time finding anything that you’re looking for? Then when you’ve found it, the item wasn’t displayed properly for you to decide whether or not you wanted to buy it? Or, you decided to buy, but the available product wasn’t anywhere near the display, and the sizes and colors were impossible to find without plenty of extra help from sales people? These are the reasons why customers don’t return to a store, and will most likely tell their friends about the poor experience they had there as well. A well laid out floor plan, shelving and displays are all what keeps clients returning for repeat sales. Which is why most retail businesses hire shopfitters.
When a top shopfitter company lays out the design for a store, they will be taking into consideration the total sales plan in order to maximize the dollars spent from each customer. A quick example would be an auto parts store, where the quarts of oil, which are a low profit percentage item, are located near the oil filters, which are a high profit item. Then, extra tools to help do the job are located on the ends of aisles nearby to capture impulse buys from the customers attracted to the other products. Those tools are some of the highest markup items sold in the store, so making sure they are well displayed and easy to find are worth taking the time.
It’s important to note that having products properly displayed and convenient to find is necessary for restaurants, cake shops, retail stores, and even a doctor’s office in order to maximize the amount of dollars generated per customer. If you are selling ice cream cones to plenty of walk in clients, but also have displayed ice cream cakes, specialty syrups, or even aprons for mother’s day, you will sell extra add-ons to a certain percentage of the customers that enter your store. Additionally, customers may return to your business to buy products that they had seen in the past when the need arises, because the products were well displayed on a previous visit.
By keeping the products in the store neatly arraigned in rows, with like merchandize logically grouped together, you can cut down on the number of employees needed to help customers find what they need. Some customers will never ask for help, or will be impatient and leave if there isn’t a sales clerk waiting to locate items immediately, so it’s important that the back up stock for most products is located on the sales floor and easy to find right near the display. Having to search the warehouse for a particular size or color is a horrible waste of time and expense for the business owner, and not good for customer retention.
Not all shopfitters are going to have the right kinds of shelving and displays to fit every kind of shop, it’s impossible. If you are a new business you will want to pick a certain style that you prefer for your shelving and displays, then search for a company that can supply those at a reasonable price. It might help to do some research on your own by visiting other shops you hope to emulate with your business, and be sure to take notes as detailed as possible because there are many different types of shelves, racks, counters, and displays, each coming in a variety of colors and sizes.
There are some companies that will just sell you the shelving you ask for, or order it for you, but not do much else. Other, more experienced shop fitting companies will actually insist on visiting your location in order to help design the layout, traffic patterns, lighting, cash registers and customer help locations to make sure you are successful in your new business. If you are just adding a new cloned location to several other stores, you probably can just buy your racks and be done. But if you are a new shop owner, it’s best to get some expert advice, from top to bottom, to get started.
Thanks to the internet, you can now research online to find the products you need and the design advice as well. Most qualified shop fitter companies will have their years of experience prominently displayed on their website, plus some customer reviews to read though to help you decide. It is also a good idea to contact some similar businesses to yours in other areas, to get some recommendations from the owners as to who they used when outfitting their stores, then visit their websites on the internet for more information. If you can’t find a local shop that you want to emulate, don’t hesitate to search online for just the right shop, then give the owner a call no matter where they’re located in the world.
Finding just the right company to design and outfit your retail store is something you should spend some time on. By picking your style, design and budget, then finding the right professional to put it all together, you’ll be happier with your store and so will your customers.
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