Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Store Advice Part 1 – The Basics

Opening a store can be a tricky business, particularly if it is your first store. Shelving4Shops is here to help every step of the way - from designing and planning to the supply of your retail shelving.

We know that ensuring customers have a great experience in your store means repeat business, and it's these regular clients that keep a store going through the good and the bad. In a series of blog posts we're going to look at some useful tips on setting up and maintaining a successful shop. Here's part 1 - the basics:

1) The Entrance – It might seem obvious but simple things like making the entrance to your store free from clutter is vital. Your entrance also needs to make it easy for pushchairs or wheelchair users to access the store. Shopping baskets should be located close to the front entrance and should be kept clean and in good order so that customers will want to collect one as they pass. Do you need to upgrade your shopping baskets, perhaps purchase some with wheels? Would shopping trolleys be required for your store? These are all questions that you should ask yourself when opening your doors for the first time.

2) The Walk Round – Take a walk around your store and look at things from a customer's perspective. Are the aisles wide enough for disabled customers? Will that box or pillar stop pushchairs getting through? When planning your shop it is easy to forget details like pillars and awkward corners, so if you have a complicated space make a real life floor plan. Spending half a day doing this can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. At Shelving4Shops we're more than happy to go over your floor plan with you to help you choose the perfect shop fittings and shelving to suit your requirements. Once the store is set up keep the floor free from obstructions and make sure your stock is placed neatly on your shop shelving so that nothing protrudes out into the aisle.

3) Lighting – A flickering overhead light is very distracting and can make your store look unmaintained. If you have faulty or blown tubes or lamps make sure you replace them as soon as possible. Be aware that insects can sometimes get trapped in your lighting, so make it part of your cleaning routine to remove these regularly. Good lighting is essential - a dark and gloomy store is not inviting so make sure you use all of the natural light available and keep your overhead and wall lights well maintained. Lighting can also be used to draw attention to your retail shelving or display stands if you have any special offers.

Old and Tired Lighting
New Bright and Clean Lighting 

4) Smell and Cleanliness – You know the trick of increasing the chance of selling your house by brewing coffee or baking bread or biscuits to make it inviting? Well the same applies to your store. The smell of a store really depends on what you are selling - for instance, a convenience store might have the smell of freshly baked bread or fresh fruit and vegetables as soon as you walk in the door, and a café would do well to have the aroma of fresh coffee and cakes. Bad smells, on the other hand, can put customers off before they even reach the door. Make sure your store is clean and tidy, from the shop window to the store room. Nothing will damage your business more than a bad reputation and this can come from something as small as being untidy and badly smelling. 

5) Maintaining Standards – So many times we have seen stores open and be fitted out with brand new gondola shelving and magazine racks only to go back three years later and see a tired looking store with broken EPOS and grubby plastic strips, and, on occasion, dented or missing shelving. These things are of course likely to happen in a busy store, which is why Shelving4Shops not only sells complete shelving units but also their component parts, so if you're in need of a new shop shelf, brackets, or back panels just give us a call and we can help.
Old Worn Out EPOS
New Clean EPOS
At Shelving4Shops we pride ourselves on our all-encompassing services. We offer a planning service to all of our customers and will gladly advise you on store layouts. Please see the second blog in our Store Advice series for for more information on setting up your store.

If you need any retail shelving, magazine shelving, components, counters or other
accessories please visit our website, www.shelving4shops.co.uk or call us on 01455

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