Retail Store Remodeling: A Quick Guide To Improving The Shopping Experience By Improving Your Retail Store.
In retail, nothing is more important than satisfying your customers, and a big part of doing this is providing them with a fun, easy and interesting shopping experience when they visit your retail store or multiple stores. The reality is that at some point everything gets old and retail environments are certainly no exception. As a brand or retailer, you can’t expect your customers to continually be satisfied or happy with the same old experience year after year. You have change things up now and then, and sometimes that means remodeling your store.
Why remodel a brick-and mortar store when online shopping is so popular?
While it’s certainly true that online shopping has grown quite dramatically over the past decade, a trend that was amplified further by the coronavirus crisis, the majority of shoppers still like to visit their favorite stores. In fact, the ability to provide interesting, exciting and personal shopping journeys is the single greatest advantage brick-and-mortar retail has over e-commerce. This is precisely why it’s so important to make sure physical retail environments are optimized and updated to provide the kind of experience customers desire.
What is retail remodeling?
Let’s start by describing what retail remodeling isn’t. Retail store remodeling not a reset. A store reset it involves carefully rearranging shelves, stand-alone units, displays, signage, and fixtures usually in an effort to make the store more navigable and easier to shop. Essentially, a reset mean sprucing things up bit. Retail store remodels, on the other hand, involve extensive changes and substantial investments designed to breathe entirely new life into the space. Walls are knocked down. Windows are rebuilt. Architectural elements are added or dramatically changed. When customers step inside a remodeled store, they are in for an entirely new, and hopefully exciting, shopping journey.
6 things to consider when remodeling a store.
A retail store remodel is a tremendous undertaking, not to mention one that usually comes with quite a large financial investment. It’s important to make sure your money is well spent, which means making sure that your plan is well-thought-out before you so much as raise a hammer. While there are no hard-and-fast rules to retail store remodeling, there are some important considerations that can help you plan more effectively, streamline the process, focus and guide your efforts, save you money, and, most importantly, ensure you end up with a remodeled store that does exactly what you want it to do – dazzle your customers!
1. Determine what you can use that’s already in place.
Yes, in a retail store remodel you’re looking to revamp the entire shopping experience for your customers. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t aspects of your existing store that you can’t use to your advantage. For instance, using the same load-bearing beams, electrical panels (if not outdated or unsafe), plumbing, wiring, and gas lines, will definitely, and possibly dramatically, lower the cost of your retail store remodel. If you can work with some of the existing infrastructure, particularly those things that are behind the scenes, it’s a good idea to use it.
2. Think cost-effective but dramatic in your store remodel.
You’re not remodeling to make a minimal impact. You’re looking to make big and sweeping changes, but you still want to make them in the most cost-effective manner possible. There are three areas that tend to make the biggest impact in a store remodel that also happen to be relatively cost smart.
Walls & Ceilings: It might be knocking down walls to open up the space or widen store aisles. It might be incorporating unique textures, adding architectural panels, or creating accents using wallpaper, graphics or even graffiti-style art. Think of walls and ceilings as blank canvases that can catch your customers’ eyes. It doesn’t have to be dramatically expensive to make a dramatic impact.
Flooring: There are some incredible (and relatively affordable) advancements in retail flooring out there that help you create the environment you desire. From incredible vinyl plank flooring that resembles natural wood and countless other surfaces to industrial-inspired flooring that adds a modern, artistic flair to any design.
Lighting: Changing lighting can add to your store remodel in two different ways. First of all, today’s lighting options really can help you create the mood you’re going for, whether it’s sleek and modern, soft and natural, loud and industrial, or anywhere in-between. Additionally, if you are currently operating with outdated lighting systems, new lighting packages can deliver tremendous savings in the form of energy efficiency over the long-term.
3. Pay special attention to the entrance.
In retail, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression because if you don’t deliver day one your customer is probably not coming back. This is why in any retail store remodeling project, it’s important make sure you get the entrance right. When a customer steps inside your store, they’re going to instantly make critical judgments about how it looks, feels, sounds and shops – even if they’re not doing it consciously. This is the transition from the outside world into your retail environment. Make it positive one!
4. Create a logical path for shoppers to follow.
One of the biggest advantages of a retail store remodel is the ability to improve the flow of your store. By doing things like widening certain aisles, narrowing others, and creating key focal points for impulse purchases, you’re able to help your customers navigate the store more efficiently and effectively.
5. Exterior facade and showcase windows.
This consideration depends on whether you’re retail location is freestanding or within a mall or shopping center. If you operate out of your own building, the exterior facade can play a major role in attracting or dissuading customers. Additionally, many exterior renovations can improve energy efficiency which can lower heating and cooling costs. If you’re store happens to be in a mall or shopping center, the presentation you make to those passing by is absolutely critical to stopping them in their tracks and getting them to come inside. Design your store exterior and feature windows to pique curiosity among customers.
6. Don’t forget technology
There are new retail technologies available and being launched all the time that can have a tremendous impact on how customers experience your stores. From high-definition signage and displays to new interactive technologies like VIBA, the Virtual Interactive Brand Ambassador. VIBA Smart Signs come in more than 120 configurations that allow customers to engage with virtual reality sales agents, watch product demos, learn about product features, and much more. VIBA adds a jaw-dropping futuristic technology to your environment, while also helping you provide more personalized service to your customers. If you’d like to learn more about what VIBA can add do your retail stores, visit www.vibaconnect.com.
How much does it cost to remodel a retail store?
So, you’ve considered all your options and have a clear vision for your retail store remodel. Now you want to know how much this thing is going to cost you. It’s impossible to pin down exact remodeling costs in a blog as expenses depend on things like materials, contractors fees, and the overall extent of the renovation. That being said, according to an article posted by dumpsters.com, the cost per square foot for an average retail remodel is roughly $200, covering materials and labor.
Is it cheaper to remodel or build new construction?
Remodeling is usually substantially less expensive than building from the ground up. Here’s another advantage – it’s also almost always a lot faster. Besides, if your location is already in a high-traffic area, such as a popular shopping mall or busy shopping promenade, then why leave that coveted location when you can accomplish the changes you need to attract more customers with a retail store remodel.
Some retail developers might argue that new construction gives you the advantage of being able to do anything your heart desires (you’re limited by budget, not imagination) and remodeling forces you work within the confines of the existing space. This is true, but it’s also not quite accurate. Remodeling allows for a lot of customization. Granted, there might be some physical limitations to what you can do, but the right team can create an entirely new atmosphere regardless of size and configuration limitations. There’s another thing to consider and that’s resale value. If you build from the ground up and invest a lot of extra time and money creating the ideal space for your retail business, it most likely won’t be the ideal space for other businesses, and that can impact the resale value of your investment should you ever want to sell.
If you’re a brand or retailer interested in learning more about retail management and operations – from store design and merchandising to staffing and the latest advancements in retail technology – explore the services of The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-TOC), a leading provider of people and technology solutions to Fortune 100 companies. Learn more at www.trocglobal.com.
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TROC is the leading provider of premier staffing outsource, software, managed technology services, and consumer insights for the top global brands, retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and distributors. The company’s distinctive solutions address the entire lifecycle of brick and mortar brand and retail operations by combining retail expertise, best practices, and technology to help its customers achieve sales and operational excellence as well as a sustainable competitive advantage. As a Retail 4.0 thought leader, T-ROC enables companies with high-value products in the physical world to thrive through the digitalization of the physical shopping experience. To learn more about T-ROC, visit www.trocglobal.com.