Can I still do a redesign on a limited budget?
Absolutely. We are often tasked with solving this age-old issue of delivering a champagne level customer experience on a beer budget. Effective store design isn’t necessarily all about a new look, form and or feel of store, it is about an experience and customer promise. What does my store convey to my customer and why would they want to shop with me?
Always think about it from the customers perspective and take action accordingly. First thing we advise is to clean up and declutter your store. This is something that is often overlooked and is absolutely free. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and always ask the question: would I patronize a store the was dirty and difficult to shop? Neither would we.
Consider the layout of your store and how it flows as a customer shops. Is it convenient? Does my customer have to navigate over pallets of bottled water to get to the coffee? Sometimes a little bit of creative repositioning of existing shelving, equipment and displays can make a significant improvement in the shopping experience. And it is also free.
Brighten things up a bit. A fresh coat of paint, new ceiling tiles and upgraded lighting can go a long way with limited cost. People tend to respond a better to a bright, well lit environment. They come more often, shop a bit longer and ultimately buy more of what you are offering!
Updating certain zones is a tactic that can make an impact without updating the entirety of the store. Think about where you have an opportunity to ‘move the needle’ and focus on that area. You can leave the center of store out of the thought process so think perimeter, think fresh. For example, upgrading the coffee program with a destination brand, perhaps introducing bean-to-cup is something that could kick-start a lagging part of your business. Is my grab-and-go program on life support? Should be up front, visible and screaming fresh. Let the product be the showcase and ensure that it is merchandised to capture the breakfast . . . and lunch . . . and dinner crowds that are shopping your store multiple times a day.
Good retail design can never be a replacement for high quality retailing. Remember your customer promise. It is unique to your business and something that is at the epicenter of every successful retailer. Part of that promise, whatever it might be, is in how your customers perceive your treatment of them be it fresh, clean, safe or otherwise. Keep and operate a store that you would shop in everyday and the customers will reward you with loyalty, frequency and increased sales.
In your corner,
Andrew Swedenborg is retail expert with more than 20 years of experience within the convenience and grocery industries. He has worked with numerous retailers in the branding, design and deployment of retail concepts nationally. Contact him at [email protected]