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Remodeling Your Store

When it comes to remodeling your store creativity honors both the customer and the sales staff resulting in increased sales. Retail experts say you should put a fresh look on your store every 2-3 years whether it’s with a fresh coat of paint, new flooring or lighting and your store should have a full remodel every 4-6 years. Stores that haven’t been renovated in 7 years or more fall into patterns and traps with the sale staff repeating the same merchandising habits again and again. But with a newly renovated store, staff can rethink the entire merchandising strategy of the store.

Renovating your store does more than transform the look and feel of the space. It boosts management’s confidence in the future of the store. Employees take more pride in the look of the store. A store renovation increases your customers’ confidence that the store is in business to stay and is growing and results in improved sales for your store.

However, remodeling a store isn’t something a business owner can do alone. Though you may find yourself thinking you know how to design your store better than anyone else, you should consider that big retailers look to increase their sales at least 10% to 40% after a major remodel which is why they hire an expert. An increase in sales will more than pay for the cost of hiring an expert.

Professional architects will help you to focus on the brand you want to convey. The best time to revisit your brand and how you want it delivered to your customers is during a store renovation. From first impressions to traffic flow, lighting, materials used and size of fixtures, the message of your brand will have a direct impact on your store’s sales.

Professional architects can also help you to make a list of what works and what doesn’t work in your existing store. Taking time to list what you like and dislike about your existing store uncovers more information than you may think. Some businesses hire a facilitator to pull in key staff members for this exercise. While it’s easy to focus on the negative, resist the temptation, taking a step back and looking at what does work as well. This exercise should start and end with things you and your staff like about your existing store. All staff should put themselves in the shoes of the customer. You should talk about the area of your store you hate to merchandise. It’s also helpful to ask your regular customers what they think. Get everyone’s input, including new employees who haven’t been institutionalized. Taking photos of store areas and critiquing the images also aids this exercise.

What’s many folks find most intimidating about a store remodel is how much space to allocate to each department. Be sure to use existing measurements of your store, sales forecasts and help from an expert or professional architect to determine how much space everything needs. The last thing you want for your newly renovated store is a cramped cash wrap area. If you find yourself getting impatient as you wait for drawings to come back from the architect, you can turn to Floorplanner.com for free web based software to brainstorm and dream about your newly renovated store’s space.

Once you know the new layout, the right blend of materials can only be accomplished when you keep an eye on your brand and your budget. As a general rule, your newly renovated space should include one warm element or color, like wood or paint in earth tones, one cool color like greens or whites and two to three accent elements that carry throughout the store. Once the floors are installed, the painting is done, you’re ready to move in and enjoy your newly renovated store.