Retail has been around for a mighty long time and one thing we know is that there are a lot of different approaches when it comes to designing the interior layout of your store. However, there are also some common design strategies that all retailers can employ that lead to generating more sales for the business. Retail design is a creative and commercial discipline that combines several different areas of expertise together in the design and construction of retail space. Retail design is primarily a specialized practice of architecture and interior design, however it also incorporates elements of interior decoration, industrial design, graphic design, ergonomics, and advertising
The design concept will tell the brand story and create impressive experiences, to do this the brand needs to putt up head-turning window displays and signage’s which are essentials to invite customers to come and in buy your product and services. Many franchisees forget this and they try to compromise on the quality of products that they use for the store. If the franchisor gives a specification to make the franchisee store look good, the franchisee cuts corner to save few lakhs, but some franchisors take turnkey projects to avoid this kind of bad practices by the franchisee, let me explain in detail how it affects the store and the customers. In case if you have used second or third quality products it will show off one day. I was visiting a store and i found they have used a particular band for the switches and the toilets, in the store i was very proud and casually asked the franchisee this would have costed you quite a bit he they told me these are duplicates that i have picked up. Latter i went to the same store after some time and i found that the print on the switches were vanishing, some of them have gone inside the box and looks very week, some of lights which were fixed were falling off from the ceiling. Some of the lights were not working and some part of the store looked dark. Franchisees think they will fool the franchisor by doing the kind of work but they do not know they are fooling themselves.
It so important to use the right materials prescribed by the franchisor, when it comes to retail interiors, the whole thing is in details. Right form the signage the wood that we use the bulbs that we use, the paint that we use. Once I was talking to a interior designer who does the interiors/fixtures for major retail brands (http://www.infinitegroup.in) mentioned most of the franchisees try to cut corners by using cheap materials and infact the bulbs which are used in the signage’s will not have watts mentioned, which are specified by the franchisor. You will see just after the installations few months later it will not be burning in the nights and there will be dull look, sometime the vinyl sheets/ or acrylic used will be of poor quality. This will pull down the visibility and the customers look at the brand cheaply.
So, before you start the work check with the franchisor if they have their own vendor, some franchisors will have an empanelled vendor and some will just give a list to choose. What is the advantage of getting the interiors done by the company emplaned vendor, we could save on the rental holiday period by completing the work on time since the vendor will have good experience?
The floor planning is very important, having a straight box type flooring will give us a good space planning and it will give option to display the goods in a manner where customers and pick them up as quickly as possible to be billed. There are different types of floor layout planning which are called Grid, Race Track, Spine, herringbone layout and Free Flow. Using these types, the store is designed to help the customers to navigate the store to help them take impulse or informed purchase decision.
Display of mannequins in the right places or racks and display items are very important. Having a good POS (Point of Sale) software is very important for helping the customers to check out at a faster pace, if you have seen some stores we could pick the items from the store faster due to layout or the store design but the check-out will have a huge crowd, may the POS is slow, make me the hardware used may not be up to the mark. Constant innovation and technology use of bar code and various other easy to use things like the swipe machine etc. are very important and play a part in the excellent service to the customer.
Giving the awe feeling to the customers is not just the service alone it involves more with aesthetics and the look and feel of the store, today everyone wants good service and they like to spend money only if the place is neat and clean. Customers expect good ambience and good air-condition to be part of it. Having a great shopping experience involves all these aspects.
Driving in the a shell petrol up gives a great feeling with the warm folded arms to welcome the customer, they request us to keep the cell phone, make a neat line and they clean the front glasses and ensure the bill is given as early as possible to ensure we exit with a good feel from the petrol pump this is an experience, there are regular customers who visit this station for this experience. If this could be for petrol a regular commodity how much more we should be careful to provide, for a restaurant, retail store and convenience stores. Let’s hope each and every one in business does not cut corners in making a good store for great experience in ambience and aesthetics which is also important to build great brands.
The author of this article is Dr.Chackochen Mathai, Founder & CEO of Franchising Rightway with over 28+ years of experience in the field of franchising in India and abroad and has worked with major brands. He holds a Ph.D in Franchise Management. An author, family life educator and he is an invited speaker in many leading forums and Universities; he can be contacted at +919884051455 or visit www.franchisingrightway.com for more details.