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The heavily anticipated and much-needed resurgence of in-person retail shopping is finally materializing as pandemic-induced restrictions begin to lift across the country. Many retailers are looking for ways to get the most out of the renewed traffic, and re-evaluating their retail store design to improve the shopping experience is topping the list.

Whether you plan to host a grand re-opening or are ready to tackle a much-needed space overhaul, a store refresh has many benefits. Approaching the project with a well-thought-out plan will save you time, money, and headaches. So we have put together a checklist for retail store opening to help you confidently navigate the process and create a more inviting and positive shopping experience.

Keep reading for a step-by-step outline of ten things to consider that can help prepare you and your team for a successful retail store opening or grand re-opening.

1. Rethink your retail store layout

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The first step – and perhaps most critical – is to consider your store’s current layout and how you can change it to encourage more browsing and better flow, both of which can help increase in-store purchases. It’s a good idea to consult your team in this process, especially those interacting with customers on the store’s floor. Their observation of customers’ shopping patterns will provide invaluable input and help you determine the most shopping-friendly store layout. You should also consider social distancing protocols as you rearrange your merchandise, fitting rooms and front desk or checkout areas.

2. Plan out any infrastructure changes you may want to make

Once you have your retail store design plan completed, pinpoint and list any structural changes necessary. You can save a lot of time and money if you leave the basic infrastructure (plumbing, ductwork, electrical, etc.) in place and work around it. Are you planning to tear down walls? Make sure they are not load-bearing to avoid setbacks to your timeline and budget. Also, if you are leasing the space, clear any structural plans with your landlord first.

3. Check your store’s floor and walls for any damages

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Renovating a retail store provides an excellent opportunity to thoroughly evaluate your space for floor and wall damage that needs addressing. For example, are there scuffs on the walls or floors of the customer restrooms or dressing rooms that need attention? Has any of the interior paint faded? Do the floors need restoring due to wear and tear? Your store’s floor and walls create the framework of your space and should look well-maintained to increase appeal.

4. Repaint your interior to make everything look brand new

There is no easier way to give your space a facelift than with a fresh coat of paint. When choosing the best paint colors for retail store remodels, we recommend consulting a reputable commercial paint company with experience in space design. They will have the knowledge and expertise to recommend paint colors for retail stores that help create the most favorable customer experience possible. 

5. Cover your floors with a fresh coat of epoxy

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Worn-out concrete floors, typical in commercial spaces, can look dirty and reflect poorly on your store’s image. Including a new epoxy coating in your retail store renovation budget is smart and can provide multiple benefits, such as: 

  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Seal & level floors
  • Minimal business interruption due to fast cure times
  • Meet ADA, FDA & USDA guidelines
  • Low environmental impact (low VOC’s)

Epoxy coatings come in multiple colors and decorative finishes, and an experienced provider will be able to recommend the best option for your space.

6. Rebuild your product displays

If new product displays are in your new retail store design (which they may be after reading this part), here are some psychological factors to consider when designing. Yes, research supports that these factors influence shopping behavior, so take note. 

  • Put displays near aisles to slow shoppers down and draw them in.
  • Keep high-profit products at eye level.
  • People are naturally drawn to rounded shapes (ex: u-shaped displays or vignettes).
  • Incorporate product QR codes for easy price and product research.

7. Paint your store’s exterior to match your target customers’ preferences

Marketing 101 says to know your customer. What are their preferences? What color palettes appeal to your target audience? A great exercise is to stand a reasonable distance away from your retail store (like across the street) and view it as your customer would. What do you see? How does it make you feel? Would the exterior of your space make you want to step inside? Let this evaluation guide you through the exterior paint color selection. 

Even if your store’s color scheme doesn’t need changing, it probably needs a refresh to make the exterior look cleaner, newer, and more vibrant, especially if you have been closed for a majority of the last year. Each of these considerations will make your storefront more inviting to those passing by. 

8. Create an eye-catching window display

Are you displaying new or popular items in a way that visually communicates their appeal? Could your display be picture-worthy? There’s nothing better than free advertising on Instagram or Facebook! An eye-catching window display can stop people in their tracks and increase their chances of entering your establishment, so we encourage putting some serious thought into the design and layout when renovating a retail store’s exterior.

9. Pressure wash your entrance

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An inviting entryway invites entry! Faded, peeling paint or dirty-looking exteriors are a turn-off. To give your retail exterior new life, add pressure washing to your checklist, if applicable. Pressure washing can remove years of grime and damage and provide the exterior with a sparkling, new look.

10. Add welcoming final touches to your store

Like the window display, adding welcoming touches to the exterior of your store will attract attention. Some things to consider are landscaping, benches, awnings, murals, or fountains. Customers that are drawn to your retail storefront are more likely to enter and shop.

Creating a space (outside and inside) that appeals to your customer is essential to retail success. The average retail store renovation cost isn’t cheap, but it’s a necessary part of staying competitive. Plus, consider the return on your investment. The more inclined customers are to step through your doors, the greater opportunity you have to engage with them and make more sales. 

These recommendations can happen all at once or in phases. Either way, they will help keep your retail space inviting and appealing to the people that matter most – your shoppers.

Are you planning to refresh your space with interior or exterior painting or a new epoxy flooring? Precision Painting and Decorating has been professionally serving the Chicago and Cincinnati metro areas for over 15 years. Our highly experienced team of painters and designers is well-known and highly regarded for efficient, responsive, and best-in-class service. Get in touch today.