Knowing when to renovate can be the biggest obstacle. While remodeling your commercial space is usually necessary to meet your business needs, the costs oftentimes will fall at your feet, not with the building owner or lessor – especially if you choose to renovate in the middle of an existing lease instead of negotiating a cost agreement at the beginning. Therefore, remodel too early and your business may not be able to sustain the financial responsibility or the downtime required for a larger renovation. Putting it off too long can cost you in other ways too, though, as a remodel can increase the perceived value of your business and your merchandise. The potential for lost revenue is a gamble you shouldn’t have to take.
If you’re simply not ready for a major build out or renovation overhaul, there are plenty of basic facility maintenance steps you can take, as well as inexpensive ways to remodel on a tighter budget:
Deep Clean and Declutter – This doesn’t mean that things need to look sanitized or alphabetized. If your store was designed to have that “treasure hunt” style of merchandising, we encourage it – and your customers probably expect it. The decluttering we suggest means making sure there are no unpacked boxes of inventory sitting in the corners or behind your register, and that it’s easy to find the things you and your customers need in your stockroom. We also suggest that you hire a commercial cleaning company to give your store a thorough scrubbing. Clear out dust balls, strip and refinish the floors, make the light fixtures shine and clean the mirrors in any fitting rooms.
Update the High Traffic Areas – Think about the top 5 areas of your store –the areas seen upon first entering, the check-out area, the areas with the most-purchased merchandise and the areas with the highest foot-traffic, such as thoroughfares. Keep what works, shake up what doesn’t using new product displays, shelving, lighting and paint. Consider adjustable wire racking – they’re easier for you to personalize and update and easier for consumers to find the products they want. Not to mention that they look more streamlined and clean than bulky, dust-catching shelves. You can also invest in updating your fixtures and adding color. Don’t be afraid to be unique and stray from the neutral tones, either.
Look Down – If stripping and refinishing your floors still leaves them looking a bit lackluster, then consider starting your renovations at the bottom. Would you prefer a nice carpeted feel, or do you want to replace your tiles with the look of wood? Your floors influence your customers, so they are worth your investment. You should also consider replacing just a section of your flooring to highlight a certain product path or high-traffic area; show your customers exactly where they want to go and the best way to get there.
Now, Look Up and Out – Don’t let a broken or dull sign and façade dissuade customers from coming in; revamp the exterior of your store and your outdoor signage through decorative elements and colors. Inside, keep distractions to a minimum by removing any large signage and only providing guidance for shoppers. Keep them moving in the right direction and looking at the products.
Apply these tips to give your store a fresh look and attract new customers. If you need help, we’re here for you; we even have Value-Engineered Options that can save an average of 10-15% on your construction project. Then, when you’re ready to invest in a major renovation and need some more advice, revisit our blog or give us a call.