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Makeover magic: Designing the perfect retail space for your business

Showcases

When the original colour scheme for this shop-in-shop at Pommier Jewellers didn't fit with the store's décor, Andre Pommier worked with the manufacturer to tweak its design.
When the original colour scheme for this shop-in-shop at Pommier Jewellers didn’t fit with the store’s décor, Andre Pommier worked with the manufacturer to tweak its design.

No doubt, showcases are one of the biggest design elements in a store and also one of the priciest. You may find the ones you have already fit with your store’s new look, but if they don’t, refinishing them is one option to consider. Before you start shopping for a supplier, check out their portfolio online to get a sense of the kind of look with which they are comfortable. And don’t forget about security. The less expensive a lock, the less secure it is in comparison. Top-of-the-line hardware runs you in the neighbourhood of $200 apiece, however, Claassen says most offering reasonable security cost about $60. In addition to floor pattern or lighting, showcases also serve as a way to direct the flow of traffic through your store. Your goal is to get people to walk around and spend more time in the store, so really consider how showcase placement will work to your benefit.

Lighting

Coaxing the sparkle out of a diamond is critical, particularly if bridal is a substantial portion of your business. But be warned. Lighting conditions vary depending on the product you’re showing. Yellow gold and red, yellow, or orange gemstones look best under warm light (i.e. 3000 K to 3500 K on the Kelvin scale), while diamonds look dirty unless under cool light (i.e. about 4000 K to 4200 K). Lighting is expensive up front, Claassen says, but pays for itself over time. “You should educate yourself on what the options are and what the focus of your business is,” he notes. “Engagement rings are the profit centre for most jewellers, so don’t skimp on lighting.”

Interactive displays

More and more, interactive displays are becoming fixtures in the retail space. Whether allowing clients to peruse inventory on an iPad or to virtually try on rings or watches, stores are going high tech. And it’s not just during business hours, says Marcotte. Storefront displays are becoming more popular as a way of enticing consumers to come back. “The store may be closed, but there’s an LCD monitor in the window telling you what’s going on inside. You can show jewellery or different themes like Christmas and weddings.”

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Overall, the goal of any store redesign is to generate the optimum return on investment, Minagorri says, and that’s directly related to the ambiance it creates. “You want to be able to walk into your store 10 years from now and still feel the ‘Wow’ factor. You also want the store to match the beauty of your products. Imagine being an employee walking into a place that has positive energy. That transfers to the way the employee feels and how he or she is going to [sell].” Marcotte agrees. “When you do a redesign, not only do customers get excited, but staff members do as well. When they get excited, that generates business just by itself.”

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