10 Ways to Renovate Your RV Store on a Tight
by: Linda Cahan
Change is a powerful tool for creating new business.
Have you ever noticed how customers always want to see the things
you’re moving around the store or, better yet, merchandise that
just arrived awaiting its “right” placement? There are some
easy and affordable ways to renovate your store that are equally quick
Clear the Clutter
We’ve all heard this endlessly. But I’ll say it yet again,
because it works better than anything else you can do to change the
appearance, energy, and ambience of your store. This doesn’t mean
that you have to look like a museum. This means getting rid of stuff on
the floor, behind your register, in the corners, and in the halls.
Clean out your stockroom and make it easy to find the things that need
finding. Start with one area a week until your store is done. It will
feel fresh and new to both you and your customers.
Focus on Focal Areas
If you can’t re-do your store, focus on the areas people see
first. Focal areas are the first five areas seen as people enter your
store. Take a survey among your staff, customers, friends, and family to
learn what those areas really are – not what you think they are.
Now, merchandise them with seasonal or colorful products. Add color to
some walls and add good signs. Make sure your logo is on each sign. Last
but not least, light each area up!
Play the Angles
You can direct how customers walk through your store by how you angle
your front mat, your fixtures, and signs. If you want people to move to
the left, angle fixtures and your front mat to draw them to that area.
Remember that every angle creates another focal point at the end of the
sight line, so make that great.
Update the Register
This can be as easy as repainting if your desk is wood. If you’re
stuck with laminate, look at using decorative tiles, de´coupage
(photos of people’s travels), add wood on top of the laminate,
rippled tin roofing (depending on your image), fabric panels, or tile
squares. Basically anything you can glue or screw onto your desk will
most likely make it more interesting than basic, boring laminate.
Paint is the magic fix for many areas. If your store has always been
neutral colored, liven it up! Add a great color on one focal wall and
watch the area pop!
Re-do Your Signage Inside and Out
Signs get old fast. You can update your store immediately by updating
your signs with fresh ones. Consider new sign holders. If you’re
currently using plexiglas and they are yellowed, scratched, or cracked,
it’s time for new ones. New ones are very affordable while the
old, broken ones make your store look old, unprofessional, and worn
Light it Up!
The trend is moving quickly towards LED lights. If you are getting ready
to re-do your lighting, LEDs are becoming more color-correct and
affordable. They will pay for themselves with energy savings.
You’ll be able to add spotlights on prime focal areas once you
reduce your energy and bulb costs.While redoing lighting is always
costly, when done right it can transform the look and feel of your
Add Color to Your Fixtures &
You can easily update your fixtures in several ways. For wood fixtures,
you can enliven them with a fresh coat of paint. If you have a table,
consider covering the top with a piece of foam board covered in fabric
(stretched over neatly and stapled to the back.) Use tape over the
staples to avoid scratching the table surface. If you have a shelving
fixture, cover the base of the shelves with fabriccovered foamcore or,
paint the back wall of the fixture to reflect more light.
Refresh Your Exterior
Re-do your exterior with new paint, plants, signs, and decorative
elements to add personality to your store. Make sure your sign is clean
and the lights that shine on it are working. Add a sign at eye-level if
you don’t have one already and remove all the credit card
Bring Feng Shui Principals into Your Store
Design & Décor
Get rid of anything that blocks your entrance including: trees, bushes,
garbage cans, boxes, umbrella stands, bunched up entry mats, fixtures,
or low-hanging flags. Move fixtures that impede the flow of customers
throughout your store and through each area. Remove sharp corners in
Add light to dark corners and to low ceiling areas. Look at fluorescent
wall washers to add good light to corners affordably.
Whenever you have a choice to add a decorative element to the store,
make it natural. Be aware that all the space in your store impacts sales
and the people who work there. This includes: stockrooms; hallways;
offices; restrooms; attic; basement; loading dock; parking lot (if you
are responsible for it); break room; and the back-door area. Any of
these ideas will immediately change your store, increase sales, and
attract new business.
Linda Cahan of Cahan & Company is an
internationally recognized expert in visual merchandising, working as a
consultant for independent and corporate retailers since 1971. She also
gives seminars, trains retailers, and writes for retail magazines. For
more information visit www.lindacahan.com.