Few things can be as big of a deal as remodeling your store. It gives stores the opportunity to expand, offer new services and even rebrand, as well as create a general air of excitement among students and alumni who want to see the new store once it's complete. In fact, statistics show that a remodel can significantly boost sales.
Unfortunately, it can also be a big headache. Even if you time your store's renovation with subsequent construction on campus like a new student union, a complete remodel is a very expensive and time-consuming venture. Furthermore, it can interfere with your business to have entire sections of your store closed off for weeks at a time while building teams work.
Do you worry your store looks stale but you don't have the money, time or resources to do a full-scale remodel? Don't worry, you can freshen up your store's look every few years if you need to, without breaking the bank. Use these tips to give your store a face lift, on a budget.
Clean up your ceiling and walls
Go ahead, take a quick break from reading and glance up. Did you see old, cracked or crumbling ceiling tiles? If so, taking the time to order replacements for any that need it is a quick and relatively inexpensive fix that can make your store instantly seem newer and more inviting to customers as they enter. If it's painted, a fresh coat will go a similarly long way.
And speaking of painting, how do your walls look? Repainting your store every few years isn't a bad idea in keeping things looking fresh and new, and it provides an opportunity to re-evaluate your color choices. According to Entrepreneur, using your school colors can create brand recognition, and colors like orange can calm your customers while reds can encourage them to buy.
Brighten up your sales floor with new lighting
New lighting fixtures can be relatively inexpensive and provide a subtle but effective new look, but even if you don't or can't change your fixtures themselves, be sure to periodically replace all the bulbs in your store. Some bulbs may age sooner than others, which can create unbalanced lighting in your store that customers might find off-putting. With fresh bulbs store-wide, you might notice your staff and your customers have brighter attitudes to match the brighter lighting!
Fix your aging fixtures
From shelving to display tables, take a look at the fixtures used throughout your store. Are they just plain worn-out? It might be time to start replacing your display pieces. While there are plenty of furniture or fixture vendors that cater to retailers, you might save some money and give your store a more unique look by getting thrifty. Check resale shops or stores nearby for interesting or unique tables and chairs you can use for display or sitting areas to set your store apart and give things some visual appeal for your customers. Just be sure to try and maintain a cohesive aesthetic look — rugged, distressed wood tables and retro beanbag chair seating areas might be cool looks apart, but could clash or look out of place together.
Set a timeline and stick to it
Whatever you choose to do to give your store a new look, be sure you are firm with yourself and your staff about when you have your projects completed. Don't risk dragging them on. Some projects like repainting or replacing shelving might take more time, but if you spread them out over the course of a few months, you can get them done within a term and avoid feeling overburdened by renovations while you manage your many other bookstore-related tasks.
From interior renovations to a full-blown remodel, does your store have a new look? Let us know in the comments and we could feature it on Foreword!