I have a small salon and don’t have the space for retail. Any suggestions?
It’s more important to consider what you will do with your limited space. Often a metre wide will be enough! The important thing in retail store design is to think about the environment you are creating- it is far more beneficial to have a small one metre retail area that works for you than a large area that doesn’t shift stock.
A custom built unit is obviously best. If you’re on a budget and want to use an existing unit then think about how you can make a feature of the area through lighting. LED lights are inexpensive now and make a big difference to retail units- they really give the space its own identity.
Be wary of just using standard glass shelves in a handy alcove though- often just putting products on a shelf will look dull and you’ll struggle to create an ACTIVE retail area that talks to your customers.
I have an existing retail area that is not doing particularly well, but I don’t have a huge amount of stock. Are stock levels that important?
Absolutely – stock levels are a major factor and you should always have your retail area well stocked with a wide variety of different professional products to choose from. It is really important that you look like you are open for business and that you have the image of a professional retailer. You are never going to achieve this unless you are well stocked up.
Fully stocked shelves with variety invite people to reach out and buy, whereas shelves that are low on stock and minimal will look like a display that’s not for sale. People won’t buy from something that looks like a display but they will buy from something that looks like a professional retail area. Look at supermarkets and department stores and the way they display their products- there is a reason why they pay people to constantly fill the shelves. And ensure variety.
Should I be displaying information about the products? I don’t want to put people off with information overload…
Always display information on the products and don’t be afraid to educate people. In salons the retail area is usually by the waiting area/reception, so often clients have a few minutes to browse. Giving them information on each product is simply giving them a reason to buy that product- people need solid reasons to pay a considerably higher price for your professional hair care products. You need to make your retail area active and the only way you will do that is by clearly pricing and pointing out the benefits of each product. This should always be kept simple and concise- don’t blind clients with science, but simply tell them in bullet points or in a few words what the product does and who it is suitable for. By doing this you are instantly connecting with them and giving them reasons to buy.