“We’re in the final stages of opening our new entrance as part of a complete refurbishment from the back to the front of the store. We’re using the old entranceway, but we’ve created a walkway into the store. Before we used to only have a single door, so it was quite difficult for us to get equipment in, but it was also tough for customers with double buggies and mobility scooters. The new one now has a fully accessible ramp and has double doors that we can open up in the summer. It’s made it a lot more accessible and welcoming for the customer.
“We’re a Grade II listed building, so we’ve taken it back to a more traditional look. We’ve not gone overboard with advertising or anything. We’ve tried to keep it quite simple and in keeping with the area. The impression you give to people outside is important. We’re in a village in a conservation area, so our signage is wooden instead of metal.”
Reuben Singh Mander
The Three Singhs, Selby, North Yorkshire
“It’s about keeping things simple. You can’t have any rubbish outside. We sweep outside a couple of times a day and make sure the fascia is cleaned once a week. It’s got to be easy access. If you’re getting a delivery, there still needs to be plenty of room for people to walk into the store. Doorways are important – if someone has pushchairs and 18 bags of shopping, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to come in. We have a lot of parents who come with three or four kids, so we have to make sure it looks easy to access and that it is easy to access.
“We try to avoid advertising and promotions at the front of the store. We’ve got double doors and the bottom half is just the door. The top half is glass with no posters so you can see fully into the store even if the doors are closed. There’s then a promotional bay right in the entrance so you can get a good view of that from outside.”
Da Shop, Cheadle Hulme, Stockport
“If you look at my store you’ll see that I’ve tried to create a community feel outside the door. I’ve put picnic benches outside because we have lots of elderly customers and they want somewhere to sit. People are used to standing outside and using the store as a meeting point, so we’ve made it easier for them with the installation of the picnic benches to give the area out front a nicer atmosphere.
“Our windows are open and we make sure the store is well lit so everything looks bright from outside. We’ve also got spotlights outside the store that we put on at night so the whole store is lit up like a Christmas tree. It’s all about being bright.
“I also deliberately chose not to go with a national fascia because if people have gone into one fascia group store and had a bad experience, they won’t go to that store again and they’ll think twice before they go to another with the same fascia.”