man-and-vans-b-and-qThe owners of B&Q are talking up how they have cut the price of a store refit from £2.5m to £1m by using wood-effect vinyl instead of wood and painted MDF backboards for displays. Managers are learning to live with grey shelving instead of a warmer-looking cream.

Shoppers notice the produce, not the fixtures, suggests one executive. But only up to a point! Most local retailers will extract the maximum possible life from their fixtures, sometimes taking too long to change equipment that has become tired.

But, as in all business, the key to success is in getting the balance right. Shops need to be refreshed and with a purpose.