jai singh, store layoutAs part of a global trend UK supermarkets have done incredibly well at offering competitive advantages like good locations, long opening hours, product ranges and services, attractive environment, customer care and of course low prices.

But a big part of this success story is heavy investment in appearance, i.e. shop layout and design, lighting, ergonomics, signage etc. Appearance is crucial as it attracts and invites customers to their shops. It is not only the supermarkets who have invested in appearance so too have all of the big high street names. Take a look around your high street and see how so many retail outlets have upped their game on appearance.

It is a simple concept, first impressions count! There is a lesson here for small retailers who have neglected investment in their shops. I have been involved in the retail sector for over 20 years and have been a keen observer of what is happening in the CTN and convenience sector. Over the years I have watched retailers refitting and modernising their shops and benefitting by increasing their turnover and profits. I haven’t come across a single retailer who said he has made a mistake by doing this.

Investing in a makeover is a major decision and requires a lot of capital expenditure but it pays dividends. It is estimated that the payback period can be anything from 18 months to two to three years. But look at it from another angle. If you want to sell your business, you have a much better chance of selling an attractive and well-fitted shop.