Why would you allow your customers in your store as you transform the experience and install a new shop fit? Sounds crazy, unrealistic and has so many questions surrounding this process. BUT, for some industries this is a legal requirement, such as Pharmacy, Medical Centres, Physios and Dental – they are required to meet the local community needs. While for other businesses it makes perfect sense commercially. Let’s explore the three steps to a successful trade through:
1) A clear roadmap of development from your shop fit specialists
– It is essential all stakeholders understand the trade through process and that disruption that will occur.
– Work through clear timings to manage the end to end process and be aware of critical milestones.
– Understand where in the process there is likely to be increased noise and dust.
– Identify critical business needs such as an IT shut down requirements.
– Know when changeover happens to enable merchandisers to be locked in to remerchandise
– Be ready for shopfitters as they move around the store i.e destocked shelves
– Get a list of contacts should you have any questions through the process. Communication in a trade through process is even more important.
– Remember, it could take more time than your standard shop fitting process. Depending on the brief, a trade through will be like completing 2-3 fits outs, due to restrictions on a site that cannot be undertaken during trading hours.
– Aim to be flexible. Not everything can be planned for.
2) Good internal planning of the temporary store layout into a smaller footprint is critical.
– Condensing the store in to half its size is the temporary challenge – but being happy this can work for your store is the first step.
– Ensure key products are still on display
– Identify if any new shelving and displays are required
– Display visible signage to encourage customers to ask for products they cannot find
– Display visible apology signage to customers explaining we are improving our shopping experience – excuse our temporary store layout.
– Seek additional storage in the interim for stock excess products
– Shop fitters will work with the local team to explain daily actions, maintain good communication, ensure safety at all times and support the business needs enabling them to continue to provide good customer service.
3) Understand the cost and budget process
– In some instances additional costs may be incurred in the trade through process due to the inability to quote for what could not be seen at the briefing stage.
For example, a floor may be topped with a cement aggregate underneath the existing floor coverings. Certain unforeseen wiring / data may be damaged in existing walls.
– Make sure when budgeting for a trade through fit out you always allow a contingency for any unforeseen works