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Convenience Store Fitout - A List of Ideas

Convenience Store retailing is a very special  part of Commercial Fitout.
And the word "Convenience" has its own underlying vocabulary in the Fitout world.
Let's start with some of these key words:

Fast In/Out Service
Easy to Navigate, Excellent Zoning, Visual Breaks in the Aisles
Clear and consistent Wayfinding
Know the Local Customer Demographic

Here's some ideas to consider when setting up or renovating a convenience store-

Fast "In Out":
Grab n Go is the word, so focus on ready-to-go items.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner all of these "ready to eat" or "quick to prepare" meals  are the staple items of a good convenience store.
Depending on your demographic, make sure all of these meals are covered. Convenience store  customers aren't likely to be the types who stock up for the longer term.
They're much more likely to use the store as a "Go To Stop" when a quick meal is needed on the run, or as an "Emergency Stop" when the unexpected happens.
Food on offer should therefore be very visible, immediately appealing and easy to access and prepare.
Open Display, both refrigerated and non-refrigerated should be of the highest appeal and towards the front of the store.

Good Navigation:
Your customers have to be able to find what they want easily and quickly so good navigation is essential.
A convenience store fitout needs low profile aisles to reach good visibility throughout.
Avoid long, monotonous aisles which confuse and fatigue your customers.
Keep up interest by creating aisle breaks.
A well placed main display is also an essential to arrest customers' attention so that on entering, they slow down to study, touch or try what's an ever-changing attraction.
The counter with point-of-sale has to be highly visible and non-threatening with plenty of clear space for queuing.

Signage and Wayfinding:
Aisle directories, Secondary Signage, Wall Graphics, Checkout / POS Signs and Lights all of these need to be considered as one.
To get it right, so that the store fitout really works well, all signage must be consistent and be part of the look of your brand.
Engage a Graphic Designer to help to develop your "look" then follow that through with all of the signage. This means, a consistent colour scheme, font, size and so on.

Know Your Customer Base:
Get smart & personal. Make sure you grasp a good understanding of who the customer base is.
Getting to know the types of shoppers and the nature of their trips to the store is the key.
Location is right up there: the type of neighbourhood, proximity to a transport hub, whether there's street parking, if there's mostly multi- unit dwellings or single houses, if it's close to a student hub, where the large supermarkets are and so on.
Get to know the special needs of the locals so you can really service them.
Celebrate local produce, local events and themes,  involve other local traders in your service, establish a relationship with customers.
All of these will help build loyalty to your store and your brand.
Beat the big supermarket players hands down!

So, back to that word "Convenience".
It can't be ignored.
Customers want it, Retailers have to provide it.

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