The Retail Shopfront on the Street: What to Consider
Finding the right premises to set up shop on the streetfront can be difficult.
The style and appearance of the shopfront is a major consideration in this process.
Retail shopfronts contribute a great deal to the character, flavour and streetlife of an area.
They're also instrumental in attracting business.
So what should we be looking out for as we search streets for the right premises?
Here’s 4 major points to consider:
- Consider the Street Scene:
What effect does the shopfront design have on the rest of the shopping strip and on the street as a whole?
Do car parking, traffic activity, bus stops, footpath signage impact on the look of the shopfront?
Will an open front design work in this street or is it going to be impacted by too much noise and pollution?
- Consider the Building:
Does the current shopfront design add to the individuality and character of the building?
Does it pay respect to the locality as a whole?
How do the proportions of glass to solid material look in relation to surrounding shopfronts?
Does the building have any historical or heritage significance which will open up new guidelines and circumstances for making any changes?
- Consider Disabled Access:
Does the current shopfront comply with Building Codes which enable disabled access to the building? Rules concerning particular door widths, their direction of opening & closing, accessible ramps, tactile entry tiles, specific handrail details need to be carefully followed and certified.
Check to see if the building has any exemptions.
- Consider Awnings:
Many buildings will already have their own awning structures.
Is it possible or worthwhile reusing what is there? If so, have it thoroughly checked for its engineering and strength.
Are there council or landlord requirements to keep the supplied awnings? Check first.
Consider the awning in terms of a presence and statement of your shop branding.
Does the awning provide character and a presence? Does it give a great opportunity for signage?
Of course, after these considerations, if the existing shopfront doesn't come up to scratch, then a new design will fix that.
Getting it right can reap rewards.