Are you overlooking these crucial spaces in your retail fit out?

coop store

When fitting out your retail store, you’re most likely focused on providing a great customer experience to drive sales and brand engagement. Which is exactly what you should be doing.

But are you also remembering to fit out your retail environment in a way that provides a great staff experience?

We need to recognise that retail spaces are workplaces like any other – you wouldn’t expect office workers to perform at their best in a sub-par space. So why do we expect retail workers to?

Retailers need to consider how they can implement great workplace design to improve productivity and boost employee engagement. After all, engaged retail employees connect with customers and drive more business.

Unfortunately, some spaces within the retail environment are commonly overlooked during the fit-out.

Break Rooms

The break room should be a space where retail employees can relax, feel calm and get a mental break from what they’ve been doing all day i.e. it shouldn’t be used as a storage room and should be kept entirely separate from interruptions of the working day. To achieve this, the break room should have everything the employees need on their break such as recycling bins, comfortable places to sit and eat as well as some form of privacy from customers.

Break rooms in a retail environment are also a great space to show your appreciation for staff by going the extra mile even in the simplest of ways e.g. getting soft sofas and chairs rather than hard plastic ones, installing USB charging ports, using a hot water tap rather than a kettle to make lunchtime teas faster…

One of the most common mistakes made in break rooms by retailers is that they don’t invest any effort into highlighting the brand. Break rooms in different stores often look identically undecorated, boring and uninspiring. These retailers miss a massive opportunity to give employees a sense of belonging that can massively improve motivation and productivity. Using brand colours and designs can make all the difference to retail employees which will be reflected when they’re out on the floor dealing with customers.

Stock Rooms

Since customers rarely see the stock room, many retailers ignore the design and fit-out of this space. However, employees still need to regularly move around stock rooms to complete their jobs so consideration needs to be put into how these spaces can be used more efficiently, can be more organised and can create a positive atmosphere that carries over into the customer-facing retail spaces.

The fixtures and fittings within a stock room can improve how efficiently the space is used, allowing you to stock items more safely and at a higher volume. Understanding exactly what employees need from the space allows us to design warehousing and stock room systems that will be fully utilised e.g. if shelves are too high and hard to access, employees will be less likely to use them.

Similarly, the layout and functionality of the stock room should help employees be more organised during their shifts allowing them to be more productive overall. Simple adjustments like labelling, colour coding or numbered slots can make it faster and easier for employees to find the products they’re after.

As part of our fit-out programme for Screwfix, we work hard to provide warehousing solutions that are in line with the brand and staff needs.

As with break rooms, stock rooms present retailers with a huge opportunity to inspire their workforce. Sadly, this opportunity is often missed in favour of cheap lighting, bare shelving units and blank walls. Not only can these spaces be used to promote the values you have as an employer, stock rooms and break rooms can be used to share important information and updates with your team in a visually pleasing way (that is more likely to be seen than an A4 print our tacked to a white wall.)

Transaction Points

Although these are not exclusively part of the staff experience, transaction points are still sometimes overlooked within the fit out process of many retail stores. So much effort goes into creating great spaces that attract customers into the store and keep them moving around but it’s important to remember that this is still a critical part of the customer experience.

Not only is there an opportunity for you to upsell additional products to committed customers, but it’s also the last impression of your brand that they are likely to have for the day – so make it a good one. Reward customers for purchasing by including an exclusive experience as part of this journey.

Maximise this final opportunity to get your brand message and values across to customers by ensuring your transaction experience aligns with everything else they’ve been through in your store.

Of course, the shop floor should be the focal point of your retail environment but don’t overlook the spaces that will be seen every day by employees. The message these spaces convey will ultimately be the long term impression people have of your brand.

Interested in how you can reach the full potential of your retail space? Get in touch with our retail experts to discuss your project.