Fix it up right!

How often have you thought of changing the look of your store and how many times have you been able to translate this thought into action? Or when did you completely renovate your outlet last?


Renovating a store is a costly affair and retailers have to plan it wisely. Basically, renovation is a cumbersome activity and demands couple of months of running around. It takes time to be back to work on normal mode. However, there are ways to escape those arduous days of shifting, closing and renovating your store. Store layout is the most versatile aspect in any outlet. The slightest of changes made inside the store can give it the much-needed vivacity. Creating an identity of your store with exquisite fixturing details and furniture pieces can be the talk of the town and make a statement!


Fixture mix

With the availability of sophisticated and newer kinds of fixtures, retail fixtures can do today wonders for any store. Important thing to be kept in mind is the right mixing of fixtures that are in tune with the store category. Mr Huzefa Merchant, Director and Partner, Safe Enterprises, says, “Fixtures play a key role in the look and feel of the store. Good display fixtures used correctly can improve sales figures dramatically. They constitute a key part of the interior theme of the store. Fixtures can define the brand positioning of the products. Correct fixtures can save you valuable retail space.” The best kinds of fixtures are flexible and give you ample opportunity for makeshift activity and can be reconfigured with little or no investment. Flexibility being the USP of such fixtures, slight changes made here and there can give a new face to the store and adds to the excitement and interest of customers. Mr Nagaraja R, Director (Design), Four Dimensions Retail Design (India) Pvt. Ltd, says, “A part of retail identity, fixture is displaying or merchandising the product in the fullest visible or stackable and presentable manner. For example, jeans selling stores can have rugged, unpolished metal fixtures to highlight that particular brand’s personality. The look and feel of the whole store can be changed through the planned fixture design to bring about the store brand identity.”


Materials used for fixtures

Fixtures are usually made up of wood, metal or materials such as pressed wood and fibreboard. Taking into consideration shop category, budget, shop size, fixtures are used and laid out. Of very late, custom made fixtures have gained popularity among retailers as these cost-effective pieces enhance the look of the metal in use. As for newer category, lightweight, easy, compatible, transportable and durable fixtures have become favourite for any retailer catering to any format of retailing. Fixtures can be used for any kind of merchandise and Gondola is the most versatile fixture. Fixtures made up of metals are largely replacing the age-old wooden ones and also fixtures of other materials because metals are now being molded into customised fixtures that are not only easy to maintain but also portable. Regarding the latest technology, Mr Nagaraja says, “Laser cutting, router cutting, high-end punching and few more techniques are being followed.” Complementing this information, Mr Merchant says, “The use of different finishes given to metal or wood, machinery for giving final touches to fixtures are today’s technology.”


Different stores, different fixtures

For any store, it is essential to have fixtures and the décor must resonate with its brand and image. The crucial point is that the family of fixtures should reflect the store brand. For instance, a store catering wooden furniture and related items should have wood-based décor and fixtures. This will spell out uniformity and catch customers’ attention. Similarly, a jewellery store requires another set of fixtures, different from if not in contrast with that of a footwear outlet. In this context, Mr Nagaraja says, “Some stores need not highlight fixtures so that the product is seen and the fixture is merged into or with the store. If the identity or the purpose needs the fixture to be seen, the detailing of fixtures is worked out so that the fixture is highlighted as an identity.” Every store has different fixture requirements. Given below is category-wise differentiation of fixtures:

1       Apparel:  Fixtures used in such outlets can be mirror displays, garment racks, low gondolas, tables, mannequins, ladder system units, chain linx displays, perimeter hardware, garment circle, rectangular bench, wire tube units, floor fixtures, slat wall accessories, grid-wall slat grid, glass tube units, floor fixtures, tubular 2-way or 4-way racks, necktie racks etc. 

2      Jewellery: Acrylic and mirror displays, countertop displays, earring cards or insert trays, jewellery boxes, pouches, ring and bracelet displays, trays, mobile showcases.

3       Footwear: slatwall accessories, gridwall accessories, shoe-fitting device (men and women), collapsible shoe rack, double sided display, shoe mirror etc.

4       Watches: 5-way watch displays, acrylic hand and watch stands.

5       Kitchenware: display racks, slatwall accessories, gondolas, shelving etc.

6       Electronics: display racks, slatwall accessories, gondolas, shelving etc.

7       Bookstore: 3-tier oval display table with caster kit, slatwall accessories.

8       Cosmetics: spinning shelves, acrylic and mirror displays, countertop displays, earring cards or insert trays, pouches, ring and bracelet displays, trays etc.

There are certain fixtures that can be used in all kinds of retail outlets. Amongst them are multi-level tables, nesting tables, pedestals, mobile utility work carts, wall mount hooks, turn tables, shopping baskets, ceiling clips, slatwall panels and connectors, bull nose shelving, backroom shelving, poster display racks, spinning racks and peg board hooks.


Create your signature store

Every retail outlet needs, at some point of time, change owing to change in consumer behaviour and expectation. Fixture being one of the flexible elements in outlets, it can be played around in the best possible ways to upgrade the look and feel of stores. However, it’s not a simple job for different stores have different fixtures needs and setups. The entire setup inside a store should have more or less modular arrangement that can be altered easily. They should be workable in terms of fixing them up and thereby easy in maintaining them. Mr Merchant says, “Fixturing is part of the store’s branding, fixtures should fit in the products’ brand image. Moreover, products are different from each other in terms of what is essentially to be highlighted. Intelligently designed fixtures can help you highlight your products.”  With wide range of fixtures available in the market, retailers have multiple choices. A store can be designed in a way to bring out the uniqueness of the store irrespective of the product’s availability in most of the outlets. Working on every possible detail of fixture and adding exquisite antique pieces can make a store become a signature retail outlet in itself.

Stay on top – Get the daily news from Indian Retailer in your inbox