During the lockdown, you might have had some problems maintaining your retail store, being forced to close down your premises and to stay at home. As much as you’d love to at least trim your shrubs or mow the lawn, some states have restricted commercial landscaping businesses from operating, though thankfully, maintenance work got exempted, allowing homes and commercial areas to keep their landscapes fresh and tidy.
Now that cities have begun re-opening a few months ago, your retail store must be back to operation again. But have you already given your customers a warm welcome?
After surviving months of lockdown, you deserve to celebrate a little. Your customers, especially the loyal ones, were surely thrilled about your re-opening and were probably expecting something special from your store. It could be discounts, special promos, or just a new store look that will invoke feelings of awe and cheeriness.
That said, here are the ways to give your retail store a celebratory makeover:
1. Enhance Your Storefront’s Look
Attracting and welcoming customers always start by having the right looks. But beautifying your storefront isn’t enough; a pretty facade may capture attention, but not convince people to walk in.
Hence, before deciding on paint colors, finishes, and shop signs, consider the area you’re in, your brand, and your target market’s tastes. If you’re located in an upscale city’s neighborhood, the residents there are likely looking for symmetry, modest decorations, and relaxing colors on your store’s facade. So start by repairing broken signage, cleaning the gutters, replacing torn awnings, and changing flickering light bulbs. If you need to repaint, hire a paint contractor to ensure that the job will be done flawlessly. Consider hiring professional cleaners as well if your pavers and other exterior structures need power-washing.
Talk with your landlord to find out if they will allow the site improvements you’re planning. Present a detailed design plan, so that your landlord will know exactly the extent of the changes you’re hoping to make.
2. Check the Gas and Electrical Supply
After months of disuse, the gas and electrical supply of your store might’ve sprung some issues. Check if they are still safe, and raise any sign of a problem to your landlord. They should be the ones handling repairs and resolve potential safety issues. It’s also worth noting that if the landlord neglects their duties to ensure the safety of their building, they can be held legally liable.
3. Upgrade Your Landscape
Now that winter is coming, your landscape needs to have some winter-thriving plants and blooms. Have the signature evergreen shrubs, especially the ones with golden foliage to celebrate the spirit of the holidays. Stock up on Christmas holly shrubs as well, like China holly and compact inkberry holly.
Include a tall perennial grass, like the plume grass, which can rise up to 11 feet in height, giving your entrance a touch of greenery and homeliness.
If birds frequently flock to your location, give them a treat by planting some compact American cranberry bush viburnum. It sprouts a generous amount of berries that birds can feast on during the winter. Plus, the shrub bursts out beautiful white flowers in May and June, followed by a red fruit. And as fall comes, it will offer gorgeous foliage ranging from red to purple.
Don’t forget your winter perennials. Some of the most stunning ones are the pink hellebores, lungworts, bergenias, and cyclamens; blue brunneras, tradescantias, and wild violets; and the bright yellow daffodils and coreopsis.
4. Redecorate the Interiors
Though your customers will already be happy enough to see your store as it is, it’s still nice to give them a little surprise. Add some interesting details around your shop, such as Christmas decorations, new plush seats, a cute giant ornament, and some unique lighting. Make your interiors look like it’s taken straight from an interior design magazine!
5. Give Your Customers an Unforgettable Experience
Nowadays, you would never find business premises without social distancing and no-mask-no-entry-signs, disinfectants, and acrylic barriers. As such, your customers are always reminded of the virus and the apprehension it spreads.
Therefore, offer something that will make your customers feel hopeful. Come up with new service styles that will spread good vibes. Show off that you’re following health protocols, with staff frequently cleaning surfaces, vacuuming carpets, and offering disinfectants to customers. Putting up framed typography with encouraging words may also make a big difference to your staff and customers’ moods, so fill up your counters and walls with those too.
By welcoming your customers with a fresh storefront and revamped interiors, your business will become a symbol of starting anew, and of staying hopeful that we will soon beat the pandemic, and smile without masks again.