As commercial shopfitters the Steampunk Fit Out team find themselves designing and creating interiors in a variety of sectors.

From bespoke retail boutiques and small grocers, to restaurants, spa salons and even offices, the team can – quite literally – turn their hands to any commercial enterprise or retail shop fit out that comes along, looking to add life to their interior.

But, of course, having a revamp of their shop, salon and or supermarket isn’t just about making the shop look better. It’s also to encourage more customers and ultimately generate far more sales. And that’s because the nicer a customer feels their environment is, the longer they will spend in it and the more likely they are to spend money.

Just think of any bookshop you visit – it’ll feel cosy (and even the big Waterstones will have cosy corners), neat and welcoming. All the books will be indexed and organised beautifully, making you feel less stressed and more likely to relax with a book and possibly a coffee and cake.

Yes, people have been going crazy buying good online over the past 12 months. But that’s been for a very specific reason ie lockdown. Now that the UK is opening up again we’re all pretty much desperate to get instore again. Who doesn’t like to test, try on, touch, see and smell when they go in to a shop, after all? Commercial shopfitters, of course, are very much aware of this and utilise senses in their design.

Meanwhile, you only have to look at how restaurants are booked months in advance to see how keen we all are to revisit other spaces again. Restaurants are busy, not because people miss the food (which they could order to their homes in many cases), but rather they long for the ambience and the whole experience of getting dressed up and going out.

The following are some of the ways we help our commercial clients maximise their floor space and entice customers to spend longer in their shop, salon, café or restaurant:

Keep entrances tidy

No-one wants to walk into a cluttered entranceway. Not only is it off-putting because it makes browsing and shopping in general difficult, but it also prevents you from using the space to its best advantage ie to promote a particular service or fabulous new product.

Use that first 15 feet of entranceway to wow customers. If it’s a restaurant you have then make them feel comfortable by offering somewhere to sit while you check to see if their table is ready.

Use the right lighting

Lighting is used to great effect in restaurants in order to create ambience ie cosy table lighting in bistros and at the bar area. Some luxury boutique stores also opt for targeted lighting to feature particular products while the rest of the shop gives off an ambient lighting vibe. DIY stores and supermarkets, on the other hand, tend to have bright lighting so that customers can read labels.

All commercial shopfitters agree that regardless of how bright or dark the store is, LED bulbs are a must. Not only will it cut back on your utility bills, but it will look better because it’s less of a ‘stark’ illumination than fluorescent lighting, for instance.

commercial shopfitters

Get green and airy

A love of life and nature in plant form is known as Biophilia and it’s a concept which is increasingly being brought into commercial environments. The ‘living wall’ is an excellent example.

As well as adding to the attractiveness of a store or salon, introducing plants to an environment improves air quality and reduces stress. It’s this ‘feeling good’ that encourages shoppers to stay and look around.

Show sense for customers

Appealing to a customer’s senses is just as important as the overall store design. Temperature, touch, taste and smell it all matters. An instore-promotion can encourage customers to buy a certain food product when they’re allowed to taste it. The same applies to sampling scented lotions.

Other senses to appeal to include hearing, by playing gentle background music to add to the feeling of relaxation. Then there’s sight (by getting the lighting just right). Temperature is important too – if a shop’s too cold customers won’t stay around to browse. The same applies for a lack of air conditioning on a humid day.

Tempt using technology

QR codes allow customers to read additional information about products, including reviews. This is info which would just be impossible to display in-store because there is too much of it to put on a poster etc. At the same time, customers enjoy ‘interacting’ with the product by checking it out on their mobile phone. It can be a further selling point too ie the QR code for a dress could go on to show what hat, bag and shoes that the store sell, matches it.

Fashion retailer GAP actually has a virtual fitting room in its QR codes – which is particularly relevant with coronavirus, but also great for shoppers in a hurry who don’t have time to try on clothes during their lunch hour etc.

Add extra accessibility

All new commercial premises these days are obliged to make their stores accessible. But there is always more that can be achieved. This includes adding handle rails to changing rooms and installing ramps in-store.

There are particularly stores where it just makes sense to have wider aisles too, such as those selling baby clothes or toy shops and where parents shop with kids in buggies.

Love your layout

Layout is important and is often dictated by the size of your commercial interior. There are four main store layouts that most commercial shopfitters employ. These are known as – Free Flow, Herringbone, Loop and Grid.

Free Flow is, as the name suggests, a design that allows customers to wander around at random. It’s particularly good for very small spaces.

Herringbone layout is equally good for smaller spaces but also works well in spaces which are long are narrow. Think a DIY store or the warehouse part at IKEA where you go to pick up your product.

And talking of IKEA… the way the Swedish store encourages shoppers to walk all round the store circular-fashion is a good example of the Loop design style. It means, of course, that they are faced with all the products on offer.

Grid layouts are good for larger spaces such as supermarkets and where you want to display as many products as you possibly can. Fancy displays (quality) take a backseat to quantity with this layout method.

Customers appreciate creativity

Displaying products creativity always gets good marks with customers. That can mean suspending items from the ceiling, displaying them on a carousel that customers can turn at random, or neatly styling goods on illuminated glass floating shelves.

Get in touch with our commercial shopfitters

Are you looking for a quality commercial shopfitter for your retail store, hairdressing and beauty salon, restaurant, café chain or shoe shop today? Then get in touch with the experienced team of joiners, craftsmen and interior designers at SteamPunk Fitout today.
We have more than three decades of industry experience and can showcase a number of similar recent projects. You can find these on our website To book a free consultation call us, tel: 0800 197 2922 or email us here.