Six design mistakes to avoid in your store

Careful planning can head off potential problems with your retail space before it’s too late.

Retailers know they must provide quality products and good service to thrive, but too often, they overlook the importance of store design to their success.

Shopkeepers sometimes try to cut corners or simply don’t plan their commercial space well. They may skimp on lighting fixtures, for example, or fail to allot enough space for the inventory they will need to carry. “There is a tremendous amount of failure in retail,” says Jerry Birnbach, a Somers, N.Y.-based store-planning consultant. “Had [store owners] done a little due diligence upfront, they would not have failed.” Here are six common mistakes to avoid when designing your store:

1. Failing to do a thorough inspection of the facility
Your store space might seem like an ideal fit for your needs, but there could be hidden problems. From incorrectly placed electrical fixtures to poorly designed air conditioning units, such problems could cost a fortune to fix if you don’t catch them before signing a long-term lease. Birnbach advises bringing in an architect or contractor to inspect the space before committing, no matter how ideal it seems. “There are so many hidden skeletons,” he says. “These are things you need to know upfront.”

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