Top tips for lighting up your retail space

By Michael Trevethan, Marketing Manager at Leach.

Given the significant upturn in online shopping throughout the Coronavirus lockdown, bricks and mortar retailers need to consider bolder, brighter, and more immersive in-store offerings if they are to entice customers back into their space.

While some high-street brands have already started to reopen, many are still contemplating how their outlets may look in the long and short-term. Here, Michael Trevethan, marketing manager at graphic display specialist Leach, looks at how good lighting can help to transform these all-important customer-facing environments.

1. Make a memorable first impression

Now more than ever, it’s important to remember that first impressions count – and can be made in less than seven seconds. Fail to deliver the right initial impact and potential shoppers could easily walk right past your doorstep.

2. Don’t forget the windows…

Linked to the above, it’s easy to forget that lighting shouldn’t be all about the main store space. The eyes of passers-by will naturally be drawn to visually appealing window displays, even in the daylight. The British weather only provides bright sunlight for a proportion of the year, so on gloomy days or in misty fog, a well-lit window will continue to gain attention.

3. Think ‘outside the box’

Once the decision has been made to incorporate lighting into a retail environment, try to showcase something out of the ordinary. If it’s the same product that exists in every other high street store, the display won’t necessarily provide the ‘wow-factor’ that will draw shoppers in.

4. Seek professional advice

New products and trends come onto the scene in rapid succession, and it can be quite overwhelming for retailers to keep on top of the newest lighting innovations – and this is where the experience of an external graphic display expert is key.

5. Go bold – and eco-friendly

It’s important not to be afraid to be the first to try something new in a store. Key trends such as ultra-thin or curved lightboxes with bright LEDs can provide eye catching and eco-friendly options at no extra cost – reducing retailers’ carbon impact with no detriment to the visual offering.

6. Use rear illumination

One option to consider is rear illumination of products. Many stores – particularly where footwear is concerned – place their merchandise on uninspiring walls, which don’t traditionally do their goods justice.

7. Consider free-standing lightboxes

Many retailers believe that lightboxes and other illuminated graphic displays must be attached to walls. This isn’t the case – freestanding options can be placed at various points around a store, to brighten any area of the space and highlight key products.

8. Glow in the dark

Don’t miss the opportunity to maximise window displays by switching them off at night. Many stores are based on high streets or in shopping centres, that still experience footfall until late into the evening.

9. Get started!

With the right team in place to assist in the development and installation of a structured design plan, illumination has never been easier – or more cost-effective!

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