I am fortunate I have a very good friend who is an absolute whiz at designing and optimizing retail space. His name is Gary Finnan of the GFC Group and he knows umpteen times more than anyone else I know about retail space and how to make it work creatively. Not too long ago, the two of us were talking about retail space and what is needed to optimize it, so I thought I would pass some of these along.
Of course we both agreed that the first thing that any retail space must do is to tell your stories. It should reflect the positioning you are trying to achieve and the image you want to project. In addition, the décor and merchandise should be linked to the marketing objectives and to your winery events. What merchandise and decorations should do is look good, help sell your wine and fit in with your messaging.
One of the things Gary advocates is creating a retail space that is mobile. For example use bars and other fixtures that are moveable, so you can change the configuration of your space to accommodate your busier and slower times. If you have a large retail and tasting space you might want to move things around to make it look smaller and cozier in the off season, when there aren’t as many visitors around, and bigger when you need the space in the busy season.
Budget is often times a deterrent to wholesale change, so create a phased master plan. As money becomes available, you move forward with the next part of the plan. Also leave some money in your budget to take advantage of trends. If you can only invest in one thing, start with lighting, it will make such a difference to everything that comes after.
Lastly, don’t think of your retail and tasting space as static, keep things moving. Not only will you sell more merchandise if you move things around, you also make the room more interesting for staff and customers alike.
A tip of the glass from me to you!