Are you looking for budget-friendly ways to refresh your home furnishings store without breaking the bank? You’re not alone! In this blog post, we’ll give you ten tips on how to be cost-effective when updating the look and feel of your home furnishing store. From rearranging departments to signage and finishes, these updates can make all the difference in creating an inviting environment for customers. So, let’s look at how you can refresh your store without significantly affecting cash flow!
- Rearrange Departments in the Store. If you’ve been meaning to move departments around, now is the time to make some significant shifts. For one, ensure your upholstery and motion departments are near the front of your store and your mattress department. Bedroom furniture should be next to mattresses, with bedroom sets along as much of your perimeter wall as possible. Dining is a destination department, so locate it further from the front door—place dining furniture in front of other furniture categories that require walls for display purposes. Shifting around departments can increase sales and give your employees a morale boost. Interiors Home, Lancaster, recently relocated its entire mattress department to the front right corner of the showroom, lifting mattress sales immediately. They also reduced their outlet footprint to make room for a new Stressless presentation. The vendor supplied large-scale light boxes and digital screens that positively impacted the space and increased sales.
- Introduce Seasonal Products. Patio furniture is a profitable seasonal product to add should you have available exterior space on the front or side of your showroom or warehouse. These areas may be fenced off easily with planters or a movable picket fence. This furniture may need to be locked down or moved daily in and out of your showroom. Doing this is relatively manageable, especially if the category is only displayed for a few months each year. These outdoor areas have an additional advantage. They provide valuable opportunities to host grill-outs, live music events, and other family-friendly, promotable events to draw customers into your store.
- Create an Accessories or a Marketplace Zone. Carve out a dedicated area for accessory displays or a larger marketplace display. This zone will occupy minimal space and work well beside your customer service areas. Freestanding shelving units have successfully been used to create attractive displays in the middle sections of many furniture stores. Alternatively, they can be placed against a wall for easy visibility. Purchase accessories specifically for display in this zone to communicate to customers that you are not only in the business of selling furniture but also in the style business.
- Add Rugs. If you still need to get a rug program, consider adding one. Most rug vendors provide racks to retailers as part of their program. If space is an issue, smaller racks are available, often at no cost. Adding rugs to room set displays has many benefits. It allows customers to visualize how a rug will look in their homes and makes it easier for salespeople to segue into an add-on sale. Some retailers successfully enhance their visual merchandising by layering hanging rugs vertically from ceilings to create dramatic fashion statements. Doing this attracts attention and can make rug areas feel like a bazaar.
- A Two-Level Approach For Accent Chairs. Accent chairs are an essential part of any furniture store offering. Customers find it helpful to see the different styles displayed in one place. If you do not yet have a designated accent chair area, now is the time to create one. Accent chair displays work well within upholstery departments, next to rug departments, or near design centers. Group chairs in pleasing, eye-catching, and easy-to-shop ways. Either place them against a wall (similar to barstools) using the two-level approach or on display platforms to provide more visibility and interest.
- Apply Paint Freely with Trending Colors. Applying a fresh coat of paint is still one of the most cost-effective ways to refresh the look of a store. Although it’s the most basic of all materials, paint makes an immediate, noticeable improvement. Take movable walls to a warehouse or similar space where they can be easily painted. Or, consider adding wall coverings to create exciting looks. Feel free to use accent colors to punch up displays. Check out the “Color of the Year” or “Color Trends” from paint vendors for inspiration. Benjamin Moore, for example, provides curated palettes of colors, such as “Casual Coastal” and “Modern Farmhouse,” that are always current and a great way to refresh your home furnishings store.
- Explore Signage Opportunities. If you still need to consider integrating your brand message into the in-store experience, there is still time. In-store brand messaging communicates your store’s values and the benefits you provide to customers. Use simple wording, phrases, and emotive concepts. For example, Tepperman adds dimensional lettering around the perimeters of its stores using words like “Relax” or “Sleep.” Dimensional letters are inexpensive if cut out of materials such as Sintra board or foam core. Local signage shops can help make presentations come to life. Use dimensional lettering to make a brand statement, tell a story, or mark a department. Bassett stores, for example, use dimensional lettering to enhance their in-store messaging. Another low-cost way to introduce signage is with pole banners that attach directly to columns. These flags can be used to sign departments, communicate store values, share promotional opportunities, and more.
- Consider The Many Excellent Flooring Options. Moving departments around can present an excellent opportunity also to change the flooring. This change may complicate the move and add expense; however, this can be mitigated by choosing flooring tiles, especially LVP/LVTs, that are easy to lay down over existing hard surfaces. “Click lock” tiles snap together without glue to quickly improve the look of areas. Carpet, one of the most cost-effective flooring materials, is also available in tile form. Look for options that are peel-and-stick, easy to install, and do not require additional gluing. Another attractive option is to leave raw concrete slabs exposed. The cost depends on the type of floor material that needs to be removed and the condition of the slab. Bare concrete floors are versatile, durable, easy to clean, do not require floor transitions, and make moving furniture around easier. They can be stained in a variety of colors. And the rugs look great on them.
- Consider Suspended Ceiling Elements. Nowadays, many low-cost and lightweight options exist for introducing suspended ceiling elements. These can add interest and variety to what might otherwise be boring ceilings. Choose ones that are open and don’t require sprinkler head changes. Consider floating decorative grids, signage rings, suspended fabric panels, and more. Suspended canopies come in many different shapes and forms. The least expensive option is canopies of printed fabric stretched over metal frames. Canopies can also be produced using lightweight materials such as styrene-faced Infinity board, CoreLite, and Xanita. With these, a realistic wood or metal texture can often be printed directly on the surface. Due to its acoustic value and reasonable cost, mineral wool is another option. It can be formed into multiple different shapes, then suspended with wire. Companies like Moss Inc., Acoufelt, and Muffle all offer standard ceiling products that can be ordered online and shipped directly to stores.
- Stone, Tile, and Other Faux Finishes. You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your showroom look great. Spruce up walls by adding exciting textures or faux materials instead of real. Want the look of stone, concrete, wood, or tile? These are available in plastic, foam, and similar materials at a quarter of the price. They are so realistic that most shoppers won’t know the difference. Some finishes have simple-to-apply peel-and-stick or direct glue backings that can be applied without hiring outside help. No messy mortar, heavy anchoring into walls, or complicated cutting is needed. Retailers can add decorative faux fireplaces and mantels to create a sense of style and warmth.
All in all, creating a pleasing aesthetic and ensuring customers have a great shopping experience is essential for any store owner. Following these tips to refresh your home furnishings store outlined in this blog post, you can quickly transform your store with minimal effort and expense. So why not get started today? With some simple changes, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your store will look more inviting and attractive to customers. After all, minor tweaks to design can lead to significant results!