In the retail space, the sorts of blind cost-cutting commonly associated with fast fashion – such as laying off employees, reducing employee pay or overly streamlining the supply chain – can have significant detrimental effects further down the line.
That’s why we’re focusing on how sustainable clothing brands can save time, space and energy in the design, management and optimization of their physical retail environment. From optimizing store layouts to ensure an efficient service all day to the installation of energy-efficient LED light fittings, retailers can use their valuable resources efficiently while respecting their personal ethics and brand ethos.
Optimize your store layout
An effective store layout is a great way to save on space, time and energy, while also strategically directing shoppers to high-priority products and driving impulse sales. As well as making your store far easier to navigate, this will also provide a more fulfilling customer experience overall.
Your floor plan should make the most of available space, including the corners, without becoming cramped. Ensuring you use end-of-aisle units for promotional items and seasonal products is a great way to make the most of your space, and will help you to get more products on the shelves. This is also an efficient way to position products for maximum exposure, without having to sacrifice more floor space in the name of shelving.
Use vertical space liberally
Although focusing on floor space has its merits, it’s important to consider the ways in which wall space could be an untapped resource. Boosting efficiency by helping you to save on additional storage units such as FSDUs and save precious floor space in the process, optimizing the vertical areas in your store could be highly worthwhile.
In terms of aesthetics, installing strong, flexible shelving units could enhance your store and maximize the remaining space available – for example, consider opting to install taller vertical storage systems along walls to showcase new products or bestsellers in a high-capacity single unit. Shelving fixtures will provide an enticing visual as customers walk into your store, getting all eyes on your products as they should be.
Like shelves, hooks come in a variety of materials which can be incorporated into the theme of your store. Efficient for advertising specific items, hooks will emphasize fewer pieces if you’re interested in a ‘less is more’ aesthetic. Matching hooks to your shelves could also help you to piece together a design that’s subtle and sophisticated – creating a sense of cohesion within your interior while protecting the limited space available.
Install energy-efficient LED light fittings
Many retail stores are known for their extravagant lighting displays (which make them big energy users) – and to avoid being a part of the problem, you should consider optimizing the lighting in your store to reduce the energy used and ensure you’re doing your bit for the environment. LED lighting presents a far more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional alternatives, serving as an energy-efficient and economically viable option. Energy-efficient lighting doesn’t mean you’ll need to compromise on performance, either – meaning your bestsellers will still stand out on the shelves.
The retail industry often demands bright, flattering retail lighting solutions to draw customers in and maximize sales, but this often compromises on energy efficiency. There are substantial savings to be made on the shop floor, where you can still set the mood and atmosphere of the store so that customers will want to enter.
As LED lights are controllable through dimming and automatic on-and-off functionality, they can be used to create the precise atmosphere you’re looking for while saving energy to boot. A further energy-saving measure you could take is to place daylight sensors and controls in all zones. Although energy saving may initially feel like a compromise, making use of the technology available will mean it will cost you little in terms of time and effort.
Installing LED ceiling lights will improve the use of space while maintaining the brand image of a store and conveying an inviting atmosphere. LED fittings satisfy energy and carbon savings and will produce very little waste heat compared to conventional sources, reducing the need for additional cooling on warm days. They also have a longer lamp lifespan, which equates to lower and less frequent maintenance costs – so despite them having a significant initial maintenance cost, LED fittings will undoubtedly pay off in the long term.
Whether you’re looking to completely redesign your sustainable clothing store or simply give it a summer update, we hope you’ll be inspired to make some changes that could save on time, space and energy while still respecting your personal ethics.
About the Author
Tom Brialey is the Founder and Director of Action Shelving, which adopts his philosophy that, in addition to the highest quality products, you must also provide the highest standard of service to your customers in order to succeed. That’s why it’s Tom’s mission to provide expert support 100% of the way.