Small budget, big impact: Store design on a shoestring

  • Design
  • April 7, 2017
  • Rachel Helyer Donaldson
Small budget, big impact: Store design on a shoestring

In a recent feature for NZ Retail, we looked at retail design. This companion article examines how clever design can transform mass-market retail spaces as well as expensive, bespoke boutiques.

Retail design is not just about creating stunning spaces for high-end retailers. One of the most successful relaunches in recent years has been by Kmart.

Cotton On is another Australian brand doing a “fabulous” job, says The Retail Collective’s Lisa Donaldson. Despite being an “entry-level price point, merchandise in bulk” retailer, Cotton On’s fit-outs are fun and engaging, particularly for its target customers who visit regularly and demand newness.

“They present wonderful inspiration tables where new products and trends are curated and they dress the store really well, with cost-effective signage and display elements that change out regularly.”

Cotton On’s “solid” store tiering strategy ensures prime locations are maximised to showcase the entire range in flagship stores like Sylvia Park, while single category stores, such as Cotton On Kids can stand alone in locations where there is demand.

In 2014, Number One Shoes wanted a makeover to reflect its move towards higher-quality and more fashionable products. However its brief and budget only allowed for an affordable, partial refit consisting of little or no building work. These also had to be installed while stores remained open for business.

Studio Gascoigne designed a “bang for your buck type fit-out” which resulted in a “significant” sales increase, says Mark Gascoigne. The pop-up style fit-outs were suitable for mass production off-site and could be easily rolled out.

A simple ‘kit of parts’ comprised new graphics, signage, visual merchandising, modular steel frame systems and stylish but reasonably priced plywood display units. Swapping utilitarian grey carpet for a polished concrete floor also added a more current look while front-of-store checkouts were replaced with large counters in the middle to indicate a more service-oriented approach.

Graphics stuck on with magnets, allowing staff to change from the ‘summer sales’ season to ‘back to school’ without having to hire sign writers or use scaffolding. Graphics were also used to soften the white walls above the wall units and create a more “on-trend” ambience.

Shop fronts were simplified “dramatically”, says Gascoigne, by creating a display system framed in orange circles. Not only are these eye-catching, they also fit just two or three pairs of shoes – preventing staff from cluttering up the windows with merchandise.

To date the concept has been rolled out to about two-thirds of Number One Shoes stores.

This story originally appeared in NZ Retail magazine issue 747 December 2016 / January 2017

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Restaurant Brands turns 22

  • News
  • March 26, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Restaurant Brands turns 22

As it prepares to celebrate its 22nd birthday, the listed corporate franchisor foresees a sunny future for the three – soon to be four - multi-site branded food retail chains it manages in New Zealand.

Read more

Linwood businesses struggle in mosque attack aftermath

  • News
  • March 26, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Linwood businesses struggle in mosque attack aftermath

A group of Christchurch businesses are struggling to get back on their feet after the attack on their neighbouring Linwood Mosque. Photo: RNZ / Katie Todd

Read more

Farmers account awarded to Clemenger Group

  • News
  • March 26, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Farmers account awarded to Clemenger Group

99 and Colenso BBDO have won the creative and customer experience business for Farmers. The win, after a competitive pitch, sees the advertising account return to 99 after a six-year hiatus.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Hemp products go beyond the specialty shelves

  • News
  • March 25, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Hemp products go beyond the specialty shelves

Since hemp seeds’ legalisation for growing, manufacture and sale in November 2018, supermarkets have quickly pivoted to include hemp products such as protein powder in their health food and specialty sections, but the trendy ingredient has already found its way into mainstream product categories.

Read more

No longer just for hippies: Is hemp the next coconut oil?

  • News
  • March 25, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
No longer just for hippies: Is hemp the next coconut oil?

The Naturally Good Expo, held over June 2 – 3 in Sydney, will bring retailers, brands and practitioners together to learn about all things healthy, organic and natural. Among the topics discussed by industry leaders at the expo is the recent legalisation of hemp – it’s popping up everywhere. We asked John Leith of supplier Hemp Oz and speaker Susan Tapper of Holistic Marketing Healthy Sales for more information about this exciting new product category.

Read more

Military-style semi-automatics ban announced

  • News
  • March 21, 2019
  • The Register team
Military-style semi-automatics ban announced

As of 3pm on March 21, a wide range of semi-automatic weapons have been reclassified under section 74A(c) of the Arms Act as requiring an E endorsement on a firearms license. This means they can no longer be sold to those with A-category gun licenses, and their purchase now requires police approval.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit