Meet The Team: Andy Hall, Senior Account Manager

It’s time to get to know another member of the Retail Furniture team! The first person under the spotlight for 2017 is Andy Hall, one of our Senior Account Managers.

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Born and bred in Wolverhampton, Andy has been a valued part of the team for fifteen years now. Sitting in the management team, Andy spends his work life looking after some of our key accounts and ensuring our clients’ briefs are smoothly communicated to our workshop team to maintain our high standard of quality and customer satisfaction.

When he’s not liaising with our clients, Andy likes to keep fit and regularly visits the gym as well as enjoying a game of golf or football (he’s a loyal supporter of Blackburn Rovers). He’s also partial to the occasional mud run… the muddier, the better!

Something not many people know about Andy is that one of his relatives is a WWE wrestler and as a child, Andy also dreamt of going into wrestling. We’re pleased to report that he doesn’t try brushing up on his wrestling skills in the office!

Let’s round things off with our quick-fire questions…

What 3 things would you take with you on a desert island?
“Sunglasses, a box of matches and a crate of Dark Fruit cider.”

If you were a superhero, what would your super power be?
“Invincibility!”

My favourite thing about working at Retail Furniture is…
“The satisfaction of seeing a project leave the premises which you’ve been part of from start to finish.”

To see more of the Retail Furniture team, head to the “About Us” section of our website.

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A look back at 2016

2016 has been an incredibly exciting year for Retail Furniture! Here are some of our highlights from the last 12 months…

  • New business… We’re pleased to have welcomed BookSpace as a new client, who design and fit out reading areas and libraries in primary schools.
  • Exciting projects… We’ve done a lot of work for the flooring trade throughout 2016. We’ve manufactured pieces for Furlong Flooring, ACG, Penthouse Carpets and TCS (read more about our work with TCS here), creating eye-catching display stands for their retail stores.
  • New additions… There are some new faces in the Retail Furniture team! CAD Designer, Rudy Beckford, and CNC Programmer, Aaron Enderby, have joined us this year and bring with them a wealth of experience.
  • We’ve gone digital… In October, we had a real push on our digital presence, launching our brand new website and social media channels (you can now find us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest & Vimeo, so get social with us!). We’re seeing an increase in enquiries from both our website and social channels that we plan to build on in the coming months.

There are certainly more exciting times ahead and we can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring.

Be part of our 2017 journey – get in touch to discuss your retail furniture needs with us today.

 

Meet The Team: Adrian Cox, Customer Account Manager

It’s time to meet another member of the Retail Furniture family! This month we’ve put one of our customer account managers, Adrian Cox, in the hot seat.

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Adrian joined the team nine years ago as a bench joiner and has recently made the transition to account manager. In his new role, Adrian works closely with our clients to understand their needs and communicates this to our workshop team, ensuring that products are always delivered to brief.

Aside from his time spent building relationships with our clients, Adrian is a huge sports fan and will watch pretty much any sport he can find on TV. When it comes to his own sporting prowess, Adrian is a keen golfer and also enjoys getting out in the fresh air on his bike.

Proving he truly is sports-mad, when he was at school, Adrian dreamed of becoming a professional footballer. Thankfully for us, he found his skills were better suited to joinery back in 2007!

To finish things off, we put Adrian on the spot with our quick-fire questions…

What 3 things would you take with you on a desert island?
“My bike, Sky TV and supermarket home delivery.”

If you were a superhero, what would your super power be?
“To predict the lottery numbers!”

My favourite thing about working at Retail Furniture is…
“Definitely the people.”

Stay tuned for another employee profile next month!

How To Choose The Right Shop Fit

It’s important to put real thought into your shop fit and the style you choose speaks volumes about your brand. From influencing the likelihood of a sale to securing a return visit, there’s a lot riding on creating the best layout for your brand. (You can read more on the link between your shop fit and brand perception here.)

So, how do you choose a shop fit? Do you opt for minimalist displays or floor-to-ceiling shelves showcasing your entire product range? It all comes down to what you’re selling and where you’d like to position your brand. Start by answering these simple questions:

  • Where is your brand positioned in the market?
  • How many products do you want to display – a select few or choices from multiple brands?
  • Who is your customer? Where else do they like to shop?
  • How have your competitors designed their stores?

poundland-sloughPoundland Slough (Photo Credit: Professional Images)

For value retailers and larger stores like supermarkets, you want to influence the route of your customers as much as possible to maximise upsell and cross-sell opportunities. For this style of shop, an easy-to-navigate aisle layout with shelves displaying a variety of choice is ideal (remember to place your most popular products at eye level.) Here, quality is certainly important in your shop fit, but it should also be highly practical and not distract your shoppers. They’re looking for convenience when they enter your store so think simple, hard-wearing shelving units – steer clear of patterns and bold colours.

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L’Occitane, Grand Central Birmingham (Photo Credit: Birmingham Mail)

When it comes to premium retail, less is more when it comes to product display; don’t put every product you stock on show. Instead, use a select few to create beautiful displays. Don’t opt for an aisle layout here; luxury is focused on wants rather than needs, so let people cast their eyes over everything in store and gravitate towards the product that grabs them the most. Display units, counters and cabinets enclosing the most exclusive items, all work well in a premium retail setting. Minimalism is certainly the way to go here – think plenty of space and white backdrops with a streamlined colour palette to create subtle contrasts.

At Retail Furniture, we have a wealth of experience in manufacturing shop fitting solutions for a number of retailers, from bargain stores through to luxury boutiques. Whatever your needs, we can help you create the perfect shop fit, so get in touch today.

Meet The Team: Scott Sanders, CNC Programmer

We’re keen to let you get to know the talented individuals who make up our team, so each month we’ll be putting the spotlight on one of our employees here on the blog. In October, we got things started with our CAD Designer, Richard. This month, it’s Scott Sanders’ turn – our CNC Programmer & CAD Designer.

A technical and design whizz, Scott has been with us since March 2012 and is one of the highly skilled members of our design team. Scott’s role as CNC Programmer involves programming our machines with the data from our technical drawings while his design skills mean he is also involved in developing product concepts for our clients – an integral member of the team!

Outside of work, Scott has a few party tricks that may come as a surprise. Not only can he perform a perfect wheelie on a bike, he can also ride a unicycle! We just hope his talents aren’t so good he runs off to join the circus…

When he’s not riding his unicycle, Scott’s less strenuous pastimes include listening to music, watching films and spending time with his daughter.

Get to know Scott a little better with our quick-fire questions…

What 3 things would you take with you on a desert island?
“TV, internet and XBOX One.”

If you were a superhero, what would your super power be?
“Flying… it seems a better way to get around and you avoid the traffic!”

My favourite thing about working at Retail Furniture is…
“The new challenges we get to programme for the machines.”

Stay tuned for another employee profile next month!

Introducing Our New Website

We’re excited to announce the launch of our new and improved website! Our new site is an exciting hub of information where you’ll find everything from details of our services and specialisms to case studies of our work and contact details so you can get in touch with us at your convenience.

Let us talk you through some of our favourite features of the new Retail Furniture website:

Get to know the team…

At Retail Furniture, we believe in building effective, long-term relationships with our clients, suppliers and employees. We’re keen for you to get to know the team behind the company, so make sure you take a look at the About Us section where you’ll discover what motivates us, our processes and sustainability policy. You can also find out more about the people who make up our team and their experience in our staff biographies.

We had a lot of fun filming our welcome video too, so have a watch for a peek behind the scenes of our offices and factory. Each month we’ll also be putting one of our employees under the spotlight right here on the blog so you can get to know a bit more about the personalities behind Retail Furniture!

Discover our services…

Head to our Services section to find out exactly what we offer at Retail Furniture. We’re one of just a few manufacturers to specialise in PU edging solutions and have over 30 years’ experience in the field. There’s also more information on our joinery and hand spraying abilities. If you need a little help developing your design concept, we can help you right from the start thanks to our in-house design team. Find out more about the magic behind the design here.

Meet our clients…

We know how important examples of previous work are in helping you choose a furniture manufacturer. We’re proud to have worked with many household names across the retail, hospitality and healthcare sectors as well as many more. You can see a full list of our clients here and there’s more detail on some of our key projects, including our work with Poundland and Cadbury, in our case studies section.

Work with us…

We have a loyal team of talented employees who help us deliver the best quality work for our clients. We work hard to develop positive relationships with our staff and are proud to have many employees who have been with the company for over ten years or since the beginning.

We’re always looking for top talent to join the Retail Furniture family, so we’re pleased to share that we now have a careers section on our website. Here, you can find out about our latest vacancies and the skills and qualifications we look for. You can also send us a speculative application so we can get back in touch should your perfect role come up!

We won’t keep you any longer – go and explore our brand new website and when you’re ready, contact us to discuss how our services can help your business.

The Importance of a Quality Shop Fit

If you’ve ever watched any of retail guru Mary Portas’ TV shows, you don’t need us to tell you how important a quality shopping experience is to your business. A huge part of that experience is determined by your shop fitting and layout. Your customers’ first impressions, how they move through your store and the perceived value of your products, is all influenced by your shop fit.

So just what is it about your retail furniture that is so important?

The high street is more competitive than ever and shoppers are certainly not short of choice. It’s vital for retailers to stand out from the crowd and a quality shop fit with clear, attractive signage is often more important than a competitive price. Take John Lewis for example; their close attention to customer experience in store is what stops their customers straying to their more inexpensive rivals.

Brand Identity

Your shop is quite literally the showcase of your brand. Your in-store colour scheme and design should be completely in line with your branding. Take the time to really think about what your brand values are and incorporate this into your shop design – if everything around them, from shelves to signage, signals that you’re a quality retailer, then psychologically shoppers place a higher value on your products.

Customer Loyalty

Shopping is an emotional experience – customers buy a product because of how it makes them feel. Creating a positive shopping experience from the minute your customers walk through the door helps them to develop positive feelings towards your brand and your products. This can mean they spend longer in store and increase the potential of a sale.

If a customer has a positive experience in your store, they are more likely to return time and again because they trust in the quality of your products and services. Over time, this helps to create advocates for your brand who will recommend your business to their friends and family.

Health & Safety

Functionality is just as important as an attractive design and you want to make sure your store is easy-to-navigate for everyone. Think about any health and safety risks when designing your layout and make sure your shop has disabled access. We have experience manufacturing pieces to ensure our clients’ stores are accessible for everyone; see the till point we created for Poundland specially designed for wheelchair access.

Optimising your store for health and safety concerns can be tricky. Our in-house design team are happy to help you incorporate this into your layout so you have total confidence in the practicality of your shop fit.

Resilience

Choosing the right materials is key for a long-lasting, resilient shop fit. A less durable material may have a striking impact in the short term but you need to make sure your design can withstand the test of time without becoming tired and dated. At Retail Furniture, we can create bespoke pieces to suit your needs. We’re also one of only several manufacturers to specialise in PU Edging, which is a highly durable, resistant edging solution which allows you to customise any surface.

New Business

A high quality shop fit is important in attracting new business. As many retailers know, your products are only as appealing as the environment in which they’re presented. Potential new suppliers will be more enthusiastic about having their products stocked in your store if the retail environment is of a high standard.

We specialise in all aspects of retail furniture from the design concept through to shop fitting. Our friendly, expert team would be more than happy to discuss your requirements, so get in touch today.