This article focuses on one of the stages of developing a properspecificationfor retail store design, lighting design, in particular, whose importance is especially noticeable during the winter period.
Successful business activity depends on the retailer's ability to promise the customer something they need, but do not have at the moment. In areas remote from the center of the city, where entertainment options are limited, proper facade lighting turns the store intoa "local attraction." The point of sale acquires a certain appeal as a sort of "a bastion of civilization", which, in turn, has a beneficial effect on the competitiveness of a well-lit store, compared with others.
Façade lighting concept affects the store image in the minds of customers and passers-by. For example, in Tomsk on the facade of one ofеруpharmacies in a chain a small tower with flowersis located.It is well lit in the evening, attracts attention and creates a positive association with the images of health and renewal that has a beneficial effect on the pharmacy’s sales in the evening.
Many supermarket ownersare quite right when they choose bright lighting for the facade, thus emphasizing democracy and openness of the store. It is especially true because residents of many regions of Russia are suspicious about supermarkets, seeing them as outlets with rather high prices (compared to local food stores in small towns). For that reason, retail chain owners often name their supermarkets "self-service-stores" or "gastronome stores".
A store, located on the way from a bus or trolley stop to residential buildings, will attract pedestrians with its lighting, because light is subconsciously associated with warmth, which is so lacking in the winter season. Freezing customers will enter such a store and, in the case ofproper organization of the retail space,buy, even if initially they just planned to get warm before going on.
One of the reasonable options can be decorating a store according to the principle of contrast. In the central part of Russia natural lighting, as a rule, leads to making colors smooth. As a matter of fact, bright colors and lighting solutions will attract attention and "lure" customers inside.
Products designed for affluent customers, should be specifically highlighted. The overall style of the interior is, as a rule, directly affected by the extent, to which the lightingresembles natural light. The lighting type, which is called "holiday" or "stage" lighting,helps to change customary perception of volumes and shapes. The effect is similar to the night illumination of buildings, allowing to draw attention to the architectural details that are in the shade in daylight. When designing retail stores it is worth usingstage light to emphasize particularly important goods - the best-selling, novelty, unique, tagged with information cards. Those products should be positionedin placeswhere wall configuration creates a natural area to attract attention - for example, in the niches. You should not, however, overuse this technique. Too much theatricality in lighting can distract the buyer from the goods, creating "information noise", so, the product will no longer be perceived as something special.
The illuminance inside a store, properin terms of sales will not always be correct in terms of official standards. Thus, the retail space, designed in strict accordance with national standards of illuminance, may seem darker thanthose of competitors, who use brighter lighting. From the company’s experiencewe can tell, that in one of the shopping mallsin the capital citythere are two sporting goods stores located close to each other. One of them seems to be definitely more attractive than anotheronly because ofproperly arranged, bright lighting, allowing to see the goods in detail.
Sometimes store owners and managers turn off the lighting of refrigeration systems to save energy. That can have a negative impact on sales, which should be kept in mind while analyzing the operation and profitability of the retail establishment. Managers and marketers do not always pay due attention to the "lighting" factor and the psychological attractiveness of the retail space is often sacrificed for the sake of illusory economy, which, in fact, only leads to losses. Instead of turning off the alleged "unnecessary" lighting it would be worth working out a more professional electrical design for the store, which would allow to optimize the energy costs without affecting sales. By the way, determining the relationship betweenlighting and turnover fall or growthis only possible “on the ground”. Documents on the manager’s desktop sometimes do not include all the factors that should be considered. Not only lighting, but poor arrangement of commercial equipment, unauthorized intervention of suppliers in the arrangement of space in the sales area –those are the real "sales killers", which can become known to the manager only when they visit the store.
Fitting different zones with different levels of lightingmakes it possible to create space illusions in the sales area - some part of it will seem longer, some other - shorter. Some sections of the area are usually outside the scope of attention of customers because of the distance from the entrance, if the store area is quite large, in particular. Partially the problem can be solved by redistribution of groups of goods, but it is not always possible. In such cases, the bright lighting of "unpopular" zones should help.
Arrows and signs may well be replaced with light accents - effective waymarks helping customers to find necessary or special products. With the help of lighting you can create and modify the most common paths that visitors will choose, when moving around the store. If your store’s configuration is quite complex, the use of lighting accents will attract the customers’ attention to remote areas and corners. Such areas usually occur in buildings not originally created for retailbut for something else, for example, in the historical part of the city. For instance, in Tomsk, in one of the historic buildings nowthere is a shopping mall. Its location attracts customers, but the configuration of the retail space may well compete in complexity with a maze from computer games. Customerswould not be able toreach most of the stores, if it were not for competent zoning and lighting.
Glowing lettered boards, illuminated signs, proper location of goods on island furniture, low counters, illuminated shelves - these are the techniques that will help to forward people in the right direction. Sections selling side groups of goods, not the main ones, such as a counter with souvenirs in a book store, require additional lighting. At the same time departments should complement, rather than conflict with each other, thus, before proceeding directly to the store design it is necessary to carefully analyze the demand for goodsas well as the average length of making a choice.
Owners of storesselling home appliances often placewhite goods closer to the entrance, so as not to have to move them too far when shipping or restocking thegoods. This arrangement covers the visual path to the shelves with smaller products - accessories, kitchenware, small household appliances. Meanwhile, those are the items, which usually get to impulse purchases. To avoid falling of impulse sales, it would be wise to ensureclear view of display cases with small objects for the customers, who are only entering the store. In any case, profitable product groups are better placed as close to the entrance area, as possible, because even lighting accents do not guarantee that customers will reach the farthest corners of a big store for some "small things." If access problems cannot be avoided, you can try to resolve the issue with the help of large visual announcementsof tempting offers. For example, preferential or discounted product is likely to motivate customers to walk any, even a considerable distance inside the retail area.
When you are placing advertising materials or goods in corners or remote areas, you need to be aware of light reflection. It is known that black objects have the lowest reflectance. Leather and fur products, made in black, will not be viewed as advantageous as those made in fair colors, unless they are providedwith additional illumination. Features and benefits of black fur coats are likely to go unheeded if the product is placed in a corner without lighting accents. Black velvet products whose surface reflects less than 1% of light require even more sophisticated presentation. Red shades are also quite picky: with the reflectance of 10 to 15 per cent such products must be very well-lit, so that red would not become dirty brown. If such a metamorphosis does occur, the effectiveness of red as one of the methods to stimulate impulse purchases, weakens significantly. By the way, please, note, that the red is appropriate in sales, promotions and discounts zones, but, on the contrary, it is “not friendly”to status goods.
If the display of goods is carried out in accordance with the characteristics of the built-in display lighting, the product immediately becomes more attractive to customers. Demonstrationof a slice of a sausage product to customersis an effective method that will work only if the slice gets in the most illuminated area. Therefore, sausage should not be located too close to the front edge of a counter or a display case, so as not to get in the shade. Display of goods in glass cases psychologically increases their relevance not only due to compositional unity, but also because of the lighting.
If the light source is located on the top or on the bottom, horizontal edges of the objects located in the display case will be seen.
Backlight gives the products softer shades and make the bulk smoother. Therefore, such lighting should be used for compositions based on the edge enhancement, as well as for objects with transparent packaging and filling, such as gels, drinks, utensils.
Side lighting, on the contrary, emphasizes the volume. If the light sources are located on the sides of the windows, a terraced composition will look most beneficially. It is necessary to select goods insalient packaging. Care must be taken to ensure that the highest object is not located at the edge of the shelf, so that it would not block the light rays.