Start a Shop Fitting Company

Shopfitting is the business of fitting out commercial premises with equipment, fixtures and fittings. This can be anything from small shops to larger department stores. If you have an interest in interior design,  furniture manufacturing or even project management this is a business to look into due to its custom and commercial nature which generates higher profit margins than residential work.

What does a shop fitting business do
A shop fitter executes planning according to budget by designing the shop layout and installing various equipment and services. This business is aimed at a new shop opening or an existing shop that is doing renovations.

Watch this video to see how a shop fitting project comes together:

Shopfitting is a variety of trades put together under one umbrella, it entails various disciplines and you would often need to assemble a team or outsource some of the work depending on your skill set.
Expertise you may need include:
Interior design
Manufacturing of bespoke furniture
Other equipment.

Some of the skills you will need as a shop fitter include:
The ability to follow technical drawings, plans and written or spoken instructions.
Practical skills for using tools
Attention to detail

The shop fitting process
The job assessment begins with a survey and measurement of available space, an interior designer will prepare drawings to be approved by the client. Once the plan is approved the shopfitter arranges to purchase the various materials and equipment needed, manufactures and installs them.

This is a simplified version of the process which depends on the type of shop and the client. Some clients will want a detailed presentation with scale version. But this is rarely the case in small businesses.

What does a typical shop entail
Most shops have more or less the same features:
Floor and ceiling
Some with have seating

Other knowledge
Besides the skills mentioned above you also need to be very knowledgeable in the various woods and other types of materials such as Perspex that is on the market. This is also a bespoke business, you won’t be doing the same job day in and day out and that will require a certain degree of creativity especially if you doing the planning as well.


Shop front | ©ThaiSaap

Let’s take a look at this shopfront. This is situated inside a mall. Starting at bottom left we have a table and two chairs, it does not seem to be custom made but it fits with the rest of the shop’s decor. Then we have a fabricated perspex or 3D sign (the flame icon) with illumination, think of this as a custom lightbox. Then we see the shelving and the fridge with branding fits nicely inside. Another fridge against the wall which is covered with a brown pattern wallpaper (there is a hole in the wall which leads to the kitchen). Then we have some more illuminated signage which is either a covered lightbox or digital signage (in which the photos will be displayed on a monitor). Then we have the main shop name (Thai Saap). Also fabricated Perspex with illumination. Then we have the counter. Even though most of the shop is unseen, I think they did a good job here, this shop stands out in a row of shops using generic rectangular lightboxes covered with vinyl and its a good example as you can see the various disciplines coming together:
Interior design – This wasn’t just made up as they went along
Signage – Fabricated and illuminated signage
Woodworking skills

More Information
How to bring more shoppers into your retail store
Understanding Visual Effects on Shopper Behaviour

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