Alongside organization, lighting plays the second most important factor in activating a customer. However, it is often the most overlooked sales component within a shop and retail setting.
The first recommendation when addressing lighting within your retail environment would be to hire a lighting designer. This may seem extravagant, but the knowledge and expertise of these professionals is often invaluable in designing in the best possible option for your individual space. Even with decades of retail knowledge, our collaboration with our lighting consultant remains to be our most trusted.
Sports retail spaces have an added challenge for proper lighting compared with a typical retail store setting due to the fact we often encounter golf shops with windows occupying 50% of the walls, flooding the space with natural light and diminishing the impact of artificial lighting. The bluish color temperature of natural daylight needs to work in harmony with the incandescent and/or LED lighting fixtures installed within the space. There are color adjustable fixtures that adjust as daylight moves into evening (or cloudy situations), although these are typically not cost effective for the average shop. So, shop merchandisers need to be conscious of their space and how the various times of day and seasons can effect their lighting experience.
In a basic shop setting, there are several lighting areas to consider and address: general room illumination, cabinetry and fixture internal or valance lighting, and specialty or accent lighting. Obviously, addressing general room lighting should remain the top priority, but unfortunately this is often the only area paid attention to, resulting in a shop with a nondescript overall level of lighting throughout the shop. This should be questioned and reviewed in order to design areas that may not need as much general illumination, thus allowing customers attention to be focused on the merchandise displays, while still providing safety underfoot. After general lighting, addressing lighting on vertical wall presentations is of second most importance. Remember that it is often more important to create overall levels of lighting on the vertical wall surfaces where product is on display rather than spotlighting the individual product. The spotlighting approach alone can lead to dark wall spots that can have a negative impact on the customer’s experience. Lastly, budgeting should be allowed to provide additional accent lighting to key areas or the visual sightlines we discussed previously.
Consider maintenance and energy concerns within your building. Fortunately, advancements in the lighting industry have introduced numerous options to address both of these concerns, while still providing both pleasing and dynamic lighting. In the past fives years, the amount of LED lights we designed to work within our spaces has increased tenfold. The availability of designs and light color temperatures continue to grow each year, offering the ability to make cost effective improvements to the overall lighting experience.
Understanding the yearly product changes between both the retail industry and vendors, keep flexibility in mind and design with adjustable recessed fixtures or track lighting. Track lighting (with almost endless fixture and lighting options) remains a solid choice for the budget minded project. Once the initial track and base package is installed, a shop can look on adding additional fixtures as budget and need permits. Just keep in mind the total load of capacity for future expansion.
The key to lighting in retail environments is to not ignore or discount its importance. Our experience has shown that investments made to improve a store’s lighting package are returned significantly in sales.