Investing in store development pays off, says Stagecraft

Businesses which have taken the decision to invest in their stores during the current difficult economic climate are being rewarded with an upturn in sales, shop fitting supplier Stagecraft has said.

Stagecraft managing director Tom Davis said: "The message we are getting from our business development team when they talk to clients is optimistic. Those who have invested in some form of design makeover are seeing a like-for-like increase of up to 10%."

Davis said one customer, a garden centre chain, confirmed that in stores where they have spent money, whether refurbishing the entire store or just individual areas, or even by just brightening up with hanging baskets, they are seeing growth. But in stores where they have not invested, sales have remained stagnant.

"It's not just the majors, but a number of independents that we deal with are experiencing similar growth after carrying out refurbishment work. It seems that in this particular economic climate, where the consumer is having to budget carefully, they are willing to spend in garden centres to help lift morale, particularly if the retail experience is colourful and uplifting," Davis added.

Van Hage Garden Company business development manager Philippa Mckean said:

"Not only are we pleased with the sales results, but the overall appearance, the traffic flow and the use of space being more efficient has meant we are able to service our customers better."

Stagecraft provides an annual 25,000 bespoke units to garden centre groups including Dobbies, Haskins, Wyevale, Notcutts and Van Hage, and DIY retailers, including Focus.

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