Is it time to change your store’s look? How do you know?
For starters, ask yourself: "When was my store’s last major update?" Don’t guess. Dig up some of those old construction receipts. It will probably surprise you how much time has passed.

Over 5 Years?
Has it been over five years? That has been the standard frequency for retail store updates. But with increased pressure on the retail industry to keep presentations fresh, this standard has been steadily shrinking, and today stands at as little as four years between makeovers. And with the impact e-retailing is expected to have in the coming two to five years, the average time between store makeovers can be expected to shrink even further.

I’m not talking about merely repainting or adding some new slatwall or fixtures. I’m talking about a significant update. Your retail operations are likely to evolve through many changes over a five-year period. Your needs and product mix may be very different. Plus, more than ever before, customers need to see regular changes to excite them and keep them coming back.

We’re Not Different
As anyone who has attended Merchandising Training at Yamaha will remember, "We’re Not Different!" Music stores do not automatically get an extension! If five years have passed, your store is probably due – possibly overdue – for an update. To put it another way, if a store hasn’t been redone since 1995, it should be reviewed and will likely need some updating.

If you have more than one location, be sure to review each store with the same regularity. This is crucial in order to maintain a consistently high quality image. You will probably want to plan and budget the update of your stores on a staggered schedule so they don’t all have to be tackled at the same time.

Regular Maintenance
Think of this as an investment in the maintenance of a new car. If you perform the scheduled maintenance every 3,500 miles as recommended, your investment should operate reliably with few surprises or disappointments. The same applies to your store. If you perform five-year updates to your sales environment, your store will never break down and leave you stranded on the highway to retail success. With regular updates, it will stay fresh and continue to "run" smoothly … and profitably.

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