by Colleen Volheim, category research and analysis manager, for the Resolutions blog series
You may not give much thought to your store lighting, but it’s very important. Think about when you enter a place of business. What are your impressions of a dully-lit place versus a nice, bright interior?
A store that isn’t well lit can look dingy and very uninviting. It’s harder to see items on the shelf, signs, and even floor displays. Think about how difficult it can be to read the information on a package or even price stickers if the store doesn’t have proper lighting. This is especially important as our eyes begin to age.
Bad lighting can also be a safety hazard. Especially if you have customers with poor eyesight. You certainly don’t want a store environment that poses any threats or challenges to your customers or potential customers.
Consider your entryway. This is your customers’ first impression – make it a good one. You want to be sure that this part of your store is properly lit because it’s the first impression of the interior of your store. You also want to be sure your entryway is safely lit because, depending on your flooring and/or mats used, in wet weather, floors can become slippery or mats may be hard to see and become a tripping hazard. If your store entry is bright, shoppers can see before they step in how the floor looks and be better prepared.
A bright entryway is also very welcoming, and that translates throughout the store. Aisles and main walkways should be easy to see and navigate. Easy-to-install track lighting can help you highlight your promotional displays or gift area to draw shoppers’ attention.
Don’t forget the exterior of your building. If you want your business to be easily found, it’s best to have a well-lit sign that can be seen for a block or more away. Also make sure the sidewalk or ground around your building and your parking lot is bright enough for safety and ease of use if you are open in the evening.
You can assess your lighting to determine where improvements can be made, or ask a staff member or customer you trust to give you their honest opinion. As we advise you do every so often, enter your store through the front door with the mindset of being a customer yourself and look at your store with that perspective. As you go through your aisles, try to read packaging, make out what is on bottom shelves, observe what it looks like behind your pharmacy counter, and whatever you can think of that is important to your customers’ shopping experience. Rate the lighting in the various areas of your store. Is it good, ok, poor? That rating will give you your areas of priority to update.
Upgrading your lighting may expose more areas in need of updating, such as your walls, flooring, and shelving. Be prepared to update these other areas as you can until you’re proud of the aesthetic of your store.