Budget fixtures need not mean ugly

by Natalie Tan

I often get calls from clients who wish to set up a retail business but have very limited budgets when it comes to setting up shop. I totally understand where they are coming from, as most new retailers or independent owners would like a quick return on investment. Over the years, I have learned to work with ready-made furniture and fixtures that require the least amount of investment of both money and installation time.

This is the case for a group of four ladies headed by Amy and Irene of doTerra Oils. They know their market and already have a steady stream of customers for the oils, but in a direct selling format – not a retail operation. However, they realize that a retail shop will allow their customers to view the entire range of product offerings and at the same time, give them an opportunity to showcase what products can do through their aromatherapy, facials, aura reading and massage offerings.

With a limited budget, I used all Ikea furniture that had a starting price of $9.99 to the most expensive furniture being in the $200 range. While these furniture pieces do not lend themselves to building brand equity, their style is basic enough to easily incorporate into any environment without compromising branding efforts.

Creating a distinct sense of place for doTerra meant incorporating the brand’s colour identity as well as the company’s product graphics. Adding images that show them “in use” creates an emotional bond between the shopper and the product. Of course, the passion these four ladies have for the well-being of their customers tops off this equation nicely!

The images below show the project from concept to practical application.

Natalie Tan from Retail Excellence has over 25 years in specialty retailing, offering her expertise to malls, retail shops and airport operators. She teaches Merchandising and Display Strategies at the BCIT School of Business and has served as a member of Retail BC's Board of Directors, as well as on the board of the BC Shopping Centres Association.

She is the author of "Ready, Set, Sell", an easy-to-implement guide to small business owners and a book currently used by her students. Natalie has been featured in several publications and is often called by the CBC for her expert perspective on current retail issues.

Effective Retail Strategies Designed to Move Your Merchandise
In this regular column, we explore retail strategies that are not only easy to implement but also aim to sell the merchandise. This will provide you with opportunities to view your own store in a different light and discover new ways to present your merchandise. Ultimately, our goal is to increase your sales. So let us know when you have applied one of the strategies featured here and yielded desirable results in your store — we’d love to hear success stories.