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The B word in retail

What would your store look like if you had NO budget, no limitations?

How much time have you spent trying to ballpark the new locations’ build out costs or even just getting a grip on what the full budget should be for your store? It’s frustrating because it’s not common knowledge what you can expect to spend.

Creating a budget for retail store interior design involves several steps. I want to help you get started and cover all the details that are often missed when creating a design budget.

  1. Define your goals: Determine the objectives of your retail store interior design project. Are you aiming to enhance the customer experience, improve functionality, or create a specific ambiance? Clearly understanding your goals will help guide your budgeting decisions.
  2. Assess your space: Evaluate the current condition and size of your retail space. Note any structural or functional issues that need to be addressed during the interior design process. Assessing your space will help you determine the scope of work required and allocate funds accordingly.
  3. Research and gather inspiration: Look for design inspiration from various sources, such as Pinterest, online platforms like IG, and retail store case studies. Develop a clear vision of how you want your store to look and feel. This will assist you in making budgetary decisions and estimating costs accurately.

Determine the scope of work: Identify the specific elements and areas that require design attention. This may include flooring, lighting, fixtures, shelving, signage, paint or wallpaper, displays, seating areas, and other decorative elements. Breaking down the scope of work will allow you to allocate funds to each category more effectively. Not sure? Retail Designers (like me) will happily do a consultation to assess the most important issues.

Set a budget range: Determine a budget range that you are comfortable spending on the interior design project. Consider your financial capacity, expected return on investment, and any other factors that may impact your budget. It’s useful to have both a minimum and maximum budget to provide flexibility during the design process. Remember, almost everything can be made at many price points. So while you may love that designer, custom sculptural light fixtures, oftentimes we can source one similar for significantly less. And spend that money somewhere else where it counts more.

Research Trades: Research suppliers, designers, contractors, and service providers in your area who specialize in retail store interior design. Request quotes or estimates from multiple sources to compare costs and quality.
Allocate funds: Once you have gathered cost estimates from suppliers and contractors, allocate funds to each element or category of the project. Create a budget spreadsheet or use budgeting software to track expenses and ensure you have allocated enough funds for each aspect of the design.

Prioritize expenses: Prioritize your design elements based on their importance and impact on your store’s overall look and functionality. Allocate a larger portion of your budget to high-priority areas while being mindful of cost-saving opportunities in less critical areas. This goes back to the fancy light fixture mentioned above. Ask yourself “Will this sell more products?”

Consider hidden or miscellaneous costs: Be prepared for unexpected expenses that may arise during the project, such as permits, licenses, architectural drawings, and any unforeseen construction or renovation needs. Set aside a contingency fund to account for these potential costs.

Review and adjust: Regularly review and adjust your budget as the project progresses. Keep track of actual expenses and compare them to your estimated budget. Make adjustments as necessary to stay within your financial limits.

Remember that each retail store interior design project is unique, and costs can vary significantly based on factors like location, scale, design complexity, and materials used. It’s essential to be flexible and adapt your budget as you gather more information throughout the process.