Outfitting Your Store Part 2: What You Can Do And Its Cost

Posted on June 6, 2018 by Michael Benarroch

Outfitting Your Store Part 2: What You Can Do And Its Cost

Posted on June 6, 2018 by Michael Benarroch


When it comes to building out a store, the main phases of the process include discovery, strategy and design, manufacturing and sourcing, and installation and merchandising.  In the first post in our series, we covered discussed the need for discovery, strategy, and design and covered general costs.  If you haven’t checked that post out you can find it here.


At this point in the process, we move from the conceptualizing phase, where all design considerations and planning is put on paper, to building out the custom fixtures and sourcing standard fixtures.  And truthfully, this is where most of your working dollars are invested.

How much can you spend in this phase? It all depends on your tastes and material specifications – but regardless of your working budget we’re able to provide a general guide:

  • High End: $130 to $150/square foot
  • Medium: $100 to $125/square foot
  • Low End: $85 to $95/square foot
  • Commodity or Standard Fixtures Only: $65 to $85/square foot

Of course, the choice of materials and the complexities of the design or the commodity fixtures will factor in greatly. Choice of materials range, from low to high, could look something like:

  • Low: melamine, simple shapes, dressed standard fixtures, adding trims and details to standard components;
  • Medium: laminates, colour core laminates, more components to designs, man-made solid surfaces; and
  • High: stone types, lighting integrated into displays and/or signage.

To influence your customers, you need to have the right fixtures and displays at every touchpoint. In addition to the right products at the right prices, it’s the in-store experience that will influence customers to make a purchase and hopefully come back again and again.

So, prepare to live and breathe your brand vicariously through everything inside your store. Nothing can be overlooked. And every expense needs to meet the requirements of your retail brand and the parameters of your budget.

Making things as painless as possible, we ensure you’ll have the right quality of custom and/or standard retail fixtures on budget and on time. To understand more about our Manufacturing and Supply capabilities, you can learn more here.

Installation and Merchandising – Making it Look the Way You Imagined.

Installation services are the service hours and resources needed for setting up and installing all shelving, displays, fixtures and planned built-ins, like checkouts and counters.

Merchandising services are the resources needed to fully merchandise and stock your retail store for the first time before opening.

What’s the typical range retails should expect to spend on these services?  That’s a hard question to answer in general terms as much of the work depends on the size of the store, the location, and the complexity of the work.

What we can say is that these services are pretty straightforward and costs will vary, keeping in mind that work is based on an hourly rate and any travel expenses incurred. One thing to note — and it’s a great advantage of ours — is that we have a huge network of teams across the country, so we can remain competitive since we’ll have the right people close to your store, regardless of the province.

Another element to consider is timing, we typically see full stores completed within a week, with larger big box stores needing more time. As each project is different, we also consider:

  • Is this an existing store being renovated? If so, you might need to consider nighttime-only work, so noise and dust doesn’t impact the shopping experience during the day (the retail space needs to be clean during business hours);
  • Is it a new build? If so, we’ll have free reign of the place to work unobstructed;
  • The cost will also be impacted by the number of people on the job – depending on scope, we may need to send specialty craftspeople and tradespeople along with general installers; and
  • Other factors impacting cost may include: tear down and/or disposal of what’s existing on site.

To understand more about our capabilities within execution, you can learn more here.

How Long Will This Take?

Great question. And considering you have a business to run, it’s an important question to ask.

Here are a few things to consider with respect to timelines:

  • Design is typically a 5 to 7-week process that can move a bit quicker or slower depending on review cycles in your organization.
  • Manufacturing and supply is typically a 16-week process which includes pricing, engineering, and manufacturing and sourcing. We don’t like to cut this timing down as it typically means compromising on the work or putting your investment at risk – we do not want to impact the quality and cost.
  • All timelines are driven by the availability of materials and the time it takes to engineer and cost the project before we start to build.
  • Installation and merchandising can take about 2 weeks when the retail space is available at all times (overnight crews may require more time due to restrictions during your store’s operating hours).

The good thing about working with a full-service partner like CBSF is that we have a line of site on the full scope of work so we will always communicate any changes to the timelines at every stage of the project.

To say that we haven’t squeezed any of these timelines in the past would be a lie – we’ve done it and have been successful, but the success is really against a reset of expectations on both our’s and the customer’s side. Both sides need to understand what it will take to make it happen and what obstacles may arise.

Keep in mind that there’s always plenty of room to grow — that’s how we like to look at every project.

We hope you found this topic and the two-part series valuable, and that it’s shed a bit more light about how to proceed with your next store.

Are you ready to see what your retail brand can do with the right fixtures? Then give us a shout.