What To Consider When Fitting Out Your First Shop

If you are thinking of opening your first shop as a small business then you may be feeling overwhelmed.  There is so much to think about and so much to organise. I know as I used to have my own jewellery shop in a small town. So here are some things to consider when fitting out your first shop.


A counter is an important area to meet and greet your customers. To get behind your brand you may want to consider a bespoke reception desk that is built to your design requirements. You can then have control over the size, colour and design which will help your branding. Alternatively, if you are on a tight budget there are second-hand counters you can pick up from shop closures.

Cash register and card machine

Although technology is always improving with the likes of Apple Pay and contactless cards, many people still pay in cash so it's important to have a cash register as well as a card machine.  Cash registers can be picked up brand new or second hand on auction sites such as eBay. With a card machine, you have to rent it from a company like WorldPay.


From counter seating for employees to sofas for your customers, you need to consider seating for your shop and the type of retail environment it is. Do you want your customers to stop and chat? Then a sofa would be a good choice. The longer people hang around and feel comfortable in your store the more chance they have of buying from you. If it's a more fast-paced shopping environment like a grocery store then you may not want or need seating for your customers.


If your items are valuable, such as if you are fitting out a jewellery shop, then cabinets are essential. Choose cabinets with lighting to show the products off in the best possible way. If you stock clothing you may want to display the items on rails or flat on units. Shelving is another option to display your items. Pick the most appropriate display items for your stock.

Fitting rooms

If you have a clothing store then a fitting room is pretty much essential. By trying on the item the customer can see how it looks and is more likely to buy it. If you do not a suitable space then a partition can be used or a curtain for privacy. Don't forget a large mirror, hooks for clothes, a chair for the customer and suitable lighting.


You need to consider whether you will use a tag for each item, tied on or with a sticky label or old style pricing cubes in front of the item. This depends on the product you are selling. A point of sale system linked to a database can be used and is good for stock control but can be pricey to buy.


Unfortunately, theft can be common in certain areas. Security is essential whatever type of shop you have. Shop shutters are worth considering to prevent smash and grab robberies and CCTV and shop alarms are virtually essential these days. If you do not have these security measures in place your insurance may not pay out if you have a robbery. 


Spotlights, general lights and mood lighting may all be used in a retail environment. It's something that is easy to forget to budget for but it so important to illuminate your products.


If you have a lot of stock you may need to
 store the extra somewhere secure. Check if the shop you are renting has a suitable space for this extra storage, or you may need to rent somewhere to store the stock. If your suppliers are quick at delivering you may only need a small area for storage and this can help with cash flow too, so your money isn't tied up in stock for a long time.


Don't forget insurances. Business insurance should cover the building, the contents, the stock, public liability and employers liability amongst other things. Check if your landlord is covering the building or any other insurances.

So here are some things to consider when fitting out your first shop.



  1. There's a lot more too fitting out a shop than I'd have thought about. It really is quite an art.

  2. I didn’t realise there was so much to consider