Bakeries must rise to the credit crunch challenge
Today's customers have higher expectations and they want to shop in a bright and vibrant environment
Mike Kilbride, MJK.
Bakeries must up their game with a new image and vibrant fit-out if they are to survive in the competitive world of retail, according to shopfitter Mike Kilbride.
Mike, whose Lancashire-based firm MJK Design & Build (Shopfitting) Ltd has been fitting out bakeries for the last 30 years, says he has seen both small and large bakeries go under in the face of competition from an ever growing number of supermarkets aimed at the convenience shopper.
He says: "The large stores have the advantage of being able to produce a cheap and cheerful product, but they can lack the personal touch that a smaller operator can offer.
"Today's customers have higher expectations and they want to shop in a bright and vibrant environment where goods are attractively displayed and where everything looks clean and fresh.
"In the current economic climate, the bakeries that will survive and even thrive are those that are prepared to up their game by improving their range of products and rejuvenating their image with a partial or full refit."
Here is Mike's advice to anyone considering a refit:
A standard bakery refit can usually be completed within a week and you can plan the work so that it falls over a weekend or bank holiday to reduce the disruption. Many firms now offer a turnkey operation and will handle every aspect of the job, from the design, to the building, sourcing, supplying and installation of every single item you need. Choose a company that can project manage the whole job and co-ordinate the many trades people who will need to be involved, so you don't have to.
We recommend Altro safety flooring or traditional Welsh quarry tiles for non slip flooring in the higher traffic staff and manufacturing areas, but Karndean flooring or porcelain tiles are a more attractive choice for the customer floor. These can be chosen to match branding and you can use mosaics to include logos in the design.
The best materials for staff areas are impact resistant PVC or ceramic tiles with epoxy treatment that comply with EHO. In retail areas, laminated decorative panels enable you to choose colours or patterns that are in keeping with your business branding.
Continental counters are the most appealing and they come in many different colours and finishes, depending on the look you are tying to achieve. There are also variations of shelf levels and they can be ambient or refrigerated, depending on your needs. Window displays include traditional bread display styles or, for a more modern look, lit aluminum tubular shelving.
Timber shopfronts create a traditional look that is in keeping with the aesthetics of a bakery. Eco-friendly is the buzz word of the day, so consider traditional hardwood sourced from a sustainable forest. Aluminum powder coated shopfronts are also a popular choice and self-retracting awnings add a touch of style.
Go for timber signs with painted letters for a more traditional look. Plastic signs with internally lit boxes or banner signs are more flexible in windy conditions.
The height of the ceiling can be altered to create mood and character and there are many variations, from plastered ceilings to acoustic lay-in grid systems that use tiles or boards in a range of finishes and colours for a modern or warm and homely feeling.
Lighting schemes such as the latest gas filled lamps will enhance your product display and energy saving lights will help you to reduce utility bills.
MJK Design & Build (Shopfitting) Ltd is based at Design House, Preston Road, Charnock Richard, Chorley, Lancashire, PR7 5JZ.
Tel: (01257) 795291.
MJK has been involved in the fitting out and build of many stores in the industry on a national basis for more than 30 years