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Inside Retail & Diverse Project Group

What to do when your store network needs a facelift

 It’s been clear to see that the last year and a half have been all about e-commerce. With travel restrictions keeping customers at home, Australian retailers needed to lift their online game to make sure they could stay competitive and trading through what has turned out to be an elongated period of disruption. 

But, with a National Plan for reopening in play, and the news that retailers will be able to reopen their doors soon in New South Wales, bricks-and-mortar retail is about to re-enter the conversation in a big way. 

Customers have long been pushing back against traditional store designs, with leading physical retail chains turning to provide a more experiential offer to bring customers into their doors. 

With customers finally onboard with the speed and convenience of online shopping, bricks-and-mortar will need to update itself in order to bring people in. And while having the experiential concept is one thing, hiring the right business to build and fit the store is another matter. 

“We see a lot of retailers trying to separate themselves from others to get customers to come in store,” said Diverse Project Group business development manager Domenic Dattilo. 

“Customers are constantly expecting more and more from retailers at the moment, and with the convenience of online, physical retail really needs to be something special in order to actually get them up and to go somewhere.”

Diverse Project Group is an award-winning shop fitting, commercial joinery and construction business operating out of Western Australia since 2002, and has worked with brands such as Chanel, Sony, Mecca, Lush Cosmetics, JD, Country Road, Sephora and McDonalds. 

According to Dattilo, when it comes to developing new stores, or updating old ones, the number one thing to think about at the moment is the experience of the shopfitter – DPG has lost jobs to competition that costs less, but the client ends up asking them to come in and finish the job due to their experience. 

This, obviously, ends up costing the client more money in the long run for the same end result. 

“It’s all about understanding what the builder can deliver,” Dattilo said. 

This can be gauged most easily by checking reviews and the builders past work, as well as seeing how they do business.

In recent months DPG has been contracted out by a number of interstate shopfitters to finish jobs that they, due to many state borders being closed, aren’t able to. And, while it works with businesses in every state, it has joinery partnerships in Victoria and Queensland, as well as making its own joinery, allowing it to make custom fittings in house.

“We have the ability to bring the client into our factory and say ‘this is what you’re getting’ before it even goes to the site, and they can make changes more easily because of it,” Dattilo said. 

“Some people don’t need that, but for others getting into the nitty-gritty of how it’s all done is a huge factor in making decisions, and that’s obviously a huge positive for our business – doing our own joinery, construction and quality control ourselves is a key objective for us.”

To get in touch with Diverse Project Group to see how they can help you improve your store experience, give Domenic a call on 0448 976 212.