Why Changing Shopfitting Suppliers is a Challenge for Retail Chain Companies


Shopfitting is a critical aspect of retail operations, with a direct impact on the customer experience and store profitability. For retail chain companies that operate hundreds of shops, changing shopfitting suppliers can be a complex and challenging process. In this article, we will examine the difficulties faced by retail chain companies when changing shopfitting suppliers and provide a data-driven step-by-step guide for overcoming these challenges.


Complex Supply Chain Management


Retail chain companies that operate hundreds of shops need to coordinate with multiple suppliers, contractors, and in-house teams to manage their shopfitting projects. Changing suppliers mid-way can disrupt this delicate balance and cause delays and added costs.


Shop designers and supply chain workers in retail companies may hesitate to switch to new shopfitting companies due to their established relationships and routines with their current providers. Familiarity and trust with the current company, along with the fear of disruption during the transition period, can lead to reluctance towards change. Onboarding a new shopfitting company may also require additional time and effort, leading to concerns about potential delays and added stress. Despite potential drawbacks, the current relationship and comfort with the established system often outweighs the consideration of new options.


Lack of Standardization


Retail companies often have different shop designs and layouts, which can make it difficult to switch to a new supplier without significant changes to their existing systems and processes. The lack of standardization in retail companies can make it difficult to introduce new suppliers, as it increases the risk of inconsistencies and compatibility issues. In the absence of clear guidelines and specifications, there is a higher likelihood that new suppliers will misinterpret the requirements and produce shopfitting products that are inconsistent with existing fixtures and furniture.


The lack of standardization in retail companies makes it difficult to introduce new suppliers, leading to compatibility and consistency issues. The absence of clear specifications also increases the risk of misinterpretation and pricing disparities among suppliers. This creates confusion and potential cost differences when purchasing new shopfitting products, leading to a risk of overspending or receiving subpar products. Retail companies can benefit from establishing clear guidelines and specifications to minimize these risks and ensure consistent and effective shopfitting solutions.


Unorganized Furniture Manuals


Furniture manuals are an essential tool for ensuring consistency and quality in shopfitting projects. However, retail companies often struggle with having their manuals organized and updated, making it challenging to work with a new supplier who may have different methods and procedures. Keeping the furniture manuals updated and keeping track of the consequent versions may be also a challenge worth addressing. 


Keeping furniture manuals updated can be difficult for retail companies, leading to potential mistakes by shopfitters producing incorrect versions. Outdated or inaccurate manuals can cause delays and added costs, and manual updates can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. To minimize these risks, it is important for retail companies to have clear and accurate specifications and guidelines in place, and to implement systems to regularly update and maintain their furniture manuals.


Dependence on a Single Supplier


Relying solely on one supplier for all of their shopfitting needs can be dangerous for retail companies. This leaves them vulnerable to supply chain disruptions and price increases, as they have no backup options in case of an emergency.


Relying on a single or a few suppliers can be dangerous for retail companies, as it increases the risk of supply chain disruptions and product shortages. This vulnerability can also lead to being vulnerable to the narrative of one supplier. Diversifying suppliers can help minimize these risks and ensure consistent and reliable access to the products needed for effective operations, especially during times of crisis.


Time-Sensitive Projects


Retail companies are under pressure to quickly open new stores and relocate existing ones to meet customer demand. Changing suppliers in the middle of a project can result in delays, missed deadlines, and added costs, putting their operations at risk.


Establishing a new supplier relationship and reworking designs to accommodate their products can be time-consuming and result in additional expenses. Delays can also negatively impact the company’s reputation. To minimize these risks, retail companies need to maintain stable, long-term supplier relationships and carefully consider any changes to their supply chain.

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