Demco Interiors has worked with Northamptonshire Council on the roll out of their branded retail ÔÇÿLibrary Shop’ in thirty five of the county’s libraries and is now developing twenty five furnishing units to maximize sales in the shop areas.
Hitesh Khunti, Business Development Officer, Northamptonshire Libraries & Information Service, is overseeing the introduction of the shops and is very optimistic about the opportunities for engaging with library visitors and extending the library offer to create new revenue streams.
Hitesh said: ÔÇ£We are investing in introducing shop and visual merchandising areas in our libraries to enhance the value we are offering visitors when they walk through the library door. We have coffee machines and caf├® areas in many of our libraries and have recently introduced photo-booths into three libraries. Merchandising is the next logical step to creating ÔÇÿdestination libraries’ in the region. We are not talking about a retail renaissance here, but stretching our existing resources to improve our service to visitors and generate additional revenueÔÇØ.
For Northamptonshire, the size and layout of each shop varies from library to library depending on space available, the local demographics and potential for demand.Our design and development team is working with Hitesh on new furnishings that can be adapted to meet the different needs of the individual libraries. From simple slatwall merchandising display to mobile merchandising units, spinners, lockable display, lighting, signage and branding.
The location of the shop is key and ideally should be located where visitors enter and exit or where footfall is greatest. Our designers are working on new build library projects where bespoke shop areas are part of the initial design brief and budget allocation. However, many libraries don’t have this luxury and we are developing new ideas for pop-up type shop areas that are economical, flexible, manageable and easily add-on (or -in) to existing spaces.
Fixtures and fittings need to take into account all types of display from local history books, to greeting cards to stamps and most importantly they need to make the merchandising look good. Striking a balance in the way items are displayed should make browsing easy and attractive and lead to a sale. As we know, big isn’t always better, and libraries without a lot of space or lots of stock can make a smaller space look more appealing than a sparsely laid out larger space.
Hitesh understands that the impact of introducing merchandising to a library is more than just adding a few extra shelves and displaying a few postcards. It’s also about sourcing attractive and appealing stock and ensuring that it is rotated regularly: ÔÇ£It’s important that stock looks fresh and is clearly priced. You have to understand the profile of your audience; introducing themes and understanding trends helps to keep the area relevant and appealing. It if gets stale then it just becomes ÔÇÿwallpaper’ – it needs to stay dynamicÔÇØ.
Although now a well coined phrase, ÔÇÿretail is in the detail’ becomes increasingly important for libraries where budget and space can be limited. With libraries introducing more and more services within their library, careful space planning becomes increasingly important. Our library designers can offer a wholistic approach to integrating the retail space into existing services and layouts. Employing the pop up shop philosophy of creating a shop within an existing space is proving to be a cost effective way of attracting new revenue.
Hitesh is keen to exchange ideas with others who may be embarking on the same route and can be emailed firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see library pop-up shop concepts designed by Demco Interiors please see
Please contact us if you would like to discusspop-up shops and merchandising areas.