In high-end retail, the items for sale in your store are only a tiny part of what you’re offering your customers. Every time someone walks into your store, you want them to feel impressed with their surroundings. The quality of materials, the level of design, the colors, the textures, and everything a customer sees, feels, hears, and smells are important.
When everything they experience in your store is high-end, the same impression will transfer to the items you have for sale. People are willing to pay more for items presented in a luxurious manner.
What Black Pearls Can Teach Us About Luxurious Surroundings
Today, black pearls are significantly more expensive than white pearls. But it wasn’t always this way. It’s difficult to imagine now, but when black pearls were first on the market, people were only willing to pay
a fraction of what they would for white pearls.
The behavioral economist Dan Ariely, in his best-selling book, Predictably Irrational, explains how in 1940, an enterprising jeweler in New York City tried everything and failed to convince customers to pay more than just a few dollars for his black pearls.
That is until he convinced the world-famous jeweler Harry Winston to lend him some of his most expensive diamonds. He then created a display in his store window that featured a string of black pearls surrounded by Harry Winston’s exquisite diamonds. Can you guess what happened next?
The Importance of Flooring Design in the Retail Space
Big box retail clubs sell some pretty high-quality items at surprisingly low prices. Curiously, essentially some of the same products are available for significantly higher prices at expensive retail outlets. Yes, the club store might have lower operating costs than a high-end retailer in an exclusive mall.
But to assume a big box retail club doesn’t curate its environments just as deliberately as a posh retailer is a mistake. The spartan, bare concrete floor in a big box retailer screams low price, just like the splendid hardwood floor in a retail boutique whispers high quality.
The type of flooring option you incorporate into your store design is one of your most important considerations. And this is true even if you’re not in a high-end category. For example, many pharmacies use rubber flooring to impart the sense of cleanliness and hygiene you expect from hospitals with the same rubber flooring.
Creating a Cost-Effective Image
So what if a hand-scraped, solid hardwood floor with exquisite wood grain isn’t in your budget? Welcome to the exciting world of luxury vinyl flooring! Technological advances have finally been able to replicate the look and feel of hardwood and combine it with high traffic toughness and tremendous value of LVT (luxury vinyl tile) and other forms of vinyl flooring.
These floors feel the same as hardwood underfoot, and they look practically indistinguishable from hardwood. This means you can get essentially the same impression of quality, covered with high durability wear layers. Today’s vinyl floors are cost-effective, easy to install, and easy to keep clean.
The Prestige of PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
No, prestige and PVC are not a contradiction in terms. Here’s an example. Few brands have been able to create the exclusivity and prestige of Louis Vuitton. Monsieur Louis Vuitton began making exquisite products in 1873, and very quickly, the materials he used became iconic.
I’ll wager most of the people who pay exorbitant prices for authentic Louis Vuitton bags would be shocked to find out their bags are not made of leather. Instead, since 1959, this esteemed brand has used a printed, monogrammed fabric coated with PVC – not because it’s cheaper but because it’s better at withstanding the wear and tear of everyday life. If it’s good enough for Louis Vuitton, it’s probably good enough for your retail floor.
Coincidentally, one of the latest developments in flooring is woven vinyl. Beautifully textured, woven fabrics like linen and jacquards are coated with PVC to create exquisite and durable flooring options. It seems Louis Vuitton has started a new trend.
Other Low Maintenance and High-Quality Flooring Options
When you operate a high-end retail store keeping your floors in tip-top shape is crucial. Nothing can look scuffed, scratched, worn, or stained. When you buy a high-quality floor, you won’t have to worry about customers or staff accidentally damaging your floor. If you suspect this may happen in your store, you might want to opt for easily replaceable carpet tiles or high-end laminate flooring.
Carpet tiles come in a wide variety of colors and designs. They are so easy to replace; you might even be able to replace a damaged tile on your own. It’s always a good idea to keep a few carpet tiles extra just in case.
Laminate flooring used to be a low-cost, low-quality option. Not anymore. Today’s best laminate floors can handle the heaviest traffic, and they absorb sound. Try walking on it yourself. You won’t hear that hollow sound old laminate flooring was known for.
The Importance of a Flooring Expert
Choosing a floor for your retail store can be a significant investment in the profitability of your business. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly. The floor plays such a key role in the overall design of your store; leaving the floor as an afterthought is a lost opportunity. And this is just from a customer impression point of view.
When you consider the number of high-tech developments in flooring over the last few years, investigating and narrowing down the pros and cons of what’s available can be a daunting task on your own. Take some time to evaluate the flooring outlet you choose to help you decide.
Staying Away From a Big Box Store Isn’t Enough
Please make sure whoever you choose to work with has experience with the flooring necessary with high-end retail, even if you don’t have quite a high-end budget. The flooring experts at Flooring Direct know what it takes to create the right kind of look and feel for your needs. Contact them today to find out more, and feel free to ask them all the questions you might have.