Professional, correctly selected, high-quality lighting in the sales area and shoe store windows guarantees success with customers. But making it is not easy. A holistic approach to lighting development (ceiling + furniture + architecture) is a must for a successful shoe store, says Natalya Frolova, SR lighting expert in fashion retail. We analyze with her not very successful examples of lighting in shoe stores and offer solutions to the problem.
lighting expert in shoe and fashion retail.
Lighting is an important part of visual merchandising. It is no longer a secret that high-quality lighting emphasizes the brand's concept, enhances emotional perception and influences consumer behavior. According to research, smart lighting increases sales by 5-10%.
As we know, footwear belongs to a small-format product group, so lighting here plays a special role in product presentation. Any extraneous artifacts that could distract the buyer from making a purchase should be minimized. To a greater extent, this applies to trade equipment and lighting. When a customer enters a store, their attention should be drawn only to the product, and not to furniture items or lighting effects. In this article, we want to tell you what factors negatively affect the perception of a brand in terms of lighting.
Different color temperatures of light elements
1.Lighting elements in architecture.
Imagine walking into a store and plunging into the pleasant atmosphere of warmth provided by lighting fixtures. You walk to the shelves with shoes, and then you are struck by the "neon" illumination of the shelves, giving a strange cold shade. At first glance, this dissonance does not seem very significant, but such a sharp contrast is repulsive, forcing the buyer to doubt the chosen shade of shoes. Moreover, the different color temperatures of the light sources make the store visually untidy.
The brand books of foreign brands clearly state what temperature the lighting should be. Self-respecting brands know that for a correct perception of their trade concept and products, general lighting and illumination must be read by the eye as being completely equal. But in practice, it often happens that the Russian representative office of the brand orders the development of furniture already with built-in lighting (shelves, racks). Without proper control, in this case, furniture makers put the LED strip or lamp that they had in stock. As a rule, the color of the tape never coincides with the general lighting, but it is too late and expensive to change something here.
Light modeling - test assembly of a light element, scenes in the laboratory during the design process - allows you to accurately understand how the lighting will look.
Light modeling at the design stage of the store will help to avoid such problems. Lighting modeling is done in order to most favorably emphasize the color, texture of shoe models, and consists in the selection of certain lighting characteristics. Ideally, light modeling should be done in the presence of brand representatives, with several basic models and shoe elements. The selected color temperature is specified in the specification, and appropriate recommendations are issued to furniture makers. But that is not all. It is highly advisable to do testing of backlit furniture before purchasing lighting in order to be sure of the result.
2. Lighting around the store.
Furniture lighting is not always used, more often stores get by with general or accent lighting based on bus-bar spotlights or built-in downlights. If there is a need for spot selection of shelves, doing this with the help of furniture lighting is far from the only option. Such general lighting devices as zooms, devices with a built-in oval-shaped lens, which allow adjusting the width and height of the light spot depending on the size of the shelf, have already been created and are actively used in retail. Such a lens can be used to highlight both the point-by-point product on the shelf and the entire surface of the shelf.
The advice in this case is this: trust but verify! On-site testing or simulation in the supplier's laboratory with your product and equipment is ideal.
Chameleon lamps. During operation, LED lamps change color.
Let us consider in detail the issue of the quality of LEDs, since there are nuances that affect, among other things, the perception of the human eye. The level of quality of LED luminaires is directly related to how long it takes before the luminaire starts to "age". This process is called degradation and is expressed as a decrease in the brightness of the emitted light. In addition, a phenomenon such as a color shift occurs - a change in the color of the luminaire glow visible to the naked eye.
Blue, red, green, purple lamps look like a garland and give the store a cheap and "tired" look.
Replace obsolete equipment on time.
You can often see another feature: the light from the devices installed in the sales area visually differs in color, despite the same declared values. Usually, when a brand places an order for the supply of lighting fixtures from a contractor company, it prescribes a color temperature parameter in the terms of reference (for example, 2000 Kelvin, or 4000 Kelvin). This parameter is just responsible for the color of the light of the lamp.
The supplier makes the delivery of the corresponding devices. But after installation, it turns out that, despite the same color temperature parameter, the color of the lamps is still visually different. This is because the "tolerance" for the color of the light can vary depending on the quality of the LEDs. And even if the specification indicates the same light color of the fixtures, in reality it may differ if, for example, fixtures produced at different times, with LEDs from different batches, are shipped to the object.
The advice in this case is the same: trust but verify! Do not look at numbers, but do on-site testing or simulations in the supplier's laboratory with your product and equipment.
Extra light spots
Wall bells are sharp-edged light spots that appear on the walls. They distract the customer, create visual noise and unnecessary wall lighting. In rare cases, they really “fit the theme” and fit well into the concept, but in most stores the “bells” on the wall are a distraction, which also makes the store “cheap”.
Although the laws of physics cannot completely eliminate these spots, the problem can literally be smoothed out. Modern equipment is equipped with built-in lens optics, which makes the boundaries of the light spot more blurred and implicit. The distance from the wall to the busbar can also play a role in the formation of spots, therefore it is important to establish the correct distance even at the design stage, taking into account the parameters of the luminaires.
Sunbed shoe try-on area
We try on shoes on the floor, so most of the time we spend in the store, our gaze is directed down to floor level. Trying on shoes is not only to assess the comfort of the model, but also to assess the texture and color, how they are combined with the general tone of clothing, leather, and so on. Therefore, the floor in the fitting area must have a sufficient level of illumination, which is measured in lux. In terms of numbers, the average values that should be adhered to are 500-800 lux.
Incorrect light contrasts
In any storeroom, there are two types of surfaces - horizontal and vertical. We refer to vertical racks and shelves along the walls, to horizontal - podiums, showcases, etc. An often observed problem is uneven illumination of surfaces - for example, near-wall space is brightly lit, and podiums, on the contrary, are dimly lit, although the surfaces receive the same amount of light. The fact is that in our perception, all vertical surfaces, in comparison with horizontal ones, always seem to be more illuminated. Therefore, when designing a store, it is important to correctly distribute lighting over surfaces.
Consider the natural perception factor of the human eye when designing your store in order to establish the correct specifications for the supplier.
And finally, one more problem - the light is not where it is needed. The shelves, the wall above the shelves, the gap between the windows are illuminated, but not the product itself. This problem is the leader of our anti-rating. The reason may lie in the banal inability to correctly aim the devices. This is caused by the lack of special knowledge, competencies, resources, even improvised means from sellers (it may seem ridiculous, but one of the common reasons for incorrect aiming of lamps - there is no stepladder in the store!), Or other reasons, but one way or another, this error occurs in many.
Trust the aiming of lighting devices to specialists.
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