how much does a shop fitout cost (3)

How Much Does a Shop Fitout Cost?

One of the most common questions we get asked is, "How much does a fit-out cost?" To assist potential clients in answering this question, we've used our wealth of knowledge and experience to prepare the information below.

Average Cost Of Shop Fit Out

With the caveat that each retail fit-out will be influenced by a wide variety of factors that could affect the cost, we've put together some indicative costs for three different retail store scenarios. Depending on the size and the type of facilities you need, there are three main dollar/metre figures to consider.

  • Basic (cost-effective fit-out or renovation)
  • Mid-Range (up-market, spacious and feature-packed unit)
  • High-End (Opulent retail store fit-out that's ideal for premium retail spaces)

Each type of retail store fit-out is addressed in more detail in the section below. Then, click on whichever type you're after.

How Much Does a Shop Fit Out Cost?

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If your office or shop could use an upgrade, it might be time to consider a fit-out that suits your new business model. Whether you are looking to upgrade your brand or your old fit-out is outdated, a change could be just what your business needs. The average cost of shop fit-out per square metre ranges from around $200 to $2,300, depending on whether it is a basic fit-out or a custom one. Expect to pay between $1,000 and $25,000

Where your business is located affects the cost of the fit-out per square metre. The price differences reflect differences in labour cost, materials, and transportation. Here are a few examples of what you might expect to pay for a basic office fit-out.

  • Sydney $250 – $450
  • Melbourne $300 – $500
  • Brisbane $200 – $300
  • Canberra $250 – $400
  • Perth $275 – $450
  • Darwin $250 – $450
  • Hobart $300 – $400
  • Adelaide $300 – $400

Shop Fit-Outs FAQs

Known as 'fitting out' a store, this process uses equipment, fixtures and fittings to bring the planned store designs to life in a way that appeals to customers and helps drive sales. Companies stocks a wide selection of shop fit-out products to help you get the most out of your retail business.

Shopfitting is the business of building and installing, known to our trade as 'fitting-out, commercial spaces. It also incorporates necessary shop fittings, fixtures and equipment a business needs to function and trade.

  • Paint an accent wall. 
  • Create window-like effects. 
  • Think vertically. 
  • Avoid a cluttered look. 
  • Move beyond shelving. 
  • Use open bookcases as dividers. 
  • Illuminate your space in different ways.

The store layout is the design of a store's floor space and the placement of items within that store. Store layout helps influence a customer's behaviour, which means when done right, it's a key strategy to a store's prosperity.

4 Types of Store Layout You Need to Know About

  • Grid.
  • Herringbone.
  • Loop (Racetrack)
  • Free-Flow.

Factors Impacting the Cost of a Shop Fit Out

Several factors and affect the fit-out cost. Here are a few examples of some things to consider.

The needs of every business are different, but some essential items will apply to calculate most average shopfitting costs. The shop fit-out cost per square metre will vary significantly depending on the area, location, and type of business.

Design

In most contemporary shopping centres, you will need to engage a professional designer to deliver your space. The approval process needs to be managed to maximise the impact of your store whilst also achieving certification by a private certifier or municipality. If the site is a high street location, you have more leniency. However, you should still be aware of your obligations under the Building Code in your region and ensure you maximise the space.

Experience Of The Shopfitter

You can expect to pay more for an experienced shopfitter. Still, you also get the benefit of their knowledge and skill.

Fixtures And Joinery

This is very dependent on the design of your store. In this case, it is important to know what you are looking for, as the cost can quickly be absorbed in this area. Sourcing options extend once you have timelines in control – where offshore supply may let you achieve a better or more detailed result with the same capital – or save significantly if you have more than one location to focus on. IA Hardware can help you with multiple sourcing options.

Flooring

This one can creep up on you, so be vigilant in understanding the floor that is being specified. What's its durability, is it designed to be used in a commercial/retail space, how much is the material, and how much does it cost to lay? All considerations when choosing the right product and application. The site conditions also have a bearing on how much your flooring will cost – as floor preparation can often be a similar amount as your flooring.

Consider the usage and how much traffic flooring will get during the day. It is possible to reuse the old flooring if it is in good shape to save on costs. Be sure to consider the ease and cost of maintenance when choosing the floor.

Lighting

If anywhere, this is where we recommend you spend money. A badly delivered, well-lit space often looks better than an amazing space that is poorly lit. Lighting is everything at retail. Good quality fittings with accurate colour rendering, which hero's your product, but the right amount of light – so you don't look like a 7-11 store or the bat cave. The scene is set with the ambience created by in-store lighting. Generally, we would recommend somewhere around 5% – 7% of the fit-out cost be spent on lighting fixture supply. [IA Hardware lighting range being released late 2018.]

Lighting costs depend on the style of lighting chosen and the amount of light needed in the space. If an electrician is needed, then lighting costs could go up significantly. Also, a building with old wiring might have to be upgraded. Many leases specify that the landlord will supply the lighting, but not all of them, so make sure you read your contract.

Location

The location of the shop fit-out will have a significant impact on the price. For instance, a fit-out at a major mall in a big city will cost more than one in a smaller town.

Timeframe. If you want a rush job, then you can expect to pay more than for a job with an extended time frame.

Base Building Costs

Shopfitting costs per square metre must consider the age of the building and upgrades that are needed. Most rental agreements do not include shop fit-out costs, so be sure to read the lease terms carefully. In addition, shopfitting costs might be affected by local requirements or requirements by the landlord.

This is a hidden cost to many of our clients when they first start working with us, an unknown. Generally, the asset manager delivers all mechanical and fire services at the retailer's cost in a mall environment. Therefore, negotiating these costs to be reduced before the execution of the lease (if not covered by the landlord) is a critical cost-saving measure. Similarly, a level floor, stairs or disabled access, structural elements required to carry your fit-out are all elements that can be undertaken as part of the "Base Building" and add significant "Cost to a Retail Fit Out".

Materials Used

The materials that you choose will have a significant impact on the cost. For example, high-end materials such as marble or custom hardwood fixtures will cost more than more common fittings, such as tile and laminate.

This is where cost can easily blow out, and understanding what is available on the market is essential – working with a professional in this area can save thousands! Stone vs Man-Made Stone vs Laminate. The cost differences are significant, as is the impact on the finished space. Working with our clients, we aim to retain materiality in high touch locations and save in lower touch locations for the customer, resulting in a higher perceived value in the space.

Painting

Painting costs generally depend on the size of the area to be painted. Painting tall spaces or larger spaces might require extra equipment and someone experienced with this job size.

Signwriting & Technology

This one is very much, how long is a piece of string! There is a lot of costs associated with various technologies or signage formats in store. However, when comparing capital cost, you also need to weigh up the operational update of static signage vs simple update of digital signage. It is a great idea to start with a tech budget that allows you to do something – and if decisions are made mutually with either business partners, consultants, or suppliers to support tech further in-store, the decision is mutual. On numerous projects, we have worked on a capital budget + hardware budget for digital.

Signwriting can cost between a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. In addition, some areas have restrictions on the types, sizes, and style of signage that you can use, so be sure to meet local requirements first.

Size Of The Space 

The cost per square metre prices many fit-outs. If you have a small coffee shop, it will cost less than a larger retail store.

Staff

Don't forget that when you're working on a new project, you have staff working on various aspects not associated with the build, from merchandise to operations. These staff costs need to be factored into the project, whilst also considering the time they are spending not focused on their day job! These costs can multiple easily, so focusing on your existing operations is critical whilst working the business's next steps.

The Complexity Of The Job

Of course, the more complicated the project is, the more it will cost. For instance, custom fixtures and a job that involves rearranging structural components of the space will be more than a simple task involving only flooring and surfaces.

Price Estimates for Different Types of Shop Fit Outs

how much does a shop fitout cost

Commercial fit-out costs also vary by the type of project and business. Here are a few things to consider when costing out your particular business.

Office

Average office fit-out costs are calculated at around 10 square metres for every person on staff. Office refurbishment costs sometimes must meet additional requirements established by landlords, too. Materials and style also affect office fit-out costs.

Coffee Shop

Coffee shop fit-out cost is typically relatively small due to the smaller square footage and space requirements than other businesses. You can make it look quaint and cozy by adding little details and finishing touches.

Retail

Retail fit-out cost per square metre depends on how much merchandising area is required. Retail fit-out costs can be some of the most expensive, depending on the branding and materials requirements. For example, retail store fit-out costs for a high-end boutique would be much more than a discount store.

Elements Involved in a Shop Fit Out

The needs of every business are different, but some essential items will apply to calculate most average shopfitting costs. The shop fit-out cost per square metre will vary significantly depending on the area, location, and type of business.

Building

  • Shopfitting costs per square metre must consider the age of the building and upgrades that are needed.
  • Most rental agreements do not include shop fit-out costs, so be sure to read the lease terms carefully.
  • Shopfitting costs might be affected by local requirements or requirements by the landlord.

Flooring

  • Consider the usage and how much traffic flooring will get during the day.
  • It is possible to reuse the old flooring if it is in good shape to save on costs.
  • Be sure to consider the ease and cost of maintenance when choosing the floor.

Lighting

  • Lighting costs depend on the style of lighting chosen and the amount of light needed in the space.
  • If an electrician is needed, then lighting costs could go up significantly. Also, a building with old wiring might have to be upgraded.
  • Many leases specify that the landlord will supply the lighting, but not all of them, so make sure you read your contract.

Painting

  • Painting costs generally depend on the size of the area to be painted.
  • Painting tall spaces or larger spaces might require extra equipment and someone experienced with this job size.

Signwriting

  • Signwriting can cost between a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
  • Some areas have restrictions on the types, sizes, and style of signage that you can use, so be sure to meet local requirements first.

How to Hire a Shop Fitter

Shop fit-out costs can vary greatly depending on the type of business, area, and what will be involved. Here are a few tips on hiring a shop fit-out firm.

How To Create An Accurate Estimate.

  • Make sure that you know what is and is not included in the lease agreement.
  • Research any local or site-specific rules beforehand.
  • Make a detailed plan of the space and how you intend to use it before you start searching for quotes.

Licencing And Qualifications.

Shop fit-outs do not necessarily require anything other than a general building and contractor's license. However, if significant construction, electrical, or plumbing work is needed, the contractor would have to either possess the required licenses themselves or have agreements with other subcontractors. Here are a few things that you need to ask beforehand.

  • Do they have the necessary licenses to perform all of the work that will be required?
  • Can you see any pictures or get references from past customers?
  • Make sure you know exactly what services will and will not be provided by the contractor.

Expert Tips To Save You Thousands

Existing premises have an enormous impact on retail fit-out costs.

Essentially, costs are determined by the journey needed to take you from now to where you want to be. Specifically, the state of your current premises plays a key role in determining what's needed to create the fit-out you want.

Premises in poor condition or with essential infrastructure missing (for example, a poor climate control system, inferior-quality wiring or structural issues) will require a significant budget for the necessary repairs and upgrades.

Similarly, if the layout of the building is such that extensive renovation will be required to create a workable space, the costs will increase. To minimise the risk of incurring unnecessary additional expenditure, we suggest involving your shopfitter as soon as possible.

Compliance Can Greatly Influence Fit-Out Costs.

Compliance with relevant legislation and regulations is an important aspect of any fit-out project. However, without expert assistance, it's all too easy to overlook the features necessary to ensure compliance with: health & safety legislation; DDA law; building regulations; zoning regulations; and retail-specific guidance (for example, if you store or sell flammable or hazardous materials, there are extra considerations to take account of).

Look At What You Already Have Available.

Not only can the cost of a shop fit-out be greatly reduced by using materials and equipment that you already have to hand, but it's also surprising how often additional cash can be raised by selling unwanted assets. 

Leave Sufficient Time

Tight deadlines and a punishing schedule can potentially push the price of your project upwards. Leaving more time allows shop fitting companies to search for bargains and tender where outside experts are needed, potentially lowering costs. In addition, the longer you can allow, the more likely the project can be delivered for a lower cost. We can meet insanely tight deadlines if necessary, but with more time, we can often deliver what's needed for less.

Modern Materials Can Cut The Cost / Square Metre.

The materials and technology available for retail fit-outs are constantly changing. Fresh materials are coming on stream, as well as new trends and different ways of working. This means that we can frequently take a look or feature which a client wants and deliver it for less. So, for example, it's possible to find some excellent synthetic materials which have the look of stone or timber.

 These synthetic alternatives deliver the aesthetic needed, at the same time as being lower maintenance, more durable and cheaper than the natural options. Similarly, we can come up with cost-effective floorings, furniture, fittings and fixtures that offer hard-wearing, dependable performance simultaneously as excellent value.

Conclusion

Remember that a fit-out is not the be-all and end-all of the business success – there's plenty more you need to do to keep turning a profit, and there are always plenty of ongoing expenses to contend with. So remember to budget for those future costs, make sure to leave some money aside and don't blow all your funds on a fit-out.

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