What You Need to Know Before Renovating Your Showroom: Questions, Challenges and Solutions

Updated: Jul 5, 2018

The retail world is going through major changes as technology enters the brick-and-mortar world and consumers expect offline shopping to be an immersive experience. These shifts in expectation are driving more and more retailers to make major changes to their spaces; decorative plumbing showrooms are no exception.

No matter what the business, an owner or manager has to ask one important question- what is it that we do? Does a kitchen and bath showroom sell products or does it sell solutions? When it is so easy to buy products online, the role of a showroom is to improve the lives of the customer. That means making every shopping trip an experience from the moment a person walks through the doors. From 2018 forward, retail spaces including showrooms, need to focus on turning every shopping trip into a connection between the brand and consumer.

For many showroom owners, keeping up with these retail trends means renovating. In this blog, we go over the major considerations facing showroom owners before and during renovations and share some of our expert solutions.

Reception area with branding, Republic Plumbing Supply Showroom
Reception area, Republic Plumbing Supply in Weymouth, MA (Render by SH)

Before Renovating

There are a number of things to consider when heading into a renovation of any type. The mess, the expense and most importantly the cost. The cost of retail renovations goes beyond construction of the space and fixtures; company down-time adds significantly to the overall expense.

Some choose to manage the renovation project on their own, either employing an architect or designing the layout on their own; local contractors are the common choice for construction and installation. The goal is to put the entire space to work, so that each square foot boosts sales.

Define the financial goals

Any renovation budget has to take return on investment into account. While the numbers are not set in stone, industry figures suggest that renovations provide at least a 10 percent increase in sales, with an average sitting somewhere around 30 percent.

Keep the clientele in mind- customer experience is a key driver of business value. The most successful renovations put customer research to use, so by understanding what the target clientele wants, showroom owners can design a space that reflects consumers’ values, beliefs, attitudes and aspirations. This is what it takes to create real fans of a brand or showroom, which means repeat business established through trust and a common vision. For more information, see this Gensler report on the ROI of Design.

Analyze the existing space


  • Is the space easy to navigate?

  • Are there limits due to the existing floor plan or any other space requirements?

  • Upper floors should have wide staircase access and no dark corners. Mirrors, lighting and open displays keep customers from feeling trapped.

  • Eliminate dead-ends and make sure clients don’t miss a thing.

  • Are there windows to work with? Large front windows can turn into incredible display areas that work inside and outside.

  • With or without natural light, lighting is critical. It sets the tone for the visit: is it theatrical, soft or bright?

Thalassa Showroom Floor Plan
SH Design-Build created a unique layout for this Thalassa (EMCO) showroom in Quebec City, QC(Render by SH Design-Build)