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Painting ourselves out of a corner

Remember the old adage “never judge a book by its cover”? Well, I certainly found out recently that this saying does not apply when it comes to revamping your shop frontage.

Our shop is situated in an 18th century tollgate house in Kent with a beautiful Georgian facade, but it desperately needed a fresh coat of paint.

In December last year we decided to update our corporate identity and go for an entirely new shopfit. We approached several shopfit experts who gave us some wonderful ideas, but at a price. We had to consider whether we could justify spending all that money at the beginning of the credit crunch.

I also discovered there were few experts out there who understood independent shops and their needs – their main skill seemed to be to make an indie look like everyone else on the high street.

With all this in mind, we decided to just paint the outside and go for a new logo. Our designer created a superb new logo for us, which has a slate grey background with pearl grey writing. It’s a far cry from the colours and logo we used to have, which was a crimson rose set on a turquoise background.

We are delighted with the outcome. The look of the logo is very contemporary and gives a much more modern feel to the shop. We painted the windows white, which has given the clothes a completely fresh look. The inside of the shop suddenly looks right and we are really busy.

We have had an influx of new customers who might not have come in before. So I’ve decided you should always judge a shop by its frontage.

Helen E Pritchard is a partner at womenswear shop Elizabeth Rose in Tenterden, Kent.

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