We've all visited a shop at some point in our lives. In fact, a good many of us visit shops or stores on a daily or at least weekly basis. Whether it is to grab some milk or for our weekly grocery shopping, brick and mortar shops have been part of human lifestyles since the dawn of time.
The earliest shops were probably no more than specialised caves or modified dwellings to house specific wares or purposes. However, as civilisation become more advanced, specialist trades and businesses came into being. With the coming of industry, artisans and craftsmen known as shop fitters saw to it that shops become more functionally adept and even aesthetically pleasing.
One of the earliest examples of public cents come from ancient Rome in the forums where the commercial markets housed elaborate shopping venues and arcades. One of the first public malls is the Trajan's Market in Rome in the Forum of Trajan . Trajan 's Market was probably built around 100-110 AD by Apollodorus, and is thought to be the world's oldest shopping mall and a precursor to the modern mall. The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, built in the 15th century is one of the largest indoor shopping malls in the world, with more than fifty streets and over forty thousand shops. Numerous other covered shopping arcades, such as the 19th Century Al-Hamidiyah Souk in Damascus, Syria, could be also be considered the precursor to today's shopping centre. But the most amazing of the historical bazaars is probably the Isfahan Grand Bazaar in Iran, which is largely covered and dates from the 10th Century.
Moving closer to Europe, Gostiny Dvor in St. Petersburg Russia, which opened in 1785 is one of the first shopping centres in purpose-built shopping centre type are considered, which consists of more than a hundred shops.
The majority of British shopping centers are located in city centre arcades usually found in old and historic districts surrounded by shopping and outdoor shopping streets. Great examples West Quay in Southampton, Manchester Arndale, Bullring Birmingham, Liverpool One, Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow and Eldon Square in Newcastle upon Tyne. In addition to the commercial centres of the city centre, major cities in the UK also feature large regional malls out of town as Meadowhall Centre, Sheffield serving South Yorkshire, the Trafford Centre in Greater Manchester and Bluewater in Kent. These centres have been built in the 1980s and 1990s, but planning regulations prohibit the construction of more.
Today, a modern shop is a complex entity comprising both architectural as well as interior design aspects. A shop is the sum of its function, its branding and its offerings. In order to succeed in today's competitive business climate, it is therefore crucial to design and build your brick and mortar shop to the best means possible.
While it may be relatively easy to select a location and rent a space in a building, it is more demanding to get your interior design right. A specialist interior design for a shop is called a shop fitting, and the specialists who provide tailored shop interiors are referred to as shop fitters. A good shop fitter works with you, taking meticulous care to ensure the correct interior design, colour scheme, brand congruence, and sale process design and customer funnelling. A shop fitter is responsible for the entire customer journey from the moment the customer enters the brick and mortar shop, and a good shop fitting can make a world of a difference when it comes to business revenues and hence profitability.