Pawsitively Perfect: Tips for Fitting Out Your Pet Supplies Store

If you’re thinking about opening a pet supplies store or looking to improve an existing one, there are a few key factors to consider. The pet industry is a multi-billion-dollar market, with more and more pet owners looking for high-quality and specialized products for their furry friends.

Here are some successful ideas on fitting out your pet supplies store:

Focus on the Essentials

When it comes to fitting out a pet supplies store, it’s important to remember that customers are primarily looking for essential items such as food, toys, and bedding. Make sure your store has a wide selection of high-quality products that cater to a variety of pets, including dogs, cats, birds, and small animals.

Create a Welcoming Atmosphere

Pet owners want to feel comfortable and welcome when they come into your store. Make sure your store is well-lit, clean, and organized, and consider adding some personal touches such as photos of pets or pet-related artwork. A welcoming atmosphere will keep customers coming back and recommending your store to others.

Offer Unique and Specialized Products

In addition to essential items, consider offering unique and specialized products that cater to different types of pets and pet owners. For example, you might offer organic or raw food options, specialty treats, or high-end grooming products. Consider your customer demographics and tailor your offerings accordingly.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

Customer service is key to the success of any retail business, and pet supplies stores are no exception. Make sure your staff are knowledgeable about pet products and can offer advice and recommendations to customers. Offer a loyalty program or other incentives to keep customers coming back.

Embrace Technology

In today’s digital age, technology can be a powerful tool for pet supplies stores. Consider implementing a mobile app that allows customers to order products online or check inventory levels in-store. You might also consider using social media to promote your store and engage with customers.

Incorporating these successful ideas into the fitting out of your pet supplies store can help set you apart from the competition and attract loyal customers. By focusing on offering essential products, creating a welcoming atmosphere, offering unique and specialized products, providing excellent customer service, and embracing technology, you can ensure a positive experience for both your customers and their furry companions.

Remember, your store should be a reflection of your passion for pets, and by following these tips, you can create a pawsitively perfect shopping experience for pet owners.

Building a Vet or Pet Supplies Store?

AAFS Shopfitting have manufactured custom joinery for pet supplies stores and completed full store fitouts, renovations and retrofits of veterinary clinics and pet supplies stores across Victoria.


5 Shopfitting Don’ts – What not to do in Shopfitting

Planning a successful retail fitout requires careful consideration and execution. However, some shop owners make mistakes that can be detrimental to their business. In this blog post, we will discuss five shopfitting don’ts that you should avoid when planning your retail fitout.

1. Don’t Skimp on Quality When it Comes to Shopfitting

Quality should always be a top priority. Cutting corners or opting for cheaper materials may save you money in the short term, but it can cost you dearly in the long run. Cheap materials may not be durable enough to withstand heavy use, leading to frequent repairs or replacements. Low quality finishes may also detract from the overall appearance of your store, leading to negative customer experiences.

2. Don’t Overdo the Design

While it’s important to create a visually appealing store, it’s equally important not to go overboard with the design. A cluttered or overly complex design can be overwhelming for customers and may even detract from the products you’re trying to sell. Instead, focus on creating a clean, streamlined design that allows your products to stand out.


3. Don’t Ignore Functionality

Obviously aesthetics are important, but it’s also essential to consider the functionality of your store. Ensure that your store layout and fixtures are designed to meet the needs of your customers, staff, and products. For example, make sure that your displays are easy to access, your checkout process is streamlined, and your staff have the tools they need to do their jobs effectively.

4. Don’t Forget About Lighting

Lighting is a critical component of any retail fitout. It can impact the overall ambiance of your store and even affect how customers perceive your products. Ensure that your store has adequate lighting that is both functional and visually appealing. Consider using a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting to create a warm, inviting atmosphere.


5. Don’t Rush the Process

Shopfitting is a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. Rushing through the process can lead to mistakes and oversights that can be costly to correct. Give yourself plenty of time to plan, design, and execute your shopfitting project to ensure that it meets your needs and the needs of your customers.

Shopfitting is an essential part of any retail business, but it’s crucial to avoid the common mistakes outlined above. By prioritizing quality, focusing on functionality and design, considering lighting, and taking your time, you can create a retail fitout that sets your business up for success. To discuss your upcoming fitout project, contact leading Melbourne shopfitting company, AAFS Shopfitting on 03 5943 0581.

The Role of Shopfitters in a Store Fit Out

Understand the role a good quality shopfitting company should provide when undertaking a retail shop fitout in Australia.


Rosy Retailers: How Cashed-Up Retailers Should Make the Most of the Pandemic

Unfortunately, this post is not for every retailer. We understand times have been tough in the retail industry for quite a while. Being in commercial construction, where we build retail stores for a living, Australian shopfitters know all too well that many retailers are doing it tough. Many of us are too.

Likewise, we are aware that there are retail stores and chains out there who have been skillfully staying ahead of the evolving retail space, and have been thriving.

Firstly – Congratulations 🙂 Secondly –

Thriving retailers; now is your time to shine!

Now is the time to renovate, remodel, rebrand. While sales are down, now is the time to undertake a shop fitout. Renovate during the pandemic. Now is the time when business interruption is already at a maximum. Therefore, a 3-4 week downtime of business closure to renovate will not have nearly as great an impact as usual. Now, in the midst of the pandemic, is the time a shop fitout would support many local small businesses and trades who are struggling during the Coronavirus crisis.

Business Interruption is already at an all time maximum. Renovate during the pandemic.

Seriously – think about it. With the Covid-19 pandemic your business has;

• Decreased foot traffic
• Staff reduction
• Less overheads
• Reduced sales
• Finance rates at an all-time low (subject to lender and lending criteria)

By renovating during the pandemic you could be supporting some of the following Australian small businesses;

• Shopfitters
• Electricians
• Glaziers
• Plasterers
• Painters
• Plumbers
• Carpenters
• Tilers
• Upholsterers
• Retail designers
• Lighting suppliers
• Equipment hirers
• Flooring suppliers
• Board manufacturers

Cashed up retailers, it’s time to put on those shiny, rose coloured glasses and sparkle.

Take a fresh new look at the pandemic in a different shade of light. Things are tough. Things may never be what they were before Covid-19. But if we work together and all help one another we can, and we will, get through this and make it to the other side. Let’s do this!

If this has inspired you to fitout your store, there are hundreds of small to medium business shopfitters and retail designers nationally to help get you started. The Australian Shopfitting association ASOFIA provides a list of association shopfitting company members, or feel free to Google away to support a business locally to you.

AAFS Shopfitting are based in Melbourne and are licenced and accredited to undertake fitouts nationally. Despite many state borders closing, our business is well set up in each state and territory across Australia, so interstate travel would not be required. We have loyal sub trades and projects teams across the country to assist with your project, no matter where your store is located (check out our project portfolio).

Contact AAFS Shopfitting on 03 5943 0581 to discuss how to get the ball rolling, provide you with contacts of some fantastic local retail designers we’ve worked with, or to tender your upcoming project, if you’re already at that stage.

Stay safe everyone and let’s take care of each other xx

AAFS Shopfitting


Kiosk Shop Fitters: Why Only The Best Will Do

Kiosk shop fitters are provided with better lighting than most tenancies. This is thanks to bright mall lighting and generous skylights found in numerous Australian shopping centres. But whilst the lighting is optimal, mall kiosk builders have their own set of unique challenges. Here is a list of challenges kiosk shop fitters face when building custom mall kiosks, and why we recommend choosing a shopfitting company experienced in kiosk fit outs.

Kiosk Build Spatial Constraints

In Australia, shopping centres require 1200mm high hoarding to surround kiosk tenancies to protect the public from the building site. These space limitations make for a rather difficult shop fit out. Generally only leaving 300mm – 1 metre of working space is available between the joinery and protective barrier, known as shop hoarding.


Noise Restrictions During Trading Hours

Any shopfitting company will tell you how difficult it can be keeping building noise to a minimum to avoid complaints in shopping centres. This challenge becomes extremely problematic when fitting out a kiosk, where zero building noise is allowed during trading hours. Noisy building works, such as using a saw, grinder or nail guns must be undertaken in the limited hours available between centre opening hours and tenancy trading hours.

Under the Watchful Eye of Australian Consumers

The process of fitting out a kiosk requires being constantly watched and scrutinised by centre staff and the general public. With this being the case, kiosk shop fitters should be personable, well presented and highly skilled at site installation. This includes being able to work under pressure without voices being raised and avoiding the use of profanities.

Melbourne Kiosk Shop Fitters

AAFS Shopfitting are custom kiosk manufacturers who thrive on the challenge of fitting out modern kiosk designs. Manufacturing our own joinery provides the opportunity to set up the kiosk within the factory. Pre-construction eliminates risks when installing on site.

Our expert team of shop fitters are pleasant and well presented. We are highly skilled in the shop fitting trade and experienced mall kiosk builders. So if you’re looking for a local Melbourne shopfitting company for a small kiosk, contact one of Australia’s leading shopfitting companies, AAFS Shopfitting, on 03 5943 0581


Check out the Energy Deal kiosk we were an Interior Fit Out Award Finalist for.

Experienced Kiosk Shop Fitters

Building retail kiosks requires friendly, hard working shop fitters with great attention to detail. The highly skilled team of professionals at AAFS Shopfitting are experienced in Melbourne retail and cafe kiosk fit outs.


Why Melbourne Shopfitters are Classified as Commercial Builders

Looking for commercial shopfitters in Melbourne to build your interior fit out? As a registered shopfitting company, we hold a builders licence, known as a Commercial Builders (Limited) licence.

The licence is obtained through the Victorian Building Authority (VBA). Unlike a vehicle licence, the commercial builders licence must be reinstated annually to remain a registered commercial builder. Therefore commercial shopfitters able to legally build commercial buildings, structures and components of these, such as retail and office fitouts.
VBA’s comprehensive application process requires proof of industry qualifications, history of building experience and competency. This is done via an in depth submission form. Submission must be validated by a national police check and a technical referee report for each component of the licence.
Although the Commercial Builders (Limited) licence is also required for construction on low and medium rise building work up to 15 metres in height, at AAFS Shopfitting our registered components (therefore limitations) are for structural and non-structural commercial builds, concentrating particularly on fit outs in the retail and hospitality industries.
Undertaking fit outs in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and across Australia, our award winning commercial shopfitters inspect architectural and designer plans and documents. These are segregated into trades, construction, supply and installation. This helps to accurately establish fit out costs for each commercial shopfitting project we tender.
Once a job has been awarded, our Project Coordinator is responsible for arranging building and council permits. A construction contract is then drawn up; outlining payment terms, significant dates and other company terms and conditions.

The Project Manager is in charge of managing allocated licenced subtrades such as painters, plasterers, plumbers etc. Whilst the remainder of the team focus on setting-out (the process of converting designer and architectural drawings into workable construction drawings), ordering shop fittings, fixtures and other building materials, and the actual joinery construction and installation of the interior fit out.
For a quote from registered, qualified and experienced Melbourne commercial shopfitters, send through your designer drawings to or phone us on 03 5943 0581.

Fit Out Companies: What Retailers Should Expect From Their Builders

Fit out companies do more than just build and install joinery, yet many retailers seem uninformed of exactly what is included in shop fit out costs, and what they can expect shop fitters to arrange and coordinate when undertaking a commercial fit out.  So we’ve provided a breakdown of what retailers should expect from their builders.

Fundamentals: What Fit Out Companies Should Have Before You Consider Them

When gathering quotes from fit out companies, one of the first and most important things you need to ensure, is that the shopfitting company holds a valid builders licence, all required insurances, such as public liability and workers compensation, and that these are up to date. If construction is being done within a shopping centre, this is usually something verified by centre management administration; however can save a lot of time if you establish this before requesting a tender.

Pre-Works: What Shop Fitters Do Before Building Even Begins

For new clients of a commercial fit out company, it would be anticipated that the shop fitter assigned to your project would meet with you prior to project commencement. Here you would discuss your expectations and briefly outline the project timeline. This also allows you to both put a face to the name, so to speak.

As reassurance for both parties, a construction contract outlining the terms and conditions are commonly signed prior to initiating works. The contract should also outline payment terms. Retailers should expect these payment terms to include paying a deposit prior to commencement of the commercial fit out.

One shop fitting tip we strongly recommend is to assign your fit out company as early on in the project planning as possible. This is guaranteed to minimise your workload. Shopping centre retailers can expect fit out companies to attend the centre’s pre-start meeting. Pre-start meetings discuss matters such as inductions, construction plans and emergency procedures.

Furthermore, the fit out company will arrange building permits, coordinate base building works, known as category one, or CAT 1 works. This includes items such as sprinkler and EWIS fire services, and required air conditioning service works that are necessary for any commercial fit out. Your shop fitter will coordinate with centre management in regards to concrete floor construction, the external face of your store, any issues or alterations to tenancy walls and even organisation of the construction hoarding.

Essentially, the only reason a retailer would need to communicate with centre management regarding the shop build, is to sign off on the costings. Any further issues and interactions with centre management should be handled by the fit out company.


During Fit Out: Know What’s Required of, and Organised by, the Shop Fitters

Like when building a house, it’s desirable to maintain one contact person from the fit out company. This person would handle all your enquiries throughout the duration of the project. A Site Foreman is usually assigned this role, and knows the project inside out. Consequently they are able to answer any queries you may have concerning the store build.

Fit out companies arrange their own trades. From plasterers to plumbers. Flooring installers to electricians. The shop fitters coordinate these trades throughout the fit out. This includes supply and installation of all building materials and fixturing, such as lighting, flooring and paint. Any concerns or issues that may arise regarding the build are dealt with by the shop fitters with their trades, the retail designers or tenancy deliver managers, whichever applicable, and where possible.

Shop fitters are responsible for the fit out to meet the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and structural requirements. Relevant building regulations will also be adhered to, and are the responsibility of, the fit out company. Retailers should expect their store to be built within the contracted timeline, feature quality joinery using specified materials and finishes, and as per the quoted price.

In the unlikely and unfortunate case of costly variances or issues arising, it would be assumed that the fit out company would discuss these with you. Outlining the necessity and expense, and issuing a separate invoice for the variance (also known as a variation).  Progress payments are highly probable. Progress payments are deposits paid throughout the store build. The progress payments will be outlined in the contract provided prior to project commencement.

Post Works: What to Expect at Handover

As a general rule of thumb, a retail property up to 300sq metres in size, should expect around a one month turnaround on a complete store fit out. Handover of the store should be as per the agreed date outlined within the original project timeline.

Shop interiors should be 100% completed at handover, There should be no trades in the store finalizing their work.  Commercial cleaners (arranged by your fit out company) should have previously been through and have the store looking spick and span to allow retailers full access to stock the store in preparation for trade.

If this standard of shop fitter involvement and project management is not what you have received in the past, then shop around until you find one who will provide this.

Because this is what retailers should expect from their builders.

AAFS Shopfitting: A fit out company guaranteed to meet your expectations

Eliminate the anxiety and stress out of your next fit out by allocating shop fitters that are guaranteed to meet, or even exceed, your expectations. 

See what shopfitters do inside a shopfitting factory

What is a Shopfitter?

No, not shoplifter. We’re not professional thieves! What is a shopfitter?

Working all over Australia, we’ve had many people read our shirt branding and express to us they incorrectly read it as shoplifter. Then obviously thinking this can’t be right, realised we are shopfitters. Then they ask, “What IS a shopfitter anyway?” So we thought we should explain what our profession actually is, and what shopfitters do. So let’s start with what shopfitting is …

What is shopfitting?

Shopfitting is the business of building and installing, known to our trade as ‘fitting-out’, commercial spaces. This can be fitting out small retail shops and cafes or large commercial offices, department stores and restaurant fitouts.

Shopfitting consists of constructing, and sometimes manufacturing, counters, cupboards, shelving and display units. It also incorporates necessary shop fittings, fixtures and equipment a business needs to be able to function and trade.



What is the role of a shopfitter?

Along with building and assembling joinery, the role of the shopfitter is also to supply and install shop fixtures and fittings. For example, for a hair salon fitout, you would be provided with fixtures such as mirrors and wash chairs. Refrigerators, freezers, mixers and bain-maries would make part of the shopfitting requirements provided for a café fitout. These would generally all be arranged by the allocated shopfitter.

Best of all though, is the shop fit out contractors will organise all trades required for the project. From glaziers, plasterers and painters to plumbers, electricians and flooring specialists; shopfitters coordinate and project manage them all.

That’s why, as an experienced shopfitter, the best shopfitting advice I can give is to engage your shopfitter early in the design process. Doing this prevents clients wasting unnecessary time and resources on project management.

A good shopfitting company will schedule, coordinate and control all of their trades. This is from conception to completion, and allows clients time to concentrate on other important aspects of their role.

In need of a shopfitter? AAFS Shopfitting have constructed and installed fit outs all over Australia. To obtain a quote, forward your plans drawn up by an architect or retail designer and email them to us at or phone our Pakenham office to discuss your upcoming project.

Australian Interior Fitout Company Award Winners

Australians Voted: Best Interior Fitout Company 2016

Australians voted AAFS Shopfitting the winner for Best Interior Fitout in ASOFIA’s inaugural People’s Choice Award for 2015/2016. In fact, the fitout of ProVision Optometry Clayton, in Melbourne’s South East, saw the fitout company take out the national shopfitting award for category of Best Interior Fitout under $150,000 as well. This makes AAFS Shopfitting back to back winners of the fitout category, becoming award winners for the sophisticated fitout of international hairdresser, Franck Provost with their Emporium Melbourne salon, in the 2014/2015 ASOFIA Interior Fitout Awards.

“Up against some the best interior fitouts, and impressive competitors around Australia, we are equally shocked and thrilled to take home the awards” says Managing Director, Brett Curtis. “We strive for excellence in all that we do. Our team’s commitment to maintaining a high quality, and our dedication to a smooth and structured management of all projects has attributed to our success. ”

“Handing over the keys to the business owner after completing a fitout, to us, is still so rewarding. Seeing their eyes light up from the transformation of what the space was a few weeks ago to what we have helped it become in such a short space of time is so gratifying. The hard work of our clients to get to this point – the retail designers, our dedicated crew of contractors and our team’s work has all come together to reach the pinnacle. It is all such a team effort. We are so honoured to receive the awards, but realise that we would not be doing so if it wasn’t for a wide range of people working along beside us. So a huge thank you to all those involved with the build of ProVision Optometry Clayton, to all those who supported and voted for us in the People’s Choice Award and to ASOFIA for inspiring shopfitters to preserve Australia’s high standards in commercial craftsmanship and customer service. Thank you.”

Renovating or expanding your business space?

Obtain a quote from multi award winning shopfitters

If you have plans drawn up by an architect or retail designer and keen to get an idea of the cost to build it, we are more than happy to discuss the proposed project with you.

Hair Salon Cutting and Styling Station

10 Things You Wish You Knew Before Building Your Hair Salon

Whether you’re building a hairdressing business from home, a barbershop in your local strip shops or a busy hair salon in a large shopping centre, these shop fitout tips will guide you to building a successful hairdressing business.

1. What’s the right height for work station benches?

Lower back pain is a common work related injury for hairdressers. Prevent the risk and get the height right. Generally the finished floor level (FFL) to benchtop finish height for a hair salon work station is around 900mm. Also remember to adjust chair height for each client to minimise lower back bend. Check in the salon mirrors to see that you are standing, or sitting, correctly

2. Mirror Mirror on the Wall: Which Colour Should I Install?

Grey mirrors are trending in the business space at the moment. The slightly tinted appearance offers a more commercial look than your standard silver mirror and creates a striking contrast to hair care products placed in front, enticing an easy cross selling opportunity.

Want to make the room look larger? Install one large panel of glass across a number of work stations, rather than smaller, individual mirrors per station.

3. Optimise natural lighting throughout the hair salon

Where possible make the most of natural lighting in the salon to give clients the true colour of their hair shades. Where lighting is required, LED lights of approximately 3000K offer a natural look, however we highly recommend to discuss the lighting design in detail with the architect or designer, as well as the lighting supplier, about the right lux levels (illuminance and luminous emittance and how far the light throws) for your space.

Want to save money on building your salon?

Tip: Allow plenty of time to gather quotes

Successful shopfitters project manage the salon build for their clients. This includes arranging required trades to complete the build. To ensure the best price for your hair salon, make sure you allow shopfitters the time to obtain prices off their trades and not throw an overpriced estimated figure when pricing your project.

4. Install insulating flooring to stop sound struggle and prevent a noisy salon

Minimise the battle of bellowing over the sounds of hairdryers and running taps by installing noise insulating vinyl flooring. This flooring solution is highly effective at absorbing sound compared to opposing flooring products. It’s also great for hairdressing businesses as other benefits of vinyl flooring include being highly stain resistant, easy to clean, durable and best of all – affordable!

5. Cutting station to shampoo sink ratio

To maintain a fluent customer flow, the general rule of thumb when building a hairdressing business is a 1:3 ratio of shampoo sinks to styling /cutting stations.

6. Create a welcoming reception counter to entice customers

The reception counter is where clients make their first and last point of contact with your hair salon. Therefore it’s essential to create a visually appealing and welcoming entrance that conveys a sense of comfort and space. Clever use of colour in the store design can effectively segregate the reception area without intruding on the remaining space of the salon. This is also an ideal place to display haircare products to influence consumers to purchase.

Hair care product display shelving

7. Salon Smell: Make Scents of the Sales Opportunity

Don’t underestimate the power of scent in sales. Take Subway for example. Or Darrell Lee. Or Dusk. These stores contain such a distinct scent that their presence is known before consumers visually locate the retailer. Without thought it triggers an emotional response where we visualise a memory of the product.

Evoke emotional connections with your clients by producing a subtle scent to the salon. The aroma of hair care products used in the salon can build brand identity and provide a sense of relaxation for customers. This has the potential to affect client’s buying behaviour, and dramatically increase purchases of the product.

8. Increase client retention with comfort and relaxation

Customer comfort is essential in client retention. When building your hairdressing business, be sure to consider client relaxation whilst their hair is being treated. Plan the cutting stations for client comfort as well as for storing salon equipment. Design a specific position for coffee cups, magazines and phones for a clutter free bench top. Plan a place off the floor such as a hook, cupboard or shelving space for clients to feel comfortable and secure to leave their handbag.

Looking for a simple and inexpensive personal touch? Provide the opportunity for clients to charge their phone or tablet whilst in the salon, by supplying a charging dock at each work station. Digital Trends recommends the best portable charges for 2022, although there are so many other products on the market.


9. Design wash basin space for optimal comfort

To ensure your salon provides a pleasurable experience, design and build the wash basins for client’s psychological comfort, as well as physical comfort. Be privacy conscious and aware of the direction of skirts and dresses. If the layout of the floor plan forces the shampoo station chairs to face the street or salon entry, construct a privacy fin to certify clients are content.

10. Adhere to all health and safety regulations

Be sure to adhere to all health and safety regulations within your country, state and municipality. This includes maintaining clean work stations, requiring separate wash basins, ensuring safety with chemicals and organising regular electrical appliance testing.

For information on workplace health and safety in Australia, head to or Safe Work Australia.

IBISWorld’s Australian Market Research Report (May 2016) advises that “hair and beauty service operators have a high rate of business failure.” So safeguard your hairdressing business with thorough research and by building with a trusted and reliable builder.

To discuss your salon fit out with award winning Melbourne shopfitters, contact AAFS Shopfitting on 03 5943 0581.

SlideShare Presentation on Shopfitting Tips for Optometry Store Design

Strategic Tips for Building or Renovating an Optometry Practice [SlideShare]

This short presentation is a helpful guide to optometry practice business owners wishing to renovate an existing practice or build a new store fit out.



To read optical store case studies or view more images of optometry stores built by AAFS Shopfitting check out the following fit outs within our company portfolio:

Hastings Optical (Mornington Peninsula, Victoria)

Family Eyecare (Bentleigh, Victoria)

ProVision Clayton (Clayton, Victoria)

Or contact our experienced team of Melbourne shopfitters on 03 5943 0581 to discuss your upcoming fit out project