Shop Fitters Melbourne logo

What does a shop fitter do?

What does a shop fitter do?

Shop fitting Melbourne, shop fit outs, shop fitouts, picture of cafe, shop fitting - Shop Fitters Melbourne

Businesses don’t start running immediately after conception. Businesses, especially retail and service-centred companies, need a place to sell their products and services. Procuring the commercial space is one thing; knowing what to do with the space is another! This is where the expertise of professional shop fitters like us at Shop Fitters Melbourne shines. Let’s dive into the world of shop fitting and find out what shop fitters can do for you. 


What is a shop fitter?

Let me tell you a thing or two about the job I’m most passionate about, being a shop fitter. Having been in the shop fitting industry and construction trade in and around Melbourne for over thirty years building commercial buildings and homes, I’ve developed a knack for turning empty spaces into vibrant and promising retail spaces to help your businesses get on the track to success. A shop fitter is more than a mere builder. A shop fitter is someone who takes charge of creating shop designs, translating them into reality by installing fixtures and frames, making shopfronts,  ensuring fittings fit perfectly, and checking up on plastering, flooring, and even lighting. Shopfitters are also in charge of doing the math: estimating material quantities, sizes, and costs, preparing quotations, and measuring on and off-site. Our portfolio spans an array of diverse projects – from cozy cafes to chic restaurants, trendy bars, sleek offices, and prestigious retail establishments, including renowned brands like Bang and Olufsen.

What are the skills shop fitters should have?

If you wake up one day and suddenly decide you want to become a shop fitter, there is certainly more than one thing you should consider. In my 30 years in the industry, I’ve realised that in my line of work as a shop fitter doing shop fitouts, you must have a special and unique set of skills to succeed in the business. First, you should have a keen sense of design and creativity. A shop fitter’s ability to translate the client’s vision and transform it into reality through precise, detailed, and accurate shop design plans will keep your clients happy and eager to keep working with you. Take, for instance, creating a restaurant with a Greek theme reminiscent of Santorini. It necessitates thorough research into Santorini’s architectural styles, materials, and ambience to bring the client’s vision to life. This wealth of knowledge and effort will allow you to better translate your client’s vision.  But, it doesn’t end with creativity and design skills; you need to be hands-on and showcase your craftsmanship, working with different materials like wood, metal, glass, plastic, and more to create beautiful and attractive shop fronts and interiors that will attract customers. Another skill you should have is effective project management, multi-tasking, and meticulous attention to detail. You need to know how to oversee the major and minor tasks while working with subcontractors (if you have them). There’s absolutely no room for errors and mistakes if you’re a shop fitter! Adaptability is another key attribute. Shop fitters must seamlessly transition between diverse retail sectors, catering to the unique demands of each client – be it a cozy cafe, a trendy boutique, a rustic eatery, or a modern office.

Picture of stand up chiller of drinks, store design, retail fit outs, shop fitting, Melbourne shop fit outs - Shop Fitters Melbourne

How do I become a shop fitter?

Becoming a shop fitter like me isn’t too far from reach. From personal experience, I hired shop fitters to work with me, and here are the qualifications most shop fitter aspirants should have. Firstly, it is preferable to have a College Education. While it’s not a solid requirement, most shop-fitting companies look for candidates with associate degrees in Carpentry or a similar field. You can enrol in a Certificate III in Shopfitting course in some of Victoria’s finest educational hubs and schools. Next, sign yourself up for a great apprenticeship program. Consider the field or specialisation you want to work in and search for apprenticeships that fit your needs and schedule. Finishing an apprenticeship allows you to have a Certificate of Completion. Completing an apprenticeship awards a Certificate of Completion, a key to unlocking opportunities in the shop fitting industry. Remember, hands-on experience is invaluable in this profession. 

As shop fitters, what do we do? 

So, what do shop fitters like us exactly do? Here’s a list of our tasks and responsibilities as commercial fitters, shop fitters, and retail shop fitters. 

  • Site Visits: Do a site visit to assess the location 
  • Permits and Permissions: Acquire the necessary permits and permissions 
  • Concept Design: Planning and designing store concept designs
  • Installations: Manage the different installations, fixtures, signage, equipment, lighting, and more. 
  • Acquisition: Acquire the materials needed to translate the client’s vision into reality
  • Fabrication: Our craftsmanship shines as we mold materials into captivating designs.
  • Communication: Excellent communication with clients, suppliers, and shop fitting team to ensure you’re not skipping any steps
  • Safety Compliance: Consult with inspectors and specialists to ensure your shop fitting meets all safety requirements. 
  • Final Touches: Add the final touches and finishings to the retail store
  • Maintenance: Perform routine maintenance 
  • Documentation: Record and document all data, expenses, and everything related to the client’s shopfitting 
  • Project Oversight: Oversee the entire project from start to finish, making sure that everything goes according to timeline and budget.
  • Turnover: Handover the shop to the client

Shop Fitter FAQ

There are many ways to reduce shop fitting costs: 

  1. Set a realistic budget
  2. Choose the right size and location of shop
  3. Plan ahead, and plan in detail
  4. Prioritise the most important tasks or elements of your shop
  5. Reuse and upcycle existing fixtures, materials
  6. Choose a shop fitter like us at Shop Fitters Melbourne who can offer you cost-effective shop fitting solutions all over Melbourne.

While shop fitting could be done by yourself, it’s highly recommended to hire professional shop fitters to save money, time, and for safety reasons. Commercial fit out companies and specialists like us at Shop Fitters Melbourne are equipped with the latest tools, equipment, and are updated with the latest trends and techniques when it comes to store and office design. 

Based on our shop fitting experience, store designing and retail fit outs can take as much as four to six weeks, and could extend depending on the complexity of your store design and availability of materials. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top