Are you considering buying roll up awnings for your bookshop? I’ve seen many bookstores use these effectively in a number of situations. We’ll go over the pros as well as a few cons in an effort to help you make the decision on whether or not your shop should install awnings.
First a few reasons why you might want to consider roll up awnings. The most obvious reason is advertising. What better place to put some simple lettering letting all the motorists and pedestrians know that you exist. I’ve actually stopped people in front of a particular bookshop that only had light colored stickers on the window and now ‘in your face’ sign or awning. I asked them if they knew that there was a terrific little bookshop in their neighbourhood and of course many knew very well that we were standing in front of it, there was a certain percentage (I think it was around 10%) had no idea that there was one. There’s nothing as direct as plain old white on dark lettering to get the place noticed.
Roll up awnings also can add a level of prestige to a small retail shop. There are times (and locations) where it makes sense to sell things for slightly more than they are worth – it gives the air of excellence. A few details need to go into your operation if you want to give off the appearance of operating an exclusive boutique. We’ve already discussed opening hours in another post. You also need to ‘look the part’ and a plexiglass rectangular sign simply won’t cut it. Roll up awnings give the feeling of an expensive shop as long as they are properly maintained. So keep it clean and keep it from fading.
One final reason to consider a roll up awning, and this may be the most important or at least the most practical. You may require some shade in the front section of your shop. When the sun is shining a bookshop’s storefront can have an entire window display’s worth of books sun bleached (loss of color) in as little as one sun filled afternoon. Another undesirable effect of course is the glare and heat caused by direct sun. Of course we are stating the obvious but a nice efficient, retractile sun screen will help in these areas.
If you are considering buying roll up awnings then you need to take one installation tip into consideration. This may sound obvious but you need to make sure the canopy is installed at a proper height. I often travel with a friend who is 6′ 7″ and I see first hand how annoyed he gets when having to navigate a poorly installed awning.
Another consideration, one that will by necessity be tied to your awning budget and perhaps your advertising budget is the quality. To be frank, if you are going to skimp on quality then your best choice is to skip it altogether. There is nothing worse that a torn apart, bent or faded awning. It screams out “I don’t care about my business – why should you”. You need to have sturdy, aircraft quality aluminum. The fabric needs to be sun protected and durable to stand up to the elements.
There are some accessories that you may want to consider when thinking of buying roll up awnings. A motor system is one. It may at first seem like an added luxury but rolling up your awning regularly will increase it’s lifespan. You may think that it’s not such a big deal to roll it up once or twice a day but after six months you will grow tired of it and either leave it down all the time, keeping it exposed to the elements or worse, keeping it rolled up where it is of little use. With a motor and a flick of a switch to unroll the awning you won’t grow tired of it. You can even add a timer into the mix so that it takes care of itself.
Another great accessory for your roll up awnings are sensors. You can get sun sensors that will unroll the awning as the brightness increases. You can also get wind sensors that will roll up the awning when wind speeds reach a certain level. Most damage to roll up awnings are caused by excessive wind and if you are busy in your shop, especially if it is a larger shop then you may not even have noticed the wind picking up. This one accessory could save you from having to replace the entire unit.
One final tip if you do decide to take the plunge and buy an awning. You will probably want to close it down for the season if you live in a northern town. While blocking the sun in the summer is terrific, it’s the last thing you want to do in the winter. You’ll need all the winter sun you can get to help reduce the winter heating bill. So make your last roll up awning accessory a nice storage bag that ties it up and protects it over the winter months. Like the canvas awning itself make sure your protective gear is UV protected.
Enjoy your new roll up awnings and don’t forget to make the lettering big and bold.