Apply Today: Retail Improvement Grants Can Help Your Renovation Happen
Note: Retail Improvement Grants are currently available in the United States and Canada only.
In January, we asked the WPN Facebook group who was planning to move, renovate, or expand their store this year. The numbers surprised us—about 60% of respondents globally were planning a physical store improvement in 2020, many with WPN Premium in mind.
But this year hasn't gone as planned. The world looks different now than it did back in January, and a lot of plans have been put on hold during the pandemic.
We hope that the return of Retail Improvement Grants can help get some of those plans back on track.
Last year's pilot Retail Improvement Grant program was a huge success. Nineteen North American stores were approved for grants, many of whom have already completed incredible improvements to their businesses.
After that successful test, the program is becoming bigger and better, and the application process has been streamlined to get to work on your improvements as quickly as possible.
Let's dive in.
Should I Apply for a Retail Improvement Grant?
We prioritize working with stores that are excited to do the work on improving their space. As we review applications, the question on our minds is this: will the project contribute to a world-class retail experience?
If you're not sure, checking out the WPN Premium Quality Checklist is a great place to start.
Each box on the Premium Quality Checklist was chosen because it directly affects customer experience. Each item is the result of careful study—identifying commonalities between the WPN's top performers, workshopping with WPN members and our Retail Advisory Panel, and so on.
Proposals that will help check off boxes on the WPN Premium Quality Checklist are likely to contribute to that world-class retail experience.
What Improvements Do You Need?
To streamline the application process, we've broken the types of work the grants can cover into four different categories: Furniture, Design, Operational, and Construction.
You'll need to download and fill out a short, improvement-specific questionnaire to attach to your application—links to download these questionnaires are included under each type.
No project is too small! Do you need new tables or chairs (one of the most common unchecked items for stores working towards Premium)? Are you looking for shelving that better fits your inventory? This is for you.
The design category is perfect for making your store stand out. Fresh branding, custom-made fixtures, and amazing décor like a full-wall mural all fall under this project type.
If you want to expand the reach of your business and better connect with your customers, start here! This category covers a wide range of digital storefront, website, and ecommerce solutions, like tools for managing inventory, contacting customers, running promotions, processing and shipping, and more.
This project type is the most extensive—it covers a wide range of structural improvements like electrical work, plumbing, new flooring, a new roof, and more. These projects can be especially hard to manage alone, so they're a great candidate for a grant.
If you're not sure which improvement you should tackle first, consider this: what do you feel is the biggest issue preventing you from reaching WPN Premium?
That issue is a great place to start!
I'm Ready to Apply! What Do I Need to Do?
Once you've selected your project, you'll need to send in an application—complete with your questionnaires, estimated budget (the grant will cover up to 50% of the total project cost), walkthrough video and professional-grade photos that show off clean areas with good lighting and no people.
We'll review your complete application package and forward it to Sitelines, the design agency managing the renovation projects and distributing grants. They can also help you set up professional photography for your before and after photos.
If your project is selected, you’ll work with a project manager at Sitelines to make the proposed changes to your store!
Are you ready to make the changes that'll bring your store to world-class level? Applications are open now—apply here!