Storefront Vestibule Guide

 In Resources

Every brick-and-mortar business wants to find new and efficient ways to bring in more customers. Whether you work in the retail space or you offer fine dining to your patrons, you must ensure that your storefront reflects the quality of your brand and encourages people to walk through your doors. While high-quality signs are one of the most common ways to improve the aesthetic appeal of your business, custom vestibules for your storefront are one of the more innovative ways to help increase foot traffic.

But what are the benefits of an outdoor vestibule? Is it better to have a temporary enclosure or a more permanent installation? Lastly, what are the best vestibule materials to use? In today’s guide, we will answer all of these questions and more, but first, let’s look at what a storefront vestibule is and how it works.

What Is A Storefront Vestibule?

A storefront vestibule is a type of enclosure that covers the entrance of your business. It is typically comprised of a relatively small covered area with two distinct entrances. One entrance leads shoppers or patrons from the sidewalk into the vestibule, while the other leads from the interior of the vestibule through the front entrance of your business. Storefront vestibules are commonly used to protect customers from the wind and rain while they enter, exit, or wait outside of your business.

However, this is definitely not the only way to use a storefront vestibule. Logos and business information are frequently added to the front of vestibules. This generally increases their curb appeal and helps your business stand out even more from the competition.

Why Storefront Vestibules Are Important

It’s easy to see why winter vestibules are so commonplace, particularly in cities that experience harsh winters, like New York or Chicago. However, many business owners don’t realize how much they can gain from using a custom vestibule during the colder months or even year-round. So, let’s take a look at some of the most important reasons to consider using a vestibule for your storefront:

  • Protection From the Elements – A rain and wind enclosure is one of the only ways to protect patrons as they enter or leave your business. Rather than leaving your customers to stand out in the cold, windy weather with no protection, you can offer them a safe, warm enclosure to wait for a few minutes. It may sound like a relatively small benefit, but these little touches are the kind of feature that customers truly appreciate. In short, a storefront vestibule can greatly improve the overall customer experience, particularly if you operate your business in a place that gets very cold, wet, or rainy.
  • Curb Appeal – You should never underestimate the power of curb appeal. People are naturally attracted to businesses that provide a good outdoor presentation. This doesn’t mean you need to have an overly complex entrance; many of the most popular brands utilize sleek, simple storefronts to draw in more customers. In any case, a vestibule can be used to improve an otherwise bland storefront by making it literally and figuratively stand out.
  • Branding & Marketing – Most business owners think of marketing and branding as things that they do away from the storefront. For example, you might post ads on social media to target your prime audience. However, your branding and marketing should always begin at the home base of your business. With a custom vestibule, you can use slogans, logos, graphics, and other visual aids to increase both your brand quality and brand awareness.
  • Reduced Energy Costs – In a cold city like NYC, winter heating costs can get extremely high. If your business already operates with slim profit margins, paying out hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month to keep your staff and customers comfortable could put you in a cash crunch. Fortunately, a vestibule is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent cold air from getting into your building whenever someone enters or leaves. It also helps keep heat trapped inside, reducing the need to have your heating system on full blast during the winter months.
  • Better Control of Foot Traffic – Depending on the nature of your business and even the layout of your building, you may struggle to keep foot traffic under control. You might have too many people attempting to come in or leave at once, leading to traffic jams at your entrance. With a vestibule, you can better control the direction of traffic by essentially making your front entrance longer.
  • Enhanced Security – While a vestibule will not completely protect your business from unwanted intruders, it does add an extra layer of security to your building. Vandals or intruders are less likely to try to enter your building after hours if they need to break through your front entrance and an attached vestibule.

Types of Storefront Vestibules

Naturally, custom vestibules come in all shapes and sizes. You can ask for designs that meet the specifications of your business and sidewalk. For that reason, the different types of vestibules are often defined by their materials. The most common materials used for vestibules are canvas, acrylic, and glass.

Canvas vestibules are typically used as temporary enclosures. For instance, you might use a canvas vestibule in the winter to keep your customers warm and protected. This is because canvas is a very malleable material, making it easy to install and remove as needed.

Acrylic vestibules are made of plastic and are generally more rigid than canvas. Additionally, acrylic gives you the ability to make your vestibule see-through, which may be preferable if you don’t want to completely conceal your storefront. Acrylic is also relatively easy to install and remove, as it is not an overly heavy material.

Finally, glass vestibules are best if you intend to leave your vestibule up for extended periods of time. Like acrylic enclosures, glass vestibules can be see-through. Fortunately, this does not take away from your ability to market your business with logos and other graphics. The only potential downside to using glass is that it is the heaviest and most rigid material, which means that it is not as easy to install or remove on your own. Fortunately, this is not an issue if you opt for a vestibule from Sign It.

Installation & Removal Of Vestibules

At Sign It, we provide high-quality custom vestibules for your storefront. You can create your own design or work with our team to come up with a design that meets your goals and budget. As an added bonus, we will come to install and remove your vestibule, keeping it stored for as long as needed. For most businesses, we install the vestibule before the arrival of winter and remove it after the end of spring.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have to only use your vestibule during certain parts of the year. If you prefer to keep your vestibule up all year or only use it during certain months, you can do that, too. We always schedule our installations and removals to fulfill your needs!

Do you want to transform your storefront and help improve the quality of your brand? Are you looking for an affordable solution so that customers and outdoor patrons can be drawn in by the look of your business? If so, be sure to reach out to Sign It to design and install the perfect storefront vestibule for your business today!

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