Investing in a commercial awning for your high street business makes good business sense. Firstly, awnings are practical. They provide shade to your business in bright, sunny weather, and on rainy days, passers-by are more likely to window-shop and come inside.

awningSecondly, an awning can be just what you need to make your business stand out, especially if it is branded with your logo, a strapline message or if you opt for a bright colour. The appearance of your business matters. With reports of the UK’s high streets suffering more store closures in 2017 than in any year since 2010, retailers are having to work harder to market themselves and draw in the consumers.

Here are 4 ways your business will benefit from having an awning:

  • Protects any outside furnishings (especially important if you are a café and want tables outside).
  • Increases your sales area.
  • Improves the visual appeal of your business (you want to increase store foot traffic).
  • Provides shade and offers glare protection.

There are many different types of commercial awning, so how do you choose which type of awning is best for your business? This article looks at the different types of awning and which ones suit particular types of businesses best. Most awnings can be made out of a variety of materials, including canvas, resin, vinyl and their frames can be made from aluminium, wood or galvanised steel.

Traditional Victorian awning

Throughout history, awnings have had great appeal and they still do today. The traditional Victorian shop blind is still hugely popular largely because it adapts to any style of architecture. It is a must-have for any high street shop or business which understands the value of a well-dressed shop front.

Victorian awnings are an icon on the British high street. It’s a simple canopy style that works for most types of business from shops and estate agents to cafes, restaurants and pubs. The traditional Victorian awning is suitable for any commercial business on the high street.

Commercial Dutch canopy

The Dutch canopy, with its distinctive quadrant shape is a stylish addition to any shop front. The shade provided by a Dutch canopy is enough to protect merchandise in the window from sun exposure and makes any shop front look more inviting. The quadrant shape also makes it ideal for branding, with logos, telephone numbers and website addresses clearly visible at the front of the canopy, which is a great option to increase advertising.

This is a very popular and versatile style of canopy suitable for most commercial businesses. Choose from retractable or fixed models. The Dutch canopy can be covered in various fabrics from traditional acrylic to PVC coated textiles.

Wedge (or French) canopy

The wedge canopy is a cross between the traditional Victorian awning and the Dutch canopy. It has more of a contemporary feel to it than the Dutch canopy, but essentially offers the same benefits as the Dutch Canopy. It is sometimes known as a French canopy.

Retractable awning

Most styles of awning (traditional Victorian awning, Dutch canopy, French canopy) can be purchased and fitted with a retractable option. Retractable awnings can be made with a manual winding arm or as is most common today, with an RTS motor drive for electric operation, meaning controls are wireless.

Terrace awning

Terrace awnings are similar in style to the traditional Victorian awnings, but much larger (they are still attached to the building, but extend across a much larger space). This type of awning is ideal for cafes, restaurants and pubs looking to maximise space and offer additional seating and tables outside.

Entrance and walkway awnings

Entrance and walkway awnings can make a great first impression. The are particularly useful to businesses such as entertainment venues and clubs, where people may queue outside. Entrance and walkway awnings can give prominence to your building, reinforce your brand (if you choose to have your canopy branded) and give year-round protection to your entrance.

Butterfly awnings

Butterfly awnings are freestanding awnings based on a goal-post style frame. Two retractable awnings are fitted at the top of the goal-post frame and they extend to sort of form the shape of two butterfly wings (this refers to the angle of the awnings, rather than the shape, as they are rectangular).

Butterfly awnings are perfect for hospitality businesses with significant outside space or space not directly in front of the building. Cafes, restaurants, hotels, pubs and bars can capitalise on customer numbers if they are able to accommodate more people using the space outdoors. With the use of outdoor heaters, outdoor space can even be used throughout the winter, with a butterfly awning offering protection from the elements.

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