August 22, 2023

How Much Does a Melbourne Shop Fitout Cost in 2024?

How do you turn wandering window-shopping eyes into real customers that are lining up to buy?

Assuming you already have an amazing product or service, the way your shop looks from the outside plays a crucial role in increasing foot traffic. And the way your shop looks on the inside will decide whether or not your customers will leave empty-handed, or bags full. 

Shop fitouts play an important role in both the inner and outer shopping experience, helping business owners differentiate their brands from nearby stores and competitors. And if you own a shop or retail venue, you’ve probably been hard-pressed trying to find information about fitout costs and renovations online. 

Canopy Fitouts is here to help. Keep scrolling to read our full breakdown of costs you can expect (and some you might not) when building your shop or retail fitout. We’ll also share some common fitout issues we’ve discovered over the years and advice on how you can avoid them in your build.

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Shop Fitout Cost Per Square Meter

So how much do shop fitouts cost on average? 

Between $1500 - 3000 per sqm

Of course, when laying out a range like this there are a variety of factors that could put a fitout on the higher or lower ends of this range. Shops and retail venues are as unique as the people who create them, so no one fitout is the same as another. 

In saying this, some basic features differentiate shop fitouts from other industries.

Shop fitouts are usually more complex than standard commercial fitouts. At the basic level, more joinery is usually required. Lighting is also crucial in creating a welcoming customer experience. Additional time may be put into designing custom light fixtures and layouts which help business owners visually merchandise their products effectively. 

Retail fitouts are also very branded. The aesthetic of the brand needs to shine or the entire customer experience lags behind. Knowing this, business owners often opt for premium materials, fixtures, and furniture.

Lastly, shops - specifically salons and barber shops - need to be highly functional for workers and equally warm and welcoming to guests; all while doing this in a limited space. An exceptional fitout expert understands this and will balance all of these requirements within a reasonable budget.

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Shop-Specific Fitout Costs

Below are some of the more specific costs associated with hospitality fitouts. 

  • Lighting: Having well-lit feature stations can elevate your product, making it more attractive to consumers. We find that shop and retail owners will opt for custom lighting solutions to differentiate their store from competitor locations.
  • Joinery, Finishes, & Cabinetry: Includes built-in seating (where applicable), custom loose furniture, countertops, reception or check-out stations, floor substrates and the materials or upholstery involved. Costs are project dependent, but for a reference point, a low-end 8-seater banquette seating arrangement could cost around $15,000.
  • Exterior Facade Changes: At the higher end of the spectrum, external facade works can cost up to $30K (depending on the complexity of the changes) and might even need authority approvals.
  • Furniture: Is it custom? Is it off the shelf? Are the materials expensive? In most cases, the more elaborate or custom your furniture is, the more it will cost.
  • Toilets: Assurance that you have the correct number of standard, DDA, and ambulant-compliant toilets installed. Cost is dependent on the number of toilets required.
  • Sinks: Hand basin sinks are usually a required installation to pass health department checks. Mop sink installation (if desired) starts around $1000.

Be mindful that every shop is different, with differing goals and branding aesthetics. You may spend more in one area and significantly less in another. Complex projects may take on additional costs, yet we find these to be more of a rarity than the norm. 

Treat these price ranges as a guide to help you discover what you want to achieve with your shop fitout.

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Common Shop Fitout Issues (and How to Avoid Them)

Now you know what to be on the lookout for, but what about those things a builder might not tell you about? Let’s explore them below.

Material Lead Time

Lead time for certain materials can vary. While materials can be sourced locally, some items may need to be imported. At Canopy Fitouts we take a comprehensive approach to quoting and building your fitout. We forecast lead times wherever possible, and will suggest alternatives if you desire a speedier completion. 

Regulatory Bodies

With any construction project, approval from regulatory bodies will be required. Rather than taking on council fees, permit plans, and the potential red tape involved, our team will assist you and ensure the process is seamless. Don’t let neglected paperwork hold up your fitout.


Asbestos is the most hidden issue on this list. While it may not be an issue for your fitout, we’ll never really know until we get started on the project. At Canopy, we’ll do all early leg work to catch signs of potential asbestos and will help you get a professional to decontaminate the premises quickly.

Hidden Costs

We recommend allocating at least 30% of your budget to cover hidden services like the ones above. We will be as upfront as possible in the early stages of your build to help you avoid these costs later on.

Speak With a Shop Fitout Expert

At Canopy Fitouts we believe in transparency at every stage of the fitout process, which is why we have no qualms with sharing the latest data we have around shop and retail fitouts. Of course, shops come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities so it’s best to speak to an expert first for further clarification on what costs will pertain to your business. If you have any specific questions or are ready to get started on your fitout, speak with our knowledgeable team today.