Shopfronts are not new there have been in use since ages but before going into the details and history of shopfronts let’s first discuss what shopfronts are. A shopfront is installed at the entrance of any commercial building accompanied by one or two windows. The purpose of the shopfronts is to protect the store from intruders, provide insulation and better visual to attract the attention of the customers to the business products. In the UK, you will find shopfronts in the larger as well as smaller cities and Aluminum Shopfronts in London are most commonly used.

Medieval Age (476-1492)

During this period, you will see a large difference in the shopfronts and the people who used them. The glass shopfronts were very expensive and a mediocre person cannot afford it only rich can so they were rare in those days. Wooden shutters at that time were mostly used. In this, the top of the wooden shutter was used to protect the goods from getting damaged and the lower one to display them. At night these shutters would fold up easily and locked away.

Georgian Age (1714 – 1830)

In this period the shopfronts take a form of bow-fronted oriel windows. Glass become popular to use as it was easily available and affordable. At that time the trend in the shopfronts was to have your shopfronts made up of plate glass and cast iron and steel. Due to this, the shopfronts look taller and sophisticated with the touch of elegance in it. There is a story about the person name Charing Cross in London who introduced the concept of using timber shopfronts along with display windows in 1799. He used to sell more goods than his competitors which made them become envy of him and his idea of shopfront.

The retailers started creating attractive shopfronts with innovative designing to attract customers to buy their products. They used bright and eye-catching lights, advertisements and good window displays. To save money by getting large windows the shop owners used to split the windows into multiple glass panels. But these shopfronts gave poor insulation due to which these shops were often cold. And customers do not stay inside the shop for long.

Victorian Age (1837 – 1901)

In this period, there was an increase in the number of the shops because of huge urban expansion. The designs of the shopfront would be tall windows with timber structures.

Modern Shopfronts

In today’s modern age, shopfronts are constructed into two forms that are aluminum and toughened glass. But Aluminum Shopfronts in London are more popular because of its high resistance to the elements. These shopfronts are available in a variety of colors and can be constructed in many different alignments and patterns. White and silver color is most popular among retailers but few try out different colors as well. The aluminum shopfronts are relatively cheaper and provide better insulation when they are installed with double glazed units. The advancement in technology has made it possible to produce massive shopfronts with regards to size and shape. Retailers are now also going for glass shopfronts because it gives a better view with different lights.


No matter, how much you like the old vintage look of the shopfronts but it certainly cannot beat the benefits the modern ones give. But now it is possible to have both the benefits of modern and vintage style shopfronts with the new technology.

For more information about the price, design and style of shopfronts visit London Iconic Shopfronts website. And have a look at their creatively designed shopfronts.