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When is the Right Time to Remodel Your Retail Locations?


September 28, 2022     4 minute read

If you think brick and mortar is past its heyday, think again. Physical store locations are central to several new shopping trends, such as omnichannel convenience, stores within stores, and experience-based retail.

In addition, according to the American Marketing Association’s research publication Journal of Marketing, the retail store enhances customer value by providing the physical engagement needed to purchase deep products一products that require ample inspection for customers to make an informed decision. These can include everything from sofas to cars to sweatshirts or shoes.

In short, providing consumers with great in-store experiences will be a key driver of future growth for retail brands, so periodically updating your retail locations will be essential. But when is the right time to remodel your retail locations? We discuss nine situations that call for a retail remodel.

1. When You’re Offering Omnichannel Shopping

Omnichannel retail is a fully integrated commerce strategy in which shoppers have a consistent, branded experience across all channels: online, in-store, and in-app. Throughout their buyer’s journey, customers can transition seamlessly from one channel to the next. And according to global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, 60%-70% of consumers are shopping in an omnichannel way.

Retail locations might need to be restructured to accommodate an array of buyer’s journey steps, from enjoyable presale browsing followed by a purchase online elsewhere to online browsing followed by an in-store purchase. Furthermore, in-store technology platforms should enable easy returns, exchanges, and online inventory status checks.

2. When You’re Offering BOPIS & Curbside Pick-Up

Due to rapid adoption during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Buy Online, Pickup Instore (BOPIS) has become an increasingly popular shopping experience. According to data from E-commerce company Shopify, 59% of consumers are interested in BOPIS-type shopping options. Among BOPIS shoppers, 64% say they are choosing in-store pickup more often than before the pandemic was declared.

Since this trend is here to stay, remodeling to accommodate more permanent in-store kiosks or fixtures close to entrances and easily navigable exterior space for curbside pickup is worth considering.

3. When You’re Considering Hybrid Concepts

According to retail trade association the National Retail Federation’s publication Consumer VIew, 52% of shoppers say half or more of their purchases are influenced by convenience.

Not surprisingly, retailers are remodeling to capitalize on this trend. Stores within stores, for example, are popping up everywhere, enabling consumers to do more in a single location. Category leaders such as IKEA and Whole Foods include cafés and big box retailers such as Walmart and Target house pharmacies, opticians一even nail painting一under a single roof.

4. You’re Running Out of Space

If your merchandise is piled high, spilling from shelves, or dangling from racks, it’s probably time to expand your salable space. When too many items are squeezed into too small a location, it’s more difficult for customers to browse or locate the item they went in to buy. If they can’t see it, they can’t buy it.

Expansion can also be a good idea when existing floor space can only accommodate a few customers comfortably. If consumers have to constantly peer over each other to view what’s in a display case, they’re less likely to return.

5. When Employee Morale Drops

Consistently poor morale among store employees could indicate issues with the store itself. Disorganized displays, malfunctioning points of sale (POS) or security systems, drab interiors, or even poorly lit parking lots can be enough to weaken employee loyalty. And if your employees aren’t excited to be in your store, customers likely won’t be either.

6. Challenging Floor Navigation

Customer traffic flow significantly impacts the in-store experience. Ideally, your store navigation should feel natural and engaging and enable visitors to browse comfortably and easily locate particular items. If your current floor layout causes confusion and frustration among customers, it’s probably time to rethink it.

7. Wear & Tear Is Particularly Visible

Wear and tear to facilities is normal and to be expected with aging. Walls can sustain paint cracks or chips, carpets look worn, and exteriors can appear weathered. However, a confluence of deteriorating features can give the impression of neglect and indifference to customers.

Imagine the difference a revamped space can make. Fresh paint, new carpets, and improved lighting will make your customers and employees feel valued and important一the perfect set-up for repeat visits.

8. Restrooms Appear Unwelcoming

While the discussion about wear and tear is also relevant to restrooms, we’ve given it its own section because of its particular significance to some customers. Even if the rest of the store has been refreshed, a dilapidated restroom with malfunctioning appliances, poor lighting, or broken stall doors can be enough for consumers to move on.

Make sure your restrooms are inviting一well functioning and clean.

9. To Keep Things New & Fresh

Sometimes change for change’s sake is reason enough to rethink your retail space. Retailers, in particular, will often plan for rebranding, concept updates, or simple shifts in décor every five to seven years, anticipating this will draw curious consumers and added attention. Positive knock-on effects can be significant, such as word-of-mouth communications, public relations, and social posting and sharing.

Achieve Your Retail Remodeling Vision With NEST

Whether you plan to remodel one store or a fleet of 100, NEST has the experience and execution to deliver your projectーon time, on budget, and to spec. With more than 27 years in the retail and facilities industries, NEST professionals understand what works and what’s on-trend.

Our full-service project management team and extensive NEST ISP Network save time, eliminate unnecessary expenses, and provide the skilled labor to ensure your brand standards are met and project value optimized.

Contact NEST today to learn more about how our Construction & Project Management team can help you realize your retail remodeling dreams and transform your business for the future.

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