In a year of uncertainty, one thing is for sure: there is a new normal. As consumers adapt to social distancing and wearing masks in public spaces, retailers have worked diligently to make accommodations to keep shoppers safe — changes that take time, funding, and strategic planning. And while COVID-19 has forced many retailers to rethink their store layouts, companies that engage with a construction management partner are better equipped to succeed both at a tactical and strategic level.
Redefining Construction: Renovating, Remodeling and Rebranding
Typically, when we think about construction, we imagine yellow hard hats, blueprints, and decommissioned facilities. But construction doesn’t always start from the ground up. In fact, it often involves renovating, remodeling, or rebranding an existing space, making it a fundamental part of daily operations that requires data, visibility and insight.
For many retailers, construction needs are defined as anything from pop-up stores and full remodel services to upgrades like the addition of touchless sanitation devices and automated technology such as self-checkout units and entryway systems. Where traditional seasonal pop-ups require an immense amount of physical labor and an ability to construct layouts with a quick turnover, existing retailers looking to remodel will be in need of a significant technological and structural overhaul.
By working with an integrated construction management partner, you gain valuable insights including up-to-the-minute status updates, cost transparency and a fully vetted team of trusted tradespeople and construction professionals.
Store Remodels and Upgrades: Keeping Up with COVID-19
The novel coronavirus pandemic has changed the in-store consumer experience for the foreseeable future. But just because it doesn’t look like it used to doesn’t mean it won’t be successful—it just means retail leaders have to be creative and strategic in the upcoming months.
In the wake of COVID-19, retailers have had to adapt to local codes and health department requirements to ensure the safety of both staff and customers—for example, limiting the number of customers at one time and implementing sanitation procedures. While complying with these regulations is at the forefront of their efforts, many companies are taking it a step further and have allocated resources to implement automated and touchless systems into their stores. From electronic soap dispensers and hand dryers to mechanized entrances and sneeze guards, the retail space has revolutionized in an attempt to uphold these preventive measures.
Adding to the COVID-19 response is a demand for traffic flow management. In an attempt to mitigate the spread of the virus, stores have designated particular aisles for one-way traffic—requiring construction to assist with signage and the creation of adhesive arrows to lay on the floor space.
When it comes to construction labor and management costs, it’s likely that most companies don’t budget for these necessary, and sometimes laborious, tasks. Right now, the biggest challenge for retailers is looking clean and organized. These changes are a lot for retailers to tackle on their own, especially if they are faced with staff shortages. But with the right partner, they can overcome construction challenges quickly and efficiently. With an integrated construction management partner, companies are not only able to simply reallocate existing funds, but also find creative ways to help with cost savings. Partnering with a construction management provider who has in-depth retail experience gives you insight into solutions you may have never tried, allowing you to leverage that industry knowledge to better your budget and your business.
The Future of Retail
The changes retailers are experiencing will not be a short-term issue. While maintaining a safe and exceptionally clean store experience may not always be easy, the right partner will prepare you with the right tools you need to survive.
In the end, knowledge is power. With an integrated construction management system, retailers are able to have complete control over day-to-day operations and have visibility into work orders across all store locations. Whether you are planning for a small renovation, the addition of touchless equipment or a complete layout overhaul, your first step should be to partner with an integrated construction management team.