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November 19, 2020

Retail construction is a complex process with many moving parts and sequential steps necessary to complete any given project. The process will have to adapt to a whole new world order in light of the COVID-19 . Already, companies are bracing for new construction strategies that promote safer work environments and socially distanced retail spaces to keep everyone safe in response to the global pandemic.

It goes without saying, but the coronavirus has and will continue to change the way retailers construct or renovate their stores. No longer will retail owners allow for clustered gatherings of people as they sample products. Space between displays must be wide enough for people to manoeuvre around each other with no fear of close contact that could risk anyone’s health.

So what will new retail construction look like in the post-COVID-19 world? Here are a few guidelines to help you navigate the new reality ahead of your next retail construction project.

What is retail construction

Before we dive into the new world order, let’s take a moment to reflect on existing best practices and define what exactly is retail construction.

Retail construction refers to any constructing, repairing, decorating, improving, or expanding upon structures that dwell under, upon, or above allotted property for the retail space. Put simply, it refers to any development of new physical outlets for the purpose of selling consumer goods, as well as renovating or expanding upon existing buildings that sell products or services to everyday consumers.

How do retailers choose a construction company

There are many factors that go into selecting the right construction company for a particular project. You want a firm that can deliver results, remain on budget, and make the best recommendations for how the building should look that align with your overall vision.

Location, location, location

A retail construction company that is local and understands how to select the right location for a building is very important to the project. Companies that know the by-laws, have experience with local environmental assessments, and understand how to negotiate permits with the city or county in question are a boon for any retailer eager to build a new location.

Interior design trend expertise

A new building doesn’t succeed solely on the exterior look and feel of the building. You want a firm that knows how to incorporate interior design trends and best practices to make stylistic and effective use of the allotted retail space.

Design build construction

If you can find a construction company that follows the design build construction process, you can be more assured that the project will be completed on time, on budget, and meet the expected standards. Under the design build model, all members of a construction team operate in sync. Rather than completing various phases of the project one after the other, the design build model allows more collaborative working relationships between all the key stakeholders to evolve the project, as necessary, when work unfolds.

Construction cost per square foot retail space

As you begin to forecast the development of a new retail store, the budget for the project determines how and when each phase of the work will be completed. Calculating the average cost per square foot of retail space is an effective way to envision how much money is required, upfront, for the entire project.

This method also keeps the work and all the key stakeholders accountable to the numbers. Using the average cost per square foot, similar to how commercial developers forecast budgets for their projects, owners and project managers can break down how much to spend for labour, materials, permits, and all other expenses involved in the process. If costs begin to rise above the forecasted construction cost per square foot, decisions can be made on how best to get the project back on budget without sacrificing the quality.

Retail construction trends 2020

Even before the coronavirus pandemic upset the entire global establishment, there were a number of changes underway in the retail space. Some of these trends are part of a broader social movement. For example, many people have chosen to boycott particular retailers over their positions on cultural issues or the materials used in some of their products.

Rethinking the cost of doing business

The fact is that, even before COVID-19, much of the retail industry had shifted online. E-commerce is here to stay, and that has a direct impact on how retailers choose to maintain or expand upon their physical locations. It may not be a surprise to see fewer new retail locations built in the near future as companies instead choose to modify or expand upon existing stores.

Consumer convenience is everything

When the coronavirus shuttered the doors of thousands of businesses, the ones that did remain open succeeded by understanding the needs of their customers. Retailers that placed a higher priority on inventory and availability became go-to destinations for shoppers at the height of the pandemic. As retailers look to expand upon their existing establishments, the convenience of the consumer to find and select products they need should be of utmost importance in those expansion plans.

Retail construction companies

When selecting a retail construction company, owners should consider how the company will make their lives easier throughout the entire construction process. Companies that understand retail design trends and have experience constructing locations of different sizes and scales will be able to bring their expertise to the table, allowing owners to keep their own time and resources invested in the big picture of how to grow the business.

BUILD IT: creating spaces that deliver results

It’s because of our experience and connections to skilled professionals in design work, labour, supervision, and project management that BUILD IT is one of the top retail construction companies in the country. We collaborate with some of the biggest brands and innovators to create spaces that draw people in and make them want to stay.

Looking for a construction partner for a turn-key solution? We can handle it from start to finish so you can focus on the growth of the brand. Get in touch with the experts at (905) 696-0486 or email [email protected] for more details.