Skip navigation

Despite the rise of ecommerce, the widespread adoption of e-tail services, and the effects of COVID-19 on the industry as a whole; retail remains one of the most important contributors to the economy. When it’s safe to shop again, people will flock back to their favourite stores […]
to spend some of the money that’s been piling up throughout the coronavirus pandemic. That’s why now is such an opportune time to renovate existing retail establishments. No matter the brand, every company will undergo a redesign to improve the shoppers’ experience as they browse for their go-to products. In the case of a physical store, a renovation. With foot traffic very limited – or non-existent – as the pandemic rages on, store owners and managers can use this downtime to renovate and even construct some new additions for when the doors emerge wide open once again.

However, because these are such unusual times, there’s not much revenue for retailers. That makes it all the more important to stick to a budget. Especially if you plan to undergo renovations before social distancing rules lapse. One of the best ways to set a budget is to calculate the renovation cost per square foot, and we’ll show you how to crunch those numbers using this guide.

Average retail store renovation cost

The average renovation cost will vary depending on a number of factors, and one is location. For example, it will cost much more to renovate a retail store in the heart of downtown Toronto or Vancouver than it will cost to renovate a store in a place like Red Deer, Alberta. According to The Balance Small Business, the average commercial retail space will cost 10% to 20% more simply for existing in larger urban areas than in smaller rural areas.

You can use metrics for other types of renovation projects as a guideline to help you calculate your own costs. As an example, calculating the cost to renovate an office space is fairly straightforward. Simply multiply the length by the width, and you’ll get your cost per square foot. It may not be quite as simple for your store, but you get the idea.

In any event, you need to brace yourself, and your budget, for the renovation project. More expansive renovations require a larger budget than smaller changes to your store layout. To help manage the project, it helps to partner with construction consultants who can run feasibility studies to get you the best value for designs, blueprints, costing, and contract management.

Retail floor plan layout

A renovated floor plan can spruce up your store and improve your brand standing with regular shoppers. Floor plan renovations are one of the more common projects undertaken by owners. This is especially true following the coronavirus pandemic became a global outbreak. To help keep shoppers safe, retailers need to provide as much space as possible for people to maneuver while browsing the products in the floor plan layouts.

Some of the best ideas for a floor plan remodelling should help capture the attention of the shopper. For example, a bright entrance with wide doorways is an inviting welcome to people as they consider whether to spend some money at your store. Also, make sure you locate the most lucrative merchandise in easy-to-reach locations. You want people to spend their money so invite them to go for the products that will significantly boost your bottom line.

Electrical renovation costs

To help manage your renovation project, it helps to break down your costs into two categories: interior and exterior. You want to calculate how much renovations to the interior space will cost against the costs for any exterior repairs or redesigns. When added together, those two categories will help you set a cost per square foot that can help you manage the budget.

Among the more common interior renovations costs are electrical. Any store needs circulating power to provide a good shopping experience, which is why electric work can be so expensive. You need to get it right and make sure the wiring doesn’t impact the safety of the store.

Plumbing renovation costs

Another potentially expensive renovation cost is the plumbing, which also falls into your interior renovation category. If you’re inviting people into your store, you need to provide a proper bathroom and places to wash their hands as part of safety protocols. Your employees also need a place to use the facilities as they work long shifts managing the store.

You may decide to remodel the bathroom and the hand washing stations as part of a renovation to improve the look and feel of the store. Just make sure that you invest in top quality plumbing; the last thing you need is an accident to occur that could sully the reputation of your brand.

Floor renovation costs

Your renovation plans may be as straightforward as remodelling the floors themselves. Even if the work is as simple as that, it’s going to be expensive. Flooring, like roofing, is one of the largest costs a retailer, commercial office manager, or a homeowner can incur.

Retail interior design trends often include floor decals that can guide people on a path to follow as they browse through the store. These decals have been used extensively in 2020 and beyond to establish social distancing decals that protect people while they wait in lines. If you want to renovate the floors in your store, these decals could be a valuable addition to your floor space. Use them to guide people to where their spending habits will boost your profits.

Final thoughts

Any renovation of your retail business is going to include many costs. These costs will culminate into a heavy weight being placed on your total budget. But by anticipating some of the larger expenses like electrical, plumbing, flooring and others, you can determine your anticipated cost per square foot. With that calculation on hand, you can make the kinds of decisions and adjustments to your renovation strategy. And you can do so while keeping the project on budget and making the desired results more achievable.