The Future of Retail Store Design After the Pandemic
RC Smith
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The Future of Retail Store Design After the Pandemic

The state of the world has affected how consumers are shopping and created a need for more efficient designs for businesses to function safely. Many new challenges have arisen from the experience of needing to socially distance while at the same time keeping employees as safe as possible.

It's imperative to find new ways to strategically redesign the environment to fit the customer's needs while also keeping everyone safe, and here are some strategies!

Offering an Online Presence

One option that suddenly took off from the state of the world is the ability to place orders online. Businesses can benefit from implementing a delivery service or click-to-order option that minimizes the amount of exchange they have with the representatives in the store.

Keep in mind that for some companies, this may also include having a designated area, such as a retail counter inside the store or in the parking lot that is specific for delivery pickups.

Streamlining the Process

Another aspect of changes taking place is to become more direct in what the company is offering to the consumers. This could mean less product that prompts a last-minute purchase and instead have more specialized products to offer.

In addition, personalization for customers with methods such as food kits that have all their favorite ingredients at a discount, instead of buying all the individual items may need to be introduced.

Getting More Organized

It will be up to the businesses to be more proactive in creating a space as the customer enters to remind them of the precautionary measures needed while they are in the store.

A larger issue may mean regulating the occupancy numbers better in the building to help increase safety measures.

Keeping Things Cleaner

There will be a heavier focus on the amount of space needed in the check-out areas, and new options for sales counter designs will be required.

The stores could also offer employees sanitized uniforms for their shifts and regular cleaning practices for carts and other high-touch areas. Installing doors that automatically open and change the process of how the clothing that is tried on, is sanitized.

Another consideration will be turning to more sustainable resources that have less impact on the environment. Questions might need to arise from customers like, how much packaging waste does your business produce? Or how well do you care for your employees regarding health benefits?

Decrease in Front of House Space

To help enhance the logistics and operational planning of the store, it may mean that the front of the house needs to decrease while the back increases. Having a smaller front of house helps reduce clutter and allows individuals easy access without getting overwhelmed when they enter the area. This design ultimately helps promote organization and create a clean entryway to encourage relaxation for the shoppers.

More Contactless Payment Options

The options for contactless payment are also imperative, and it will encourage technologies to extend further into self-service. This also can promote wider aisles, curbside pickup, and one-way systems enhanced by touchscreen technology or voice-activated options. This leaves the consumer and workers in a safer environment while still including the traditional in-person experience, to enhance the shopping experience consumers.

Updated Materials

Aside from adding disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizers, and automatic doors, there are other modifications, including the high-touch areas. Enhancing the carts, baskets, payment stations, deli counters, and refrigerated food sections with plexiglass, glass, metallic, plastic, metal bumpers, and non-porous surfaces that are easy to maintain and disinfect can help minimize the safety risks.

More Quality and Less Quantity

The changes in customer behavior led to a shift in roles for the associates as some had to switch positions to support new sales opportunities. It required greater flexibility and the ability to shift employees' focus as changes arise. One part of the design means creating seamless access to the various workflows in the store through a single device. This allows them ease when finding and searching for products which can help sort and identify orders quickly.

Providing the staff with the necessary tools can help increase efficiency, improve morale, and save time because it removes the need to search for products in the back of the store.

Our Experience Shines Through the Rest

There's no doubt the changes will be a necessary part of the future, and having a company with 50 years of experience in commercial casework at your side can make the difference.

We are a family-owned company specializing in multiple services from medical cabinets to commercial millwork. We would love to help you with your next project.

If you would like more information or make an appointment, contact us or give us a call today at 800-747-7648.

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