Retail design and construction projects can often demand a special kind of attention to detail that may not be evident in other forms of design and construction. Generally, retail stores demand unique designs, strategic location and many facets that create a visually stimulating environment that become a physical extension of the brand they represent. In this article we cover 5 top tips for successful retail design and construction.


Be sure to set the budget for your build early on in the process. It is imperative to be realistic with the build budget as part of your greater business plan. Once the budget is decided, set a contingency amount in place, which will allow for a certain percentage of overrun on the spend, and then do everything possible to stick to the budget. It is amazing how quickly construction costs can overrun the budget. Remember to include for costs like design and planning approval fees.


There are many aspects to consider in a store layout, including the customer journey and flow, product split and placement, flexibility, display types, and many more. Be sure that your designer absolutely understands the operational requirements of your business as this is the best way to maximise your footprint and get the most efficient layout, which in turn will translate to greater product sales.


Be sure to fully understand the tenant criteria set by your landlord. Setting out on your design and construction journey on the right foot with your landlord leads to less confusion and tension along the way. Ensure that your designer is fully briefed on the regulations set out by the landlord early on in the process, so as to avoid incurring unnecessary costs further down the line if your design parameters do not meet your landlords criteria.


It is vital to get an early grasp on the programme constraints on any project. For retail design and construction projects, this can be even more critical. The quick-turnaround times demanded from retail projects can be tricky for even the most seasoned professionals. Generally, retail projects only have a matter of weeks to get designs finalised, technical drawings completed, costings done, planning approval, as well as get construction and shopfitting built and installed. A clear programme must be derived at the very start of the process and strictly adhered to, in order for a successful retail design and build. Needless to say, one of the most important reasons to strictly adhere to the programmne is that when the build runs late, the tenant starts paying for a space they cannot actually use – and this is bad for business at every level, no matter who the tenant is.


There can be many facets to a planning approval for a retail store. Often, landlords will insist on approving a design concept very early on in the leasing agreement process. Further to this, landlords may insists that control architects review all drawings and documentation prior to the commencement of a build. Along with these in-house approvals, it is then necessary to get planning approval from the local municipality prior to building. The local municipality will also insist that an occupation certificate is granted by them prior to the tenant moving into the space. A landlord may also insist on being presented with copies of the occupation certificate prior to the tenant operating the store.


Retail design can be challenging, but also rewarding when done right. Use consultants who understand the challenges, constraints and processes. Feel free to give us a call to chat about how we can provide design and shopfitting solutions that will give your store a competitive edge.

Photo Credits:

Main Featured Photo by Rob Maxwell on Unsplash

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