As retailers continue to bounce back from the hurdle that was COVID-19 in 2020, they are feeling the weight of additional responsibilities to their customers. Now, they need to care for shoppers’ emotional, mental, and physical health. No one is shopping in the same way they were before the coronavirus outbreak, and because of this, the design of retail spaces needs to evolve to accommodate the new normal.
As you are planning your new retail store or renovation project for this post-COVID world, consider these design trends to show consumers you are concerned about their safety and wellness. Following these practices could give your business the competitive edge it needs to succeed in this evolved retail industry.
Even though online ordering and at-home deliveries are increasing in popularity, several people still enjoy the tactile experience in-store shopping provides. Nothing beats being able to pick up and inspect each apple or trying on a shirt to ensure the perfect fit before you purchase them.
However, while customers enjoy shopping in person, they still want to protect their health and their loved ones’ well-being. This means retailers have a responsibility to adapt to post COVID-19 pandemic behaviors. They’ll need to continue to accommodate social distancing practices by doing such things as widening aisles, encouraging traffic to flow in one direction, and reducing clutter throughout the store.
Temporary, plastic partitions detract from the aesthetic appeal of retail spaces. As you are creating a new environment, you should consider installing permanent transaction screens. Glass countertop partitions feel natural, add to the interior design, and communicate to customers that you take their health seriously. Even after the coronavirus is no longer a concern, there will be other viruses to contend with.
To ensure the glass, millwork, and electrical work is up to par, you’ll want to work with an experienced commercial general contractor. They’ll be able to suggest design ideas to allow your store to get the most use out of these new elements.
Many retail spaces have already implemented touchless devices, such as automatic faucets and paper towel dispensers, but in this post-pandemic era, it’s more important than ever to incorporate touchless systems. These devices will cut back on hygiene issues and minimize the risk of diseases spreading between customers and employees.
As technology continues to advance, retailers will find that automating the shopping process as much as possible will entice customers to shop at their store and give their business a competitive edge. To fully realize the benefits of touchless technology, retailers will need to implement touchless systems in areas beyond the bathroom. Thermal scanning and automated checkouts will give customers the best shopping experience possible.
HVAC systems are essential in stopping the spread of airborne viruses and diseases. While working on a new construction project, your general contractor should ensure your retail space has clean airflow by installing an efficient HEPA filtration. If you’re renovating an older space, you may want to consider having the HVAC system updated to ensure everything is up to code and the building has proper air filtration.
Even if there was never a coronavirus outbreak, the retail industry would have noticed a shift toward greater demand for online shopping, home delivery, and automatic checkouts. The outbreak simply accelerated these demands, and now it’s up to the retailer to respond. While the store’s layout may look more like a showroom, retailers can design a space that communicates their concern for customer health and safety while still being on-brand. If you’re ready to revolutionize your retail space, partner with one of the top commercial construction companies in PA specializing in retail and corporate interiors. At New Age Development Group, we are committed to helping retailers create the best customer experience. Contact us today to start your project!