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How to Decide: Is a Retail Space Commercial Remodel Right for You?

Should you be thinking Retail Space Commercial Remodel?

Are you thinking your retail space could use a facelift? Before diving into a project such as a retail space commercial remodel, there’s a variety of important things to address.  According to the Northstar Commercial Construction of Maryland, business owners should consider a major remodel and change of floor plan every 5-7 years.  Typically, your space gets less creative and boring the longer you have the same store layout. Although a commercial remodel could be costly, if done properly, its sure to gain ROI in the long-run.

Retail Space Commercial Remodel or Cosmetic Touch-Up?

First and foremost, you must be sure to establish a budget and a timeline to complete your project. Think of a goal by evaluating the current condition of the retail space.  This will help you determine if a full remodel is necessary, or if a simple cosmetic touch-up will suffice.  It’s also smart to budget out a cosmetic touch-up every other year or so.  These will help keep the appearance of your store fresh and lively. Another large ticket item to discuss, are you going to close your doors for the duration of the remodel? Or try to remain open, your space only shoppable in sections?  These are very few of the important factors to include when deciding for a commercial remodel.

Retail Space Commercial Remodel

Photo cred: UnderWraps: Europe Construction

Cosmetic touch-ups can be considered minor repairs vs a commercial remodel’s tasks.

Such as a fresh paint, replacing damaged displays, adding new fixture collections, and professional cleaning of the tile or carpet. Ask yourself if there is enough variety throughout your retail space.  Are there enough nesting tables mixed in with fixtures? By using either all fixtures or tables, it may make it difficult to tell a story and sell your brand.  We suggest using a combination of display items. For example, an intriguing nesting table display near the entrance could attract new customer’s attention.

A Retail Space Commercial remodel involves more difficult tasks such as new carpet/flooring, installation of lighting, etc.

A commercial remodel could mean adding or removing structures, plumbing, heating and air, and electrical fixes. Most of these projects require licensing, so vetting your contractor is a MUST. Commercial remodels that need the help of licensed contractors most likely would be more of a financial burden. Large-scale complete concept changes would categorize as a commercial remodel. Does your retail space need a complete facelift? Seems like, that proceeding with a commercial remodel would be the route to take.

Words of caution when choosing contractors: Do your research. Reach out to local reputable commercial contractors for estimates and feasible timelines. Decide: Do you want to complete your remodel while closed for business? Or do you want to complete your remodel in phases, allowing your customers to partially shop your retail space? So, be sure to put careful thought into the planning and preparation for this large task. Above all, be sure get more than one opinion!

Study the foot traffic of your Retail Space

A well-thought-out retail space accounts for foot patterns that aim to provide the best shopping experience. Northstar suggests the goal is to have shoppers find what they are looking for and end up at the cash wrap. Traffic flow should allow customers to experience your brand and product, even if they don’t end up making a purchase. If you don’t have a good understanding of the customer flow, you should hire an experienced design and build contractor. Northstar claims that most stores use a counter-clockwise path to get customers to walk through the entire store. Importantly, don’t forget to ask your team for store-layout input. Typically, they will have the best insight of how the customer walks the store.

Create a Decompression Zone with you Retail Space Commercial Remodel

It’s important to create a “decompression zone”, according to retail anthropologist Paco Underhill. This Zone allows the customer to transition from the parking lot or sidewalk to your store. Create this area in the first 10-15 feet of your shop where you have higher odds of creating a lasting first impression. Read more about how and when to incorporate nesting tables and other fixtures in the decompression zone from in our blog.

Retail Space Commercial Remodel

Photo cred: Marijuana Venture

Use Appropriate Lighting in your Retail Space Commercial Remodel

Lighting has the power to make or break the mood in your retail space. Therefore, installing track lighting in areas with low or dim lightening if you want to direct customers to your featured wall or merchandise. Additionally, an easy way of improving ambiance is replacing all the light bulbs if the budget doesn’t allow for track lighting. Envision walking through a day spa, most create a “warm” ambiance by using dimmer sets of lighting. Lastly, not every retail space needs the calming atmosphere of a spa. So, be sure to tweak the details that will shape atmosphere you want to create that best represents your brand.

Retail Space Commercial Remodel

Retail Space Commercial Remodel Fun Facts

Here are some eye-opening facts that Monash University marketing researchers found reported by Retail customer experience on retail remodels:

  • Small independent retail store sales increased 43% for new and 7% for existing customers.
  • Between 30% – 80% of the growth in sales revenue after a retail space commercial remodel is from new customers.
  • New customer visits to the remodeled store were 16% higher vs existing customer visits that increased by 2%.

Furthermore, reach out to us if you need our expert opinion. Check out our display portfolio and contact us at to discuss what our experts can do for you.

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