open store remodels

Is An Open Store Remodel Right for You?

In retail, restaurant, and other industries with facilities open to customer foot traffic, deciding between closed or open store remodels requires careful consideration.

A great deal of research has been done over the years showcasing the upside of remodeling stores. One study found that when a store was updated, sales to new customers increased by a whopping 43–44% and sales to existing customers increased 7–10%, with the lower-end figures representing smaller independent retailers and the upper end representing multi-store brands. Customer visits also increased after the remodel: new customer return visits increased 16% after their first purchase.

Sounds great, right? It gets even better: those increases persisted for a full year. Thanks to that sales growth, the retailers in the study were able to recoup their investments in only two to three years. When you consider that retail remodels typically occur every seven to 10 years, it’s unarguable that the investment is worth it. Once the initial investment has been recouped, the brand will enjoy several more years of sales growth without the cost of the remodel influencing bottom-line outcomes.

Of course, all of this depends on the brand, the number of stores being remodeled, what the scope of work includes, the timeframe in which the remodel will be executed, and whether the program consists of closed or open store remodels.

Refresh? Remodel? Learn about different types of retail construction here.

The Impact of Closing Down During a Remodel

A closed store remodel is exactly what it sounds like. The location must be closed for business to customers and even employees for a specific period. This is required when the scope of work results in the demolition, removal, or relocation of features that are essential to operations. For example, if an exterior wall needs to be rebuilt or key spaces like counters (where the points of sale are) need to be relocated, it stands that operations won’t be able to continue during that period. Traffic can be routed to a nearby location or to an online store if available, but the location being remodeled will be temporarily closed.

According to another industry study, the financial impact of closing down a store can be upward of $3.7 million per store. Of course, this depends on the market, the type of products being sold, typical sales during a similar period, store location, the number of stores, and other related factors. But when coupled with the average remodel cost of $3.5 million for labor, equipment, fixtures, and materials, it’s clear that a closed store remodel isn’t ideal. While the store is likely to see increased sales post-remodeling (closed store remodels aren’t always avoidable), open store remodels and refreshes should be the priority.

It’s important to note that even if open store remodels are possible at your locations, there may be a need to scale back operations. This is needed to allow space for contractors and vendors to make deliveries, store material, and implement brand assets. Certain parts of the store may need to be sectioned off to prevent customers and employees from entering them. Electricity, water, and heating or cooling may be turned off to allow for upgrades. While this is not always convenient, it is far preferable to a total loss in sales for anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months.

Examples of Open Store Remodels — and What Made Them a Success

At Stratus, we work closely with our clients to develop open store remodel strategies that minimize the impact to employees, customers, and sales overall. In many cases, we’re able to complete a refresh or remodel at each assigned location in a matter of weeks thanks to proactive planning, site auditing, and effective vendor coordination via our exceptional program management team. Our network of more than 2,300 field partners across the U.S. and Canada ensures that the best contractors are at your sites making your vision come to life. And our brand asset warehousing, logistics, and installation capabilities mean we’re managing your program at all times — saving your team from dealing with multiple parties, keeping communications simple, and protecting your investment in your brand assets.

Family Dollar Interior Refresh

open store remodelsFamily Dollar engaged our Refresh & Remodel Division with a national program rollout across 32 stores. The refresh program included perimeter paint and signage, replacement of lighting fixtures, and maintenance for the store to ensure each location gave customers a delightful experience. We successfully completed the program in just 28 weeks, averaging four to five days per site as an open store remodel. Work was primarily completed at night so the store could continue serving customers during the day.

View this program in our portfolio.

Starbucks Interior Remodel

Stratus has served as the Refresh & Remodel partner to Starbucks for more than five years. One particular program consisted of 16 major remodel projects conducted in an open store environment by a trained team to avoid service disruptions. Updates included remodeling the store sales areas and bathrooms, kitchen serving stations and prep areas, and the expansion of exterior patios and drive-thrus. Each site was completed in only 26 days, during which the stores continued to serve customers.

View this program in our portfolio.

Entrust Your Brand — and Sales — to Stratus with Your Next Remodel Program

Stratus has supported numerous retail, restaurant, c-store, and grocery organizations with their brand implementation programs for decades. We approach every program by first prioritizing what your brand means to your customers and employees and designing a program that supports that. After all, brand implementation is focused on what your customers and employees physically experience at your locations, and our goal is to make that experience positive and memorable with each and every visit.

From quick-turn refresh programs to address minor updates at your locations to large-scale remodels that bring your sites into alignment with the designs, trends, and features that consumers appreciate most, our Refresh & Remodel Division is here to support your success.

Connect with us today to learn more about our capabilities with open store remodels.