renovating a retail store

Renovating a Retail Store: How to Know It’s Time for an Update

As with many other industries, retail brands undergo periodic renovation cycles to keep their brands fresh and leverage the latest trends and consumer preferences.

But it’s important to understand that the end of a current cycle isn’t the only reason for renovating a retail store. As a retail brand, you know that the past couple of years have been challenging — and that things will continue to shift with new consumer preferences, the growth of online shopping, and the economic and supply chain challenges.

While brands leaned on trends and processes from the pre-pandemic era to govern brand implementation decisions, the world is a different place today. That means the models and data of past years can’t be relied on as significantly for future brand implementation planning and decision-making. With the pandemic continuing to keep companies guessing, and shopper habits evolving at a more rapid pace than ever, retail brands must pay closer attention to how their stores are doing and the variables affecting that performance.

Here, we’ll explore a few considerations that might indicate the need for renovating a retail store in order to continue meeting consumer expectations and driving sales. Remember, in-store shopping is still strong — brands are just looking to make it more efficient, cost-effective, and connected. While leveraging technology and data to support BOPIS and other preferences is a separate matter, it’s important to align store brand assets and spaces to support what you learn about your customers and how you can make the most out of those interactions.

Reasons Why Renovating a Retail Store Might Be Needed Sooner Rather Than Later

Sales Are Down

There are a number of reasons why sales could be down for your locations: staffing issues, new competitors are springing up nearby, supply issues, etc. A particularly important one is the appearance of your stores. With more activity comes greater wear and tear on assets like flooring, fixtures, kiosks, counters, shelving, bathrooms, doors, parking lots, and other physical aspects. While one location showing some wear and tear may not justify a multi-store remodel program, a few years of several locations experiencing a higher volume of interactions might — particularly if they’re strong revenue generators.

If sales are down at several locations, take a closer look at your brand assets there. A lighter refresh program can address many minor brand assets to get them up to date or resolve wear and tear. Also, consider how you’re using your brand assets to maximize sales. Lighting, in particular, has the power to influence how customers feel while shopping and to literally showcase products in the best light possible.

Store Traffic is Down

Lower foot traffic at your locations will eventually impact sales, so it’s important to consider what might be causing this problem. The store may not be properly laid out to create an easy shopping experience. Exterior issues might be turning people away before they come into the store. Just like above, the condition of interior assets might make customers turn to a competitor that has a more up-to-date location nearby.

If your locations are seeing lower foot traffic over a notable period of time (meaning it’s not a one-off situation or anomaly), it’s important to act. Physical brand assets with issues that might indicate the necessity of renovating a retail store include signage. Is it visible, functioning, and appealing enough to make people stop — or is it sending the wrong message with illumination problems? Is the exterior and interior lighting of your locations bright enough to make customers feel safe? Does that lighting properly illuminate an area, or is it flickering or otherwise negatively impacting the experience?

Costs Are Going Up

The reasons for renovating a retail store aren’t limited to customer-focused problems. Often, the various energy-related brand assets at a location — interior and exterior lighting, illuminated signage, control systems, and others — can become outdated or experience other issues that cause an increase in energy utilization. If you’re noticing costs going up at certain locations, or if you think it’s time to assess the energy performance of your locations to reduce costs, an energy-focused renovation may be worthwhile.

Often, these programs include work such as LED lighting retrofits and upgrades, illumination surveys, signage maintenance, upgrading or replacement of energy management systems and related technology, and even updating the physical aspects of the building or store that may not be as energy efficient as possible. Implementing new energy solutions, particularly at standalone store locations, can help to alleviate energy costs over time.

Another consideration for renovating a retail store that has a dedicated exterior space like a parking lot is the implementation of charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs). EV charging stations are playing a more strategic role in the consumer shopping experience than ever. If you have the space for them, a brand implementation expert can help you not only analyze and prepare for the related energy expense but also design and execute the infrastructure for them (dedicated parking spaces, signage, new lighting, etc.). Learn more about the impact of EV charging stations on consumer spending here.

Whatever the Reason for Renovating a Retail Store, Work with a Nationwide Team to Ensure Consistency

Stratus has been supporting retail brands across the country for decades. To date, we’ve partnered with some of the largest, most recognized brands — helping them with everything from exterior and interior signage, lighting upgrades, alternative energy solutions, maintenance programs, and refresh & remodel capabilities. Working with your dedicated account team, we’ll help you map out a strategy for renovating your retail stores — whether you have a few dozen or a few hundred (or more!).

We make every program a success by managing it at the highest level and through a national network of more than 4,000 proven field partners. Our in-house signage manufacturing capabilities ensure consistency and accuracy for every signage element, and our warehousing and logistics services ensure no asset is unaccounted for. And of course, our team will be there to ensure timely installation at every location in your footprint.

Get in touch with us now to learn more about retail store renovation. We’ll help you identify the most ideal solutions from the infinite possibilities available to your brand.