The pandemic as we know drastically affected retail spaces. The effects have led to a new retail experience. More than ever before, retailers must now consider their clients’ emotions, physical comfort, and health and safety within their spaces.

Unfortunately, many retail establishments and hospitality spaces were forced to permanently close their doors. However, an emergence of perseverant retailers sought to adapt to new understandings of consumer needs. These retailers dramatically changed their design paradigm to successfully bring back loyal customers, and commercial contractors played a critical role in renovating retail spaces to accommodate these new measures.

Change the In-Store Experience

Despite increased usages of digital assets, curbside pickups, and home deliveries, the reality is that many customers do prefer the “touch-and-feel” aspect of an in-store experience. Retailers need to pivot quickly to keep their brick-and-mortar spaces available to their customers. Future retail spaces should be designed to better adopt post-pandemic procedures and business realities such as social distancing – and this could include reworking aisles, reducing clutter to open space for customer comfort, and having a one-way flow of traffic.

Install Permanent Transaction Screens

Replace temporary plastic windows with more permanent and designer glass countertop partitions to protect customers and employees. Working these elements into the aesthetics and design of the space will help the inclusions feel more natural.  Finding a good commercial general contractor for millwork, glass, and electrical work related to this scope is important. It ensures you are getting knowledgeable counsel and maximizing on your investment in these new elements.

Touchless and Automated Technologies

Touchless and automated technologies within the space, such as antibacterial dispensers, as well as touchless systems for restrooms — faucets, soap and towel dispensers, and wastebaskets — will be fundamental to maintaining a safe environment. Thermal scanning and automated checkouts will also become more prevalent. Retailers who can truly automate the shopping experience, will prove to mitigate risk to consumers and employees alike — establishing a conscientious and competitive advantage.

Air Filtration

Proper HEPA filtrations and air movement are essential to reduce airborne risks. Bring in a general contractor to understand the space and maximize direct clean air flow. Additionally, HVAC systems play a significant role in the air quality of an office and anti-infection circulation. Whether you have antiquated HVAC or highly efficient HEPA filtration makes the difference between circulating germs or healthy air in the office. Having your system updated to the current code and standards, with proper air filtration and air circulation protocols, is an important improvement to consider.

Your customers’ values and behavioral patterns have likely changed over the past few years. While your retail space may be fundamentally different in many ways, a few simple design improvements can help you maintain confidence and loyalty with your consumers, as they continue to enjoy a safe and on-brand retail experience!