Contract - July/August 2011 - (Page 122)

practice smaller, sustainable retail A retail design expert points to smaller floorplates and sustainable design as significant trends for chains By Joseph P. Nevin, Jr. The economy has had a major impact on all aspects of business― from the way we operate our firms to the way our clients approach their projects. Over the course of the past three years, I have seen two trends emerging in the retail environment that I expect will have a long-lasting effect on how retail spaces are designed. The first trend is the downsizing of retail formats. The creation of smaller-format stores allows retailers to go into locations that they previously could not consider. It allows them to get into higherprofile locations with increased customer traffic, greater visibility, and a convenience factor. These locations are closer to where their customers live, making it easier for their store to become a familiar part of the customer’s life and, in turn, a regular shopping spot. In addition to increased accessibility to the customer, smaller-format stores create the opportunity for a much more focused product offering. These stores also have lower staff and inventory requirements, cost less to build, and take less time to develop. Combined, these factors contribute to higher sales per square foot. Two retailers that have pursued smaller format stores are Cabela’s and Bassett Furniture, which have been successful in both getting closer to their customers and significantly decreasing the overall store development timeline. Cabela’s typical large-format sporting goods store had occupied 150,000 square feet, and was developed as a freestanding building on sites located adjacent to major highways. These big-box stores were recognized in some states as top tourist attractions, often drawing adjacent construction and development of hotels, restaurants, and other retail establishments. A customer’s visit is typically a planned one as these large Cabela’s stores are destination sites. In May 2010, Cabela’s opened its first smaller-format store as an anchor tenant in the Mesa Mall in Grand Junction, Colorado. This store, at 75,000 square feet, is half the size of the large-format store and located in a high-traffic urban mall location. Prior to 2007, a typical Bassett Furniture store’s size was in the 25,000- to 30,000-square-foot range, and was built as either a freestanding building or incorporated into home furnishings–oriented shopping centers. Since then, Bassett has developed two new concepts in reduced formats. The first concept involves redesigned stores of 14,000 square feet that offer a dramatically different A typical Bassett Furniture store has been reduced in size from nearly 30,000 square feet to examples with 8,000 or 14,000 square feet (top). Similarly, Cabela’s reduced its typical store from about 150,000 square feet to a 75,000-square-foot floorplate (above). customer experience focusing on lifestyle, customization, and accessories. These stores are being built in specialty centers that have a broader non-furniture retail focus. The second concept, with an even smaller format of 8,000 square feet, is focused on custom upholstery and lifestyle. The first of these stores is located in a small, high-traffic neighborhood center with a grocery store, coffee shop, restaurants, and complementary retail venues. (continued on page 124) 122 contract july/august 2011 Photos by Tom Boothby (bottom); Mark Steele (top)

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - July/August 2011

Contract - July/August 2011
Industry News
Product Focus: Change it Up
Product Focus: Angling for Attention
Product Focus: (Good) Writing on the Wall
Product Focus: Come Together
Best of NeoCon® 2011
Making a Marc
Becoming Kate
Ray of Light
True Blue
Nature Speaks
A New Home
Bloomie's New Edition
Shring to Fitness
Practice: Smaller, Sustainable Retail
Trends: Retail Retrofit
Designers Select: Fabrics
Ad Index

Contract - July/August 2011