Retail Store Upgrades That Are Worth Investing in During COVID-19

In a few months, 2020 will come to a close. It’s a great time for businesses who survived the pandemic to re-calibrate, keep doing the things they did well, and re-tool the areas that need improvement. A renovation may be the last thing on retail store owners’ minds while living in a recession. Still, it could be a great idea because an economic downturn may mean more contractors could use the work and materials are dropping in costs. It could also add value to the property, should the owners decide to sell or rent it out one day. At the same time, making some upgrades to retail stores is crucial now that the rules of society are changing to adjust to the pandemic.

Here are some soft and hard renovation ideas that are worth looking into and investing in during COVID-19.

Soft Renovation

A soft renovation is a property upgrade that doesn’t require its occupants to leave the property during construction. It is minimally invasive and may allow the business to operate as usual while changes are being made. The following are ideas for soft renovation to accommodate the new normal:

1. More physical distancing

Many states now require stores to only allow 50% capacity as long as the pandemic continues. Stores would be wise to invest in wall and floor signs that remind people to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from others. The store also needs to be arranged in a way that allows for this kind of traffic.

2. Enough space between people and fixtures

Another good investment is transitioning to a store layout design that doesn’t require customers to keep touching the items, giving them a contactless experience. And even before the pandemic happened, the “butt brush rule” was already in effect—the theory that customers leave a store if something brushes up against their butt while browsing. This should continue to take effect, and even more so, in the time of COVID-19.

3. Designated areas for health screening and no-touch hand sanitisers

Aside from proper physical distancing, stores would also be smart to employ a temperature screening area at the store entrance. Invest in some no-touch thermometers to screen your customers before they can come into the store. While temperature-checking is not a fool-proof way to make sure that no one who has COVID-19 can come in, it’s still a favourable option to make your customers feel at ease.

4. Open-air design

Another property face lift that owners can look into is the possibility of turning the store into an open-air one or a design that allows for windows to be open during warmer months. Since the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has confirmed that the virus that causes COVID-19 can also be transmitted through aerosol droplets—particles that are emitted when human beings talk, cough, sneeze, yawn, and breathe, and remain suspended in the air for a period—an open design is healthier for open spaces to allow fresh air to come in. This may be less advisable during fall and winter, but at least your store has an option during warmer temperatures.

Woman buying grocery while wearing face mask

Hard renovation

On the other hand, a hard renovation is the kind of construction that makes the property uninhabitable while renovations are ongoing. Here are the kinds of upgrades you can make to keep up with the times, and at the same time, to add value to your property:

1. Eco-friendly materials

Giving your store a sustainable design upgrade adds value to your property and is the better option for the planet. Adopting green technology into your business and opting for eco-friendly materials usually reduce maintenance costs in the long run and keeps your property energy-efficient. Some renewable resources you can look into are reclaimed wood, bamboo, recycled steel, insulated concrete forms, and others. There are also a lot of eco-friendly fixtures that can help your business save money on gas, electricity, and water.

2. New pipework and fittings

Converting to a more durable material like stainless steel pipes helps prevent stain and corrosion and provides strength and versatility. It’s environmentally friendly, and it looks good. It’s perfect for commercial establishments since stainless steel has a more elegant look.

Worthy Upgrades to Consider

Businesses always need to stay ahead of the curve by being watchful over and observing trends and current events. As long as we have to live in this pandemic and recession, business owners need to design and adjust their retail stores in ways that keep customers and employees safe and healthy. This way, they can still experience business growth and success.

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