5 Steps to Designing Retail Space with Experiences in Mind

As the retail industry continues to evolve, it’s important for retailers to continue to offer more than just a product. Consumers are looking for true experiences when they go shopping and having this level of engagement can set your retail space apart from competitors.

Here are five steps to designing retail space with experiences in mind whether you are a seasoned retailer looking to revamp your space or a new retailer entering the market.

1. Associates Should Transition from Salesperson to Expert

Retailers who want to stay competitive need to ensure that they are training their employees to become more than a salesperson and transition into an expert guide to the service or product. You need to have a retail space that is designed to accommodate your employees and help them relate better to shoppers. They need to relate to consumers in a memorable way and blur the lines between employee and customer.

2. Offer a Hands-On Experience

Make the retail space truly interactive by allowing your consumers and shoppers to use the product in the store. Try to determine how best to showcase your product in unique and different ways that offer a true experience. This goes along with having associates who are true experts on the product and can offer guidance when consumers are testing it out. If a consumer can truly experience the product before buying it, they are less likely to return it, which can help boost sales.

3. Bring Your Website In-Store

Enhance the brick-and-mortar experience by letting shoppers browse your online store while at your physical location. This can be a great value-add experience and can help drive traffic to your physical stores. This can be a great tool if you have multiple store locations or warehouses and don’t carry the same inventory in every store. Allowing customers to browse your e-commerce offerings in-store shows them products that you may not have on site. If they see something they’d like to purchase, one of your associates can place the order for them and ship it right to their doorstep.

4. Change the Checkout Experience

You would be surprised at how many people choose not to purchase an item based on how long the checkout line is. Research from Irisys shows that Americans will abandon a checkout line and leave a store after eight minutes of waiting. This means you need more than just traditional checkout lines. Apple has adopted the option to checkout via a mobile device where associates can go to the consumer when they are ready to check out.

5. Offer Immersive Experiences

If you want to really make a long-lasting impression on your customers, create a retail environment that grabs their full attention. Retailers are beginning to create an experience by using technology like Virtual Reality. IKEA even opened a concept called The Dining Club, which is a temporary pop-up store that allows guests an opportunity to run their own restaurant built with IKEA products. This offers an experience and brings brand and product awareness in a subtle way.

About NAI/Merin Hunter Codman

Through our corporate services group, NAI/Merin Hunter Codman provides value-added tenant representation and corporate services for corporations with local, national or worldwide real estate needs. The firm serves as a single point of contact, whether for one property or hundreds of properties or leases. We assist in evaluating opportunities, optimizing existing portfolios, planning new facilities, site selection, and managing and leasing corporate facilities, aided by award-winning technology that allows the firm to monitor and flag every step electronically, tailored specifically to client needs. Electronic monitoring is available for client review from anywhere in the world and can track everything from the real-time status of leases up for renewal and milestones in capital improvements to the progress of planned developments.

– Tenant/Buyer representation
– Demographic, market data & feasibility analysis
– Relocation studies
– Property, facilities and asset management
– Due diligence
– Investment acquisition/sales
– Development/redevelopment analysis
– Structured lease finance

NAI/Merin Hunter Codman’s history of prestigious clients includes BP Amoco, Wackenhut, Nextel, Walgreens, Spring, Amdahl, Oasis Outsourcing, GTECH Corp., Jennifer Convertibles, Daleen Technologies, Christofle, Christian Dior, Foster Wheeler Environmental Corp., Lydian Private Bank, and many others.

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This is What the Office of the Future Looks Like

In the future, connectivity may be an even more important factor when purchasing office space than location or price, some are predicting. Just like every office first had to be wired for telephone systems, then coaxial cable for the internet, and now wireless, in the future Smart technology will be standard for all office buildings.

Office space itself is already changing dramatically. More often than not, there are multiple companies in one building instead of one company per building. Outside of the building, office space is becoming more like a university campus designed just for office tenants. What will the office of the future look like? Here’s a glimpse:

Walls that Can Talk

By 2050, the office environment will be completely immersed in technology. We expect to be able to talk to walls without the need for a mobile device or app to tap. Projector screens will be unnecessary and video conferencing will be setup through the wall behind giant HD screens – maybe even holograms.

Augmented reality and virtual reality technology is only going to enhance those immersive technologies. Expect the office of 2050 to look more Star Trek like than ever before. Humans will still be necessary but technology will enhance our abilities combining “our horizontal intelligence, with the vertical execution capabilities of artificial intelligence.

Couches Instead of Desks

Already traditional desks and offices are changing. Expect that to only get more fantastical by 2050. Not only will the lines be completely blurred between work and life, or better stated, the office will be a place of social gathering primarily, most employees will only dip into the office from time to time.

Currently more than 40% of the workforce works remotely at least part of the time. That will increase the need for businesses to provide office environments that are more comfortable and inviting in order to encourage workers to come to the office.

Smaller Spaces, Fewer People

Since there will be fewer employees working Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 in the office, the office space itself will continue to shrink drastically. Of course, there will still be a need for regular employees who reside in the office on the traditional office schedule but even their work will be less restricted and more flexible.

Offices Will be Customizable

No more “cookie-cutter” offices in 2050. All office buildings – walls, floors, cabinets, equipment – will be customizable. Rooms will be convertible to serve multiple purposes at different times. Imagine tapping a switch and a partition divides the room, turning it into a brainstorming session that won’t disrupt the rest of the office.

Everything Will be So Very Green

Thirty years from now, we expect that climate change and energy conservation will no longer be debatable. Businesses will recognize the financial savings and work efficiencies embodied in green technology (as many are now) and employees will demand it.

Considering that the workforce in 2050 will largely be made up of Gen Y and Gen Z who are already green oriented, every office building will be a green building. That includes mandates requiring builders to use all sustainable materials perhaps and regulations requiring buildings to meet much more specific green standards.

About NAI/Merin Hunter Codman

Through our corporate services group, NAI/Merin Hunter Codman provides value-added tenant representation and corporate services for corporations with local, national or worldwide real estate needs. The firm serves as a single point of contact, whether for one property or hundreds of properties or leases. We assist in evaluating opportunities, optimizing existing portfolios, planning new facilities, site selection, and managing and leasing corporate facilities, aided by award-winning technology that allows the firm to monitor and flag every step electronically, tailored specifically to client needs. Electronic monitoring is available for client review from anywhere in the world and can track everything from real-time status of leases up for renewal and milestones in capital improvements, to the progress of planned developments.

– Tenant/Buyer representation
– Demographic, market data & feasibility analysis
– Relocation studies
– Property, facilities and asset management
– Due diligence
– Investment acquisition/sales
– Development/redevelopment analysis
– Structured lease finance

NAI/Merin Hunter Codman’s history of prestigious clients includes: BP Amoco, Wackenhut, Nextel, Walgreens, Spring, Amdahl, Oasis Outsourcing, GTECH Corp., Jennifer Convertibles, Daleen Technologies, Christofle, Christian Dior, Foster Wheeler Environmental Corp., Lydian Private Bank and many others.

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NAI/Merin Hunter Codman Office Renovations

As a leading commercial real estate firm, we know office space. Check out our new, invigorating and inspiring West Palm Beach office. The primary designer was our very own company Chairman, Neil. E. Merin – who infused today’s modern style with rustic charm. With this renovation we’ve not only changed the environment in which we work, but we’ve also changed how we do business.

Every square inch invites collaboration, creativity (white board walls) and fun (pool table and putting green); while the telephone booths, relaxation, club, and conference rooms offer privacy. Aside from the views, the central focal point, an area perfect for hosting firm and charitable events, is the café, complete with a 24’ red bar, 60‐specialty beverage touch coffee machine and industrial refrigerators.

This shift towards a more collaborative and flexible work space is taking over and with good reason. An innovative office design can inspire employees to do their best work. To keep employees engaged, a work space needs to be designed with that goal in mind.

Enjoy the video below showing our transformation.

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