What to Expect from Retail Construction Management

Learn what to expect when working with professional retail construction managers

You retail store needs to be more than a store. It needs to be an engaging customer experience, a marketing tool, and a brand awareness campaign. And this is exactly why you need to work with experienced retail construction management professionals.

Professional retail construction managers ensure your retail construction management project includes detailed and coordinated end-to-end planning, construction, design, fit-out, installation, and maintenance expertise through every phase of your construction project.

Retail construction management must be about your vision, brand, customers, and corporate goals.

Whether you’re remodeling, rebranding, building a single storefront, or rolling out a global presence – you need to be confident that you’re getting it right for your company, brand, and customers. This means the details must come together – professional project planning, turn-key procurement services, a seamless experience, and a team of people who have the skills, experience, and local knowledge to get the job done right.

We want you to know what we know about managing retail construction, including:

  • The 4 phases of construction management
  • Questions to ask your retail construction management company
  • How retail design trends impact retail construction
  • What to expect from your retail construction management team

The 4 Phases of Construction Management

Understanding the 4 phases of construction management is useful when interviewing construction management companies and partners:

  1. Conception and Planning

You have a brand, products, and services – and now you need your brick-and-mortar locations to develop brand loyalty and customer awareness.

This happens during the conception and planning stage as you work with experts in retail design, space planning, retail architecture, site surveys, and retail execution to define what you need from your retail space and how to make it work.

At the end of this first phase of construction management, you should have a completed and signed project plan that includes a site survey and construction design plan.

  • Pre-Construction

This is the phase of the construction project when timelines are defined, contracts with partners are signed, delivery schedules for materials such as windows, seating, displays, etc. are defined, and an end-to-end construction plan is outlined.

Every aspect of your construction project should be made available to you. Make sure your retail construction manager is using an app and/or cloud-based software to update and share all project details with you.

  • Construction

The boots-on-the-ground work begins with local construction teams and project managers arriving to build-out your retail site.

During this phase of construction, it’s key that you’re kept up to date with the project progress. Your retail construction manager should invite you to your site through-out the project to review progress, sign-off on details, and provide feedback.

This is your chance to speak up if things do not comply with your design plans and drawings. Do not be shy to ask questions or to visit the site.

  • Project Close-Out

During this final phase of your retail construction project, take your time to tour, inspect, and review all aspects of your retail store. Make sure it meets your vision and communicates your brand and company correctly.

Depending on your construction project, there may be additional retail site rollouts through-out the country or globally or you may have planned some unique branding and awareness campaigns such as pop-ups or flagship store designs.

This is a good opportunity to discuss retail maintenance services, pop-up and event management, and warehousing and logistics services with your retail construction management team. Remember, your retail space needs to be ready and able to evolve with changing customer demands and the fluctuating retail market space.

Questions to Ask Your Retail Construction Management Company

This is not the 1990’s – the retail space has changed. And so has retail construction management. Make sure you’re working with a company who understands modern retail, design, sales, and construction protocols and management.

Taking the time to thoroughly interview retail construction managers and their teams can help avoid costly construction delays and challenges. Do not rush this process.

Make sure you ask potential retail construction management companies these questions:

  • What is your retail construction management experience? Ask to see examples of construction project plans, surveys, and architecture drawings. Ask for references and arrange to visit retail stores the company has completed.
  • Who will be involved with planning, designing, and building my store? While you don’t need to talk to the people hammering the nails, you do need to know who is managing your project and have the opportunity to speak with them regularly. Always look for a company that has a local presence and an established network of service providers for every aspect of your retail construction project.
  • What do you do in the event of severe interruptions and delays to the construction project? Things happen that are beyond the control of you and your construction team. Make sure the company has a disaster recovery plan in place in the event of a natural disaster, weather event, or other unexpected stoppage.
  • How do you communicate the project status and updates? You want to work with a construction management company who is using the latest technology to survey, plan, design, and manage your retail project. This should start from day one with 3D renderings, Plan-O-Grams, and survey drawings and continue with project status updates, photos, and plans uploaded to a mobile and cloud-based reporting system.
  • What if I need my existing store rebranded and redesigned and then rolled out across multiple locations? It’s important you plan for the future – what may start as one brick-and-mortar build or redesign could quickly become a global rollout. Make sure you partner with a company who has a global presence with local networks of experts in all aspects of retail design, construction, management, planning, and logistics.
  • What types of construction materials and processes do you use? Today’s consumers want to know everything about the brands they support. This includes business practices and the sustainability and eco-friendliness of the design and construction of your retail location. Choose a company that aligns with your brand and corporate ethics.
  • What is expected of my company during the construction project? It’s critical you know what is expected of you and your team. It is equally important that you establish your expectations and limits for retail interruptions and closures during the project. Make sure a thorough timeline and budget is defined to minimize interruptions.

Based on your retail industry, presence, and scope, you will have additional questions. Do your research – once the contracts are signed and the work starts, it’s very difficult and costly to change your mind.

Impact of Retail Design Trends on Modern Retail Construction

Omnichannel, phygital, experiential, personalized, sustainable, community, convenience, and comfort are not buzzwords – they are just a handful of the retail design trends revolutionizing modern retail construction.

To succeed in the post-pandemic retail era, your retail presence must reflect the times we’re living in. Companies who ignore social media, influencers, and technology will get left behind. Brands who do not interact with their customers to learn what they want and how they want it, will be forgotten.

And yes, this applies to every retail domain from grocery to sneakers through to cosmetics and automotive.

Construction management for retail must be one-step ahead of the latest retail design trends. As you plan and build-out your vision for your new retail store, rebrand or redesign, or as you transition from DTC to brick-and-mortar, keep in mind these retail design trends:

  • Omnichannel and phygital: more and more consumers are doing their research online before entering physical stores. Companies need to have a seamless awareness and shopping experience that gives consumers the right level of interaction in the right ways.

To do this right companies need to know their consumers. Do your consumers prefer to research online and buy in-store? Do they want to visit your store, handle your products, and then buy online? How do your customers prefer to pay? What level of customer service do your customers want – push notifications, emails, personalized in-store shopping service, or nothing at all?

  • Experiential and personalized: a store is not just a store. Consumers want to touch feel, use, and experience products before they buy. Depending on your products and services this could mean having VR/AR headsets available to let customers experience your products, mirrors that let people model clothes without trying them on, or it could be as simple as having ebikes built and ready to ride and try before buying.

As an extension of the omnichannel and phygital retail environment, savvy brands are using apps and mobile technology to deliver experiences that build loyalty and brand appreciation. For your brand this could mean a personalized customer service app, digital classes on how to best use your products and services, or preferential access to new products with subscriber only in-store shopping events.

  • Sustainable and eco-friendly: consumers want to support brands and companies that reflect their ideals and ethics. While this expectation is not new, the pandemic has encouraged people to take a deeper look at how and where they shop and spend.

For many consumers issues like traceability, recyclable and reusable packaging, minimizing waste, locally produced and manufactured, and business ethics are key purchase decisions. This includes everything from how store building materials are sourced, who is hired to build and work on your retail site through to how and where your products are designed, sourced, and manufactured.

  • Comfort and convenience: the pandemic made it easy for people to stay at home and have products and services delivered to their door. To compel people to leave their homes and shop in-store, companies need to create a space that is comforting and convenient.

We know that consumers do want to shop in-store. The key is in getting them to return to your stores – repeatedly. Design aspects such as natural lighting, wide aisles, self-service kiosks, in-store coffee shops and pop-ups, and additional services such as design and style consultations or spaces to sit down and relax – contribute to giving customers a welcoming retail experience that they can’t get from an app.

Bridging these core retail design trends is a sense of community. Your customers like to know they’re part of something bigger than a brand. They want to connect with others who buy and like the brands and companies they do.

You may decide to establish your flagship store as a community hub or as you transition from a DTC to a brick-and-mortar retail brand, you might work with your brand influencers to create a real-life community, or you may host classes, demos, and events that give customers a chance to learn about your products and niche.

From including in-store coffee shops, self-checkout kiosks, in-store purchase with home delivery, community demo days, try-before-you-buy, and more – the design and construction of your retail stores needs to align with the modern customer-driven retailing trends.

The New Era of Retail Construction Management

When thinking about your brick-and-mortar presence and what you need from a retail construction management partner – consider these 2022 retail statistics:

  • 5% year-over-year growth – worldwide retail sales are projected to exceed $27.33 trillion in 2022.
  • Consumers are returning to stores more quickly than anticipated.
  • 2019 sales figures were dwarfed by an 8.2% increase in sales in 2021, totaling $21.09 trillion.
  • 35% of shoppers prefer shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, ranking an enjoyable shopping experience as key to their in-store shopping.

And this is exactly why a store is not just bricks and mortar. Your retail store needs to meet your consumers where they are right now – and where they’ll be next.

Designing and building a retail store that ticks all the boxes for brand awareness, convenience, shoppability, comfort, and personalization is a big ask.

Make sure you’re working with a retail construction management company that is the leader in designing and building modern retail stores for top brands across the automotive, food, clothing, and technology industries.

At Dynamic Resources Global, we have the IN-HOUSE offerings that make us your single source provider for all your needs. Contact us to learn how we handle any aspect of your business – from an individual installation to a global roll-out.