Retail Flooring – Key Considerations

The retail environment is a difficult one to design for. High volume traffic in and out of a store means that practicality must a strong consideration in any designer’s mind. However, most retail stores thrive by creating a strongly defined brand, rather than strictly selling products. The design of a retail space can actually have quite an impact on the success of the shop, and ultimately, its profits. We look at how to blend the practical and aesthetic considerations for retail flooring.
The Retail Branding Environment
Most retail stores would stay in best shape when designed with beautiful counters, tiled floors, and unscratchable stainless steel fittings. However, without the distinction of image (which is actually what draws consumers to one retail store over another), price would be the only distinguishing factor. We’d soon end up with a monopoly in every retail sector! Store design materials need to be chosen for their potential to create a unique environment – and when it comes to retail flooring, carpet tiles are the medium that offers the greatest number of avenues for customisation.
Customer navigation
Every retail store is set out differently – some with aisles, some with scattered stand-alone displays, some with an empty centre and products around the walls; any combination or permutation of these is possible. Carpet tiles offer the opportunity to help direct customers around the store, without saying a word. Carpet tiles can also be used alongside hard flooring to distinguish particular areas. Strong or contrasting colours in shop carpet can highlight walkways, and draw particular attention to specials racks or new season items.
Maintain a fresh new look for longer
The look of a retail environment reflects strongly on the customer’s perceived value of the products. Using commercial carpet tiles in retail interior design means that the high traffic areas can be replaced as needed, creating a fresh look with only a fraction of the cost of replacing the entire floor.
Occupational Health and Safety Issues
OHS is always a consideration for interior designers, as owners and facility managers have it at the forefront of their minds. Vinyl or wood flooring, and especially tiles, create a vastly increased risk of either customers or staff injuring themselves from slips and falls – and increasing the potential for damage when it does happen. For insurance and liability purposes, carpet tiles are an excellent choice.
Carpet tiles also create vastly improved air quality in retail stores, compared with hard flooring. Carpet tiles help trap dust and allergens until they can be safely vacuumed away; hard flooring means that allergens continually circulate.
Noise absorption and underfoot comfort
When a customer steps into the retail environment, they need to feel that they have the space to comfortably explore the range. One component of that feeling of space is the amount of ambient noise in a store. Carpet has been shown to be ten times more effective than any other flooring type in reducing airborne noise.
The staff in a retail environment will be spending much of their time on their feet, also. The underfoot comfort that shop carpet provides can help preserve both health and a feeling of wellbeing for retail staff.

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