Planning Retail Renovations for the Holiday Season
By Kiar Olson
Construction DesignWorks Recommends 8 Phases for Tenant Improvements
KANSAS CITY, MO- Often during the holiday season, retail owners are stretched thin on labor, inventory and storage space as well as floor space. Retailers always ask themselves: “what can I do differently next year to avoid these same reoccurring obstacles?”
“The time to plan for retail renovations isn’t during the holiday shopping season. Retailers need to concentrate on maximizing sales. Simple phased planning should begin in February for efficient retail renovations,” says Scott Hamele, President of Construction DesignWorks, Inc. Ample time should be given for the design team and general contractor to plan, make decisions, and perform the tenant improvements or commercial construction remodel. For this reason, Construction DesignWorks recommends an eight phase plan for tenant improvements for the next holiday season.
1. Needs Assessment
FEBRUARY – Perform a needs assessment. Write down the pros and cons of your existing space including furniture, trade fixtures, equipment, product placement, floor space, storage, lighting, flooring, work flow, packaging, etc. You need to obtain as much feedback from owners, managers, sales staff, check-out and warehouse personnel and most importantly your customers.
MARCH – Prioritize the results of the needs assessment into three categories. Number one being the most urgent and three being something you wish for, but can live without. Then determine how much you are willing to spend on each of the three categories for your tenant improvement. You need a budget of what you can afford before going to the next step of involving an architect, designer or general contractor. The more specific you are about what your needs are and the overall budget, the easier and quicker the process will be during the design and build phases.
3. Choose a Design-Build General Contractor
APRIL – Interview design-build general contractors to determine if they will be a good match to work with for your retail renovation or tenant improvement. Criteria including commercial construction and design experience must be evaluated, but just as important is a personality match with you, the retailer. The design – construction phase will last several months and you need to feel comfortable with the team before proceeding.
4. Design Documents
MAY – Your tenant finish design documents are created by the design-build team that address the results of your needs assessment and stay within the budget. Design documents should include a set of architectural drawings, finish schedule, construction specifications, mechanical, electrical and plumbing drawings.
5. Building Permit
JUNE – City, state and/or jurisdictional review of design documents can take up to a month for review and final approval to obtain a building permit. The general contractor cannot start work on your retail renovation until this process has been completed.
JULY – SEPTEMBER – In most cases during the construction phase the work will need to be coordinated and possibly phased to allow the retail store to stay open during the process. Be aware that this can be a bit of an inconvenience for the store staff and customers. Precautions such as dust containment areas, floor protection, and sound walls will be necessary to help with this transition. No matter what the size of the store, most projects that involve phasing will take more time to complete. The coordination of working around staff, customers, subcontractor schedules, material deliveries, city inspections and design changes requires ample time.
7. Final Punch List
OCTOBER – Give yourself at least a month after completion of construction to work through punch list items, minor changes and adjustments to insure you are ready to show off your tenant improvements and efficient retail store to your customers.
8. Grand Reopening and Holiday Sales
NOVEMBER – DECEMBER – Plan a grand reopening. A grand reopening lets your existing customers know of your business’s great retail renovations and also attracts new customers. An effective grand reopening requires planning, then you can relax and enjoy the festivities on reopening day. After that, sell, sell sell!!!!
Construction DesignWorks uses its hands-on approach and design expertise to create and build professional interior spaces specialized for each customers using the design-build method. Their complete turnkey solutions align with the unique business needs of various types of real estate. Construction DesignWorks, Inc. is located at 21961 West 83rd Street in Shawnee, Kansas. For more information about interior commercial construction, call (913) 745-4727 or visit their website at constructiondesignworks.com.