The retail flooring market is entering an intriguing phase. Concrete finishes all the rage five years ago are coming to the end of their first lifecycle (or “churn” as it’s known) and retailers are now faced with the question “Do we go again?”
Retail flooring not as polished
There are any number of factors that come into play here, however many people with the polished, worn or uncoated concrete look are noticing the same thing – over time these floors can end up looking lifeless, and at worst, perhaps even a touch dirty. In the highly competitive retail sector, these clearly aren’t the words you want to hear.
To see firsthand what I’m talking about, you only need to go as far as the nearest major shopping centre and the loads of once sparkling floors now fading into the background. We’ll get into this more during the next email, but studies suggest you have seven seconds to capture the customer’s attention as they walk by. That’s it. If shop floors don’t age well, it could end up costing the businesses money!
Forcing a retail flooring re-think
What I predict this current situation will do is cause a shift away from the one-size-fits-all approach for retail floor design. While the concrete look will still be popular and a good choice for some shops, it will no longer be the default option. Many who went down that path will now be more knowledgeable with the style and better placed to decide if it’s the best way forward this time.
First impressions must be good
We’re already seeing evidence of this thinking in the early part of the new cycle, with owners and specifiers showing a stronger desire to stand out from the crowd with retail designs that fit the brand and colour schemes better. In the changing world of retail, where stores are now faced with competition online as well, making a good impression will be more important than ever. “Excite, entertain and be different” were the words from the Westfield Senior Retail Design Manager at a recent presentation I attended for the $450 million re-development of their Garden City complex in Brisbane.
If you have any questions about the new trend emerging in retail flooring, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.