think ahead about how this new design can
be built in different locations, to ultimately
look site-specific but also have the ability to
adapt to a variety of conditions and configurations,” Lechleiter says.
The desired retail location types for a
project—mall, freestanding building, historic shell, multilevel, or downtown location—give experienced teams insight into
the challenges they’ll face, he says.
Every situation has unique nuances,
and the design must be able to adapt to
those differences without deviating from
the desired brand and guest experience,
Lechleiter says. He advocates a kit of parts,
and other experts agree.
Designing a compartmentalized kit of
parts while creating a cohesive, holistic
solution provides an easy transition into
various sized spaces without major design
change, says Michael Gatti, retail studio
director at Gensler’s New York office.
“The client is happy we’ve created some-
thing recognizable, whether the space is
very large or very small,” Gatti says. “It’s
about designing pieces that can be imple-
mented in different spaces without sacrific-
ing initial intent.”
The 3D brand component system must
appear as if it’s all part of the same family,
says Kraig Kessel, co-founder of Kraido,
a San Francisco-based design firm. “For
instance, signs may have the same look and
details, but be developed in various sizes,”
Think budget and sourcing
Scale can allow for better price negotiation
with an increased push to source domestically, Kessel says.
“I can’t think of the last time we sourced
something from overseas,” he says. “You’re
then dependent on when those container
ships come over.”
Domestic sourcing provides for plen-
tiful materials and multiple distribution
points that cut down on shipping costs. For
instance, if a project is in the Southeast, it’s
good sense—and good cents—to find a fab-
ricator from that region.
“Our responsibility as a fabricator is
to clearly present optional material and
manufacturing methods to the client
and designer in a way that allows them to
make informed decisions about prospective deviations from the prototype design,”
says Dan Petersen, president of Wisconsin
Built Inc., a store fixture provider in Deerfield, Wis.
Value engineering is par for the course.
Scalability done well results in matching
the client’s launch pace, volume, and bud-
get requirements to the appropriate manu-
facturing resources with minimal impact
on the design and durability, Petersen says.
“Structural and design integrity remain
Retailers can often get volume discount-
ing. “We’ll find sources interested in the
rollout right off the bat because we’re cre-
ating something that will repeat and be
manufactured more easily,” Gatti says.
“Clients planning multiple spaces or a pro-
totype rollout will typically receive volume
“We try to
design can …
adapt to a variety
of conditions and
this SleepFit concept to
accommodate a variety of
store sizes and floor plans
at a modest store “fit-out”
budget of $8 per sq. ft.