Multi-unit store renovation projects are an enormous undertaking for any brand—so enormous that they’re often postponed until there’s overwhelming need. But there’s no reason to wait until outdated or worn-out stores begin to erode customer satisfaction.
A retail site survey is the first step that brands can take to answer many of the logistical and financial questions that often delay large-scale retail remodels.
Collecting data is the crucial first step of any retail store remodel project. This information guides store owners, store designers, procurement managers, and construction teams as they make critical choices about changes to interior and exterior space.
Developing plans for each store renovation requires an intricate, accurate understanding of every individual space and its specifications.
One Size Does Not Fit All
The biggest challenge for multi-unit store remodels is the wide variation in interiors. This is the first speed bump encountered by any large-scale brand refresh.
Virtually every store has a unique footprint. Other variations include ceiling height, the number, size, and orientation of windows, the length of the facade, and much more. Placement of refrigerated cases and mechanical infrastructure is another “X” factor.
Complicating matters, blueprints rarely match as-built interiors. And if multiple remodels have taken place over time, it can get even trickier.
In short, there’s no way around the variation in physical plants. But for a multi-store redesign to succeed, the design program should be thoughtfully tailored to optimize the assets of each location.
Retail Site Survey: Remodeling Reality Check
A retail site survey is a process in which the existing physical elements of a store’s interior and exterior, including architectural and infrastructure elements, are recorded, measured and mapped. Walls, signage, displays and decor elements are meticulously documented.
In the past, site surveys were conducted strictly with photographs and physical measurements. Thanks to new technology, it’s possible to record 3D virtual walkthroughs as well.
3D Recording Delivers Fast, Accurate Site Surveys
Sophisticated retail surveyors use special 3D technology to take photos of store interiors and record details like structural elements, walls, shelving, signage, displays, kiosks, and brand colors.
They’ll also locate and review blueprints of the structure, noting changes since the original build and any subsequent updates.
Some companies attempt to conduct their own in-house site surveys, which can be challenging, especially for chains with many locations. In addition, there’s much more room for error. Tape measures and photos simply can’t capture all the critical information required. This can result in costly rework and delays.
Following the site survey, all measurements taken in a 3D scan are stored, making it possible for retailers to access them at any time. Surveys can then be accessed via any computer, smartphone, tablet, or even a VR headset.
The 3D digital site survey takes the viewer on a virtual walk-through of the retail environment. This interactive experience shows all angles of the store and allows the user to move about freely, zoom in or out, and explore all corners of the space.
This facilitates smooth collaboration and fast problem-solving between store owners, designers, procurement managers, fixture fabricators, and on-site construction teams.
How a 3D Site Survey Helps a Multi-unit Store Remodel Succeed
- Saves time and resources.
Hiring experts to conduct 3D surveys of existing locations will get a store remodel project moving more quickly than attempting to conduct in-house surveys
- Facilitates collaboration on design decisions.
When everyone can “see” exactly the same thing in real time, it’s easier for teams to understand how design concepts can be effectively applied to different spaces.
- Accelerates problem solving.
Having access to 3D visualizations ensures faster, better quality problem-solving for project team members, regardless of their role.
- Helps ensure accurate budgets.
By carefully documenting each physical location that will be remodeled, guesswork is eliminated and budgets are formulated with the latest, best information. Procurement managers don’t have to over-purchase materials “just in case.”
- Enables each store in the chain to shine.
Instead of watering down or compromising a new store concept for locations with more challenging physical characteristics, 3D surveys let designers optimize each unit’s assets to put the brand’s best face forward.
3D Site Surveys and Design Solutions
3D surveys are just the beginning of a successful multi-unit store remodel, but they’re a resilient tool that will prove invaluable throughout your entire project.
Learn more about this crucial step—or explore King Retail Solution’s capabilities for comprehensive, end-to-end project management, including design, fabrication, and installation of your new store interiors.