The health, wealth and happiness of retail spaces


Most of us have a favourite shopping centre we recommend because we enjoy the experience of spending time here. What you may not realise that there are many factors involved in achieving this effect. This refers to the metrics framework of retail spaces that evaluates the impact of environment, experience and the economics that need to combine in order to produce a successful retail space.

The environment refers to elements such as lightning; indoor air quality; thermal comfort and acoustics.

The experience refers to the positive perception of employees as well as customers.

The economics refers to the value of the retail space. This has three subdivisions namely value for employees, customers and brand. Various studies show that the more enjoyable the work environment is for employees, the bigger the influence will be on factors such as absenteeism; staff retention and medical and physical complaints. For customers this translates to higher sales and a higher number of customers with increased loyalty and longer dwell time. This will affect the brand awareness on social media platforms that can in turn draw more customers, creating a positive circular effect.

Site selection; water use; material selection; energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality all influence the metric rating of the final retail space.

One very successful way of boosting the metric rating is known as daylighting. As the word implies it has to do with the amounts of natural light that penetrate into the building. Being able to increase the transparent areas (windows and doors) that allow in more daylight and block drastic thermal changes, has a profound impact on energy saving; indoor thermal comfort; air quality and the emotional wellbeing of occupants.

With aluminium based windows and doors, aluminium louvers and Low-E glazing, daylighting can be successfully implemented.

In conclusion glass and aluminium can directly be linked to the success of a retail space’s metric framework.

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