Art & Science of Retail Fixture Installation

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When it comes to retail fixture installation, The Beam Team has learned that major brands expect much more than nuts and bolts. Let us explore the must-have essentials of executing on fixture installation projects—to ensure fulfillment of the science and vision behind the plans.

But first, we consider that a brand’s program manager or project manager must choose carefully the best general contractor (GC) to execute their projects.

Pinpoints on the Planogram

From big box to pharmacy chains, what is entailed in any fixture installation project can run the gambit. Deliverables range from fitting rooms, kiosks, and cash wraps, to gondolas, showcases, endcaps, and digital media displays.

Each of these are key ingredients in a store’s planogram. The planogram is a visual diagram or schematic that details the placements of every product offered at retail—every lamp in a hotel.

The schematics anticipate the flow of foot traffic the moment you enter the property, down to what it is like to checkout at the register. Merchandise is planned down to the aisle, shelf, and bay space.

Hotels, restaurants, banks, and other “retailers” also have planograms—but may call them by some other name. Bottom line, each brand develops the art and science of what customers expect and when. They plan the footprint to optimize the customer experience.

The layout or planogram embodies the essence of the brand. When you arrive at Lowe’s and The Home Depot, for instance, you can see, hear, feel, and smell the differences. From fragrant garden departments to the richness of fresh lumber, the layouts at these two successful stores are unique to their brands. It includes every detail: locations of the departments, lighting, shelving, and signage.

Consistently learning and executing to the plans are how top brands become top brands. They use fixture installation professionals because they bring tremendous knowledge and methods that result in success.

What is Retail Fixture Installation?

Every retailer, hotel or restaurant may think of fixture installation on their own terms. But they share three things in common:

  • 1. Consistent layouts and customer experiences make success repeatable on a national scale.
  • 2. Flexibility and creativity are required to fit a floorplan into certain buildings or appeal to local market demands.
  • 3. Efficient, high quality installations enable stores to perform on time and on a budget—while meeting exacting brand standards.

In the spirit of these shared objectives, the fixture installation GC and the retailer’s managers can anticipate less risk and more success. Common fixture work may include:

  • Signage
  • Millwork
  • Shelving
  • Kiosks
  • End caps
  • Store-within-a-Store or Shop-in-Shop (sometimes called pop-up stores)

Whether opening or re-designing one location or 3,000, a successful rollout calls for high levels of coordination, financial controls, suppliers and sourcing, and skilled labor in key trades. The professionals performing the work must possess specific knowledge and training. Each brand will have its own style when it comes to cash wraps, restrooms, and so on.

Needs from plumbing, electrical, and other mechanical trades can vary in ways you may not imagine, no matter how alike two merchants may seem. Look how one convenience store brand varies from the next, like Speedway versus 7-Eleven.

The point-of-sale cabinetry of these two leading C-store brands is very different. This impacts millwork, electronics installed as POS, and the lighting, signage, and graphics.

Strategy at Scale

All these nuts and bolts of fixture installation come down to fulfilling the brand’s vision and mission. The materials and workmanship must reflect the strategy, standards, scalability of the brand.

Key considerations for fixture installation must include:

  • Project managers who know and understand the brand on a national scale.
  • Skilled workers who also appreciate why they must install things to certain specifications.
  • Compliance to industry standards or local and national regulations.
  • Overall ability to meet deadlines and stay within budget—while delivering quality time after time.

If you are a project manager or retail executive, please consider The Beam Team’s three decades of experience in fixture installation. Explore some of our recent projects at