Concerns Over the Upcoming Holiday Season Have Retailers Worried
With excess inventory from the 2021 holiday season and worries that consumers might not spend as much as normal due to inflation and recession worries, this holiday season — and the months following it — are expected to be more challenging than ever for retailers. According to research reported in the New York Times, 60 percent of consumers said finances are factoring into their holiday shopping, which is up 14 percent over last year.
Despite this gloomy outlook, industry organizations are remaining cautiously optimistic. A recent International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) survey showed that consumers expect to continue spending, forecasting more than $1.5 trillion in sales (including dining) for Q4 2022. Of note — 57 percent of consumers said they plan to pick up items in-stores as opposed to dealing with shipping delays.
While the overall impact of today’s economic challenges remains to be seen, retailers have a distinct opportunity to drive sales higher by delivering a superior in-store experience. This is achieved by prioritizing proactive retail facility services. Here, we’ll explore several key areas that consumers don’t often notice until they’re experiencing a problem, but when they’re working as intended, they help create a solid foundation for a memorable shopping experience. Let’s dig in.
6 Retail Facility Services That Can Influence Your Success
- Signage — Thinking about the customer experience with a retail store, signage is one of the first assets your shoppers encounter. They use it as a guide on their way to your locations and as reference points. That’s why keeping your signage properly illuminated and in good working order matters, especially when foot traffic is expected to increase. Noticeable issues stand out to consumers, so prioritizing maintenance for signage and its electrical components will go a long way this year.
- Lighting — Bottom line: If you don’t have functioning lighting, you don’t have a functioning retail store. Properly functioning lighting makes consumers feel safe, prevents any negative perceptions of your brand, and even influences purchasing decisions. Don’t risk outages or annoying flickering in your stores this year — consider proactively assessing and updating lighting to make the holiday season literally bright (and to reduce energy costs by replacing outdated systems with more efficient LED lighting technology!).
- HVAC — The last thing you need to have an older unit break down during one of the busiest times of the year. Proactively assessing HVAC assets and refrigeration systems ensures that older, risky units are ordered and replaced ahead of this crucial time. Now is the time to act, too — current lead times for commercial HVAC equipment are extensive. While there are solutions to address outages temporarily, they can be costly. Consider implementing a proactive HVAC solution right away to ensure these critical assets keep performing for you when you need them most. Learn more about building the perfect HVAC preventive maintenance program here.
- Plumbing — As if not being able to keep shoppers and employees warm this holiday season wasn’t a big enough issue, imagine having a significant plumbing problem when your restrooms and kitchens are anticipated to be at their busiest. Needless to say, it’s important to be proactive and include plumbing maintenance in your retail facility services program.
- Fire & Life Safety — Last but not least, fire and life safety assets might seem like a given and that consumers don’t pay them any mind. But should the worst happen, you do not want to be in a situation in which exit signage wasn’t easily identifiable due to an outage, fire extinguishers hadn’t been recharged, or door alarms weren’t functioning. This not only creates safety issues but can lead to legal problems down the road as well. Be proactive to protect your consumers and your business.
Another Consideration: Emergency Services and Support
While not necessarily part of a proactive retail facility services program, you’ll need to have a plan and partner in place for any emergencies (busted pipe, sign or electrical damage due to a storm, etc.). Dealing with potential emergencies across multiple locations is virtually impossible, so ensure you have a reliable partner you can call on for support should the need arise. Additionally, make sure you understand who you’re working with when it comes to emergencies — the last thing you need to deal with is an automated call center or getting routed to someone you haven’t worked with before.
Partner with an Industry Leader in Retail Facility Services
CLS Facility Services has been supporting the retail industry for decades across all of these service areas and more. As an aggregator (meaning we work with a trusted network of proven self-performing vendors to execute HVAC, signage, plumbing, and lighting scopes of work), we maximize value by creating an all-encompassing program for all of your locations. This typically starts with a complete list of all assets — with supporting details such as manufacturer date, model, serial numbers, location, and more — that is housed in an online portal available to you 24/7/365.
From there, we develop a proactive and uniform scope of work for preventive maintenance of these assets. All estimates and quotes are developed in-house and provided to you ahead of time, with an internal team available to answer any questions. Thanks to our long-term relationships with vendors as well as our own team’s extensive tenure, you can rest assured that your program is being executed with integrity, accuracy, and transparency at all times.
Put your retail business in a strong position for success this holiday season with our retail facility services. Get in touch with us today to learn more.