Design in the retail space has never been more important than now. With the holiday season just around the corner, getting customers back into stores will be the biggest challenge for store owners. What we need to be thinking about is first and foremost, making the store safe for people to return. But there is also the psychological hurdle that we must over come which is making the customers “feel” safe to return. This second issue is the one that will impact retail space design for the long run as the pandemic raised everyone’s awareness to infectious diseases.
Most have already implemented temporary acrylic panels as a short-term solution to help curb the spread of COVID-19. This will most likely continue well into the future but the feedback we have been receiving from the design community is that the execution of things like sneeze guards will evolve with more elegant solutions. Recently, we have been receiving many inquiries for high-end hardware products such as stainless-steel brackets, standoffs and balustrade clamps. So much so that Sugatsune released a new catalog highlighting hardware that can provide a more integrated look for acrylic or glass dividers. View Catalog Here
Another trend that we have been hearing about are for solutions that create more flexibility in configurations within the retail space. This means more movable fixtures and kiosks that alleviate crowding of people while also enhancing the customer experience as stores can create different spaces. Items like our HG-S swivel torque hinges have become popular to mount monitors, ipads and LCD signage. It has also created an even stronger demand for Sugatsune’s top selling EB-303/EP folding bracket which can hold up to 660 lbs. a pair and is now available with a soft closing feature. And, a full line up of casters and adjustable leveling guides are in stock in the U.S. to provide a sturdy structure while maintaining the fixtures portability.
Even with these changes, details still matter the most for designers as they work to create displays that resonate with customers. Showcases are still critical to showoff products and whether it is for portable kiosks or fixtures in Fifth Avenue type stores, hardware is becoming more of a critical design element. This has been seen by a growing interest in Sugatsune’s new GS line of hinges and locks. These premium showcase hardware products provide an integrated aesthetic as each hinge, latch and lock is designed to match while providing a streamlined appearance in the store. Security is of course critical and being able to lock cabinets and cases is a must. Many stores have incorporated cool electronic locks, some even operate using apps on associates’ phones. But we are finding that for a good majority of smaller boutique and local stores, the expenses and complexity of these systems aren’t practical. For these players, they have found our 7110 security high security lock to be a “cool” and aesthetically pleasing alternative. The lock itself features a unique round designed hole which blends into the showcase. A round “dimple” key which 500,000 key changes are available, is used engage the pins within the lock. With this design, the best part is that it becomes virtually impossible to pick the lock hence maximizing the showcase’s security.
Amidst these uncertain times, there are so many unknowns but for retail stores, reopening and regaining foot traffic is certainly the most critical. As the A&D community continues to work diligently with store owners to survive, Sugatsune wants to continue providing new ideas and new ways to incorporate our unique lineup of hardware to help make this happen. Visit us at www.sugatsune.com or contact our live technical experts at (800) 562-5267 to find the best solution for your application.