Retail construction projects can vary from small stores within shopping plazas and malls to big-box retail spaces and standalone stores. For franchise and multiple locations, branding and design consistency are key, so changes at corporate flagship level are then mirrored across all locations in refreshes, renovations, and interior updates. Every retail construction project is different and subject to a wide variety of factors that impact its outcome.
The below is a breakdown of retail construction, and some of the questions you may be asking yourself as you launch on a new project.
What is retail construction?
There are different categories of construction projects, and one such category is retail construction. Retail construction refers to buildings that are constructed with the purpose of making money– if a space is going to be interacting with consumers, it is likely a retail construction project
What is the retail construction process?
The entire lifecycle of a retail construction project extends much further than just the construction phase. Generally, the process can be divided into these six phases:
a) Initiation, conception, and design
b) Pre-construction, planning, and procurement
c) Launch, execution, and building
d) Commissioning, documentation, and handover
e) Owner occupancy and warranty period
f) Wrap-up, review, and closeout
What are the 5 phases of construction?
While the entire retail construction management process includes several complex phases, the actual construction process that takes place within this project lifecycle can be summarized in five distinct stages that end usually with the completed build. These include:
Need: This is when a need is identified, the project is conceived, and goals are defined.
Design: The site plan, civil engineering and architectural plans are created.
Definition and planning: All applicable parameters are set in terms of cost, timeline, safety, quality, and scope. Plans for budgeting, scheduling, and resource management (both human and material) are set. Materials and teams are procured.
Construction: Sometimes this stage includes two concurrent phases: project launch or execution and project performance monitoring.
Project close: Once construction is complete to the satisfaction of all parties, this stage involves cleaning up the worksite, paying all invoices, closing contracts, handing and filing documentation, and preparing reviews of the process for future reference
What are the types of Construction sites?
Project construction sites include:
✅ Standalone retail sites often with single tenants.
✅ Strip malls, shopping centers, and shopping plazas, which tend to be smaller properties with a mix of small retailers that sometimes include notable tenants as a draw (such as a supermarket or pharmacy).
✅ Community retail centers, which are larger with multiple anchor tenants and usually one restaurant or more.
✅ Power centers are the next step up in size and include smaller retailers with big-box stores as anchors and then have parceled out land for standalone tenants that require drive-thru space (such as banks or fast-food chains).
✅Regional mall projects can be millions of square feet.
What is a retail construction project manager?
Generally, a retail construction project involves four main players:
✔ The owner who has commissioned the work.
✔ An architect and/or engineer who is responsible for the design.
✔ A general contractor who directs the daily work and oversees subcontractors and other vendors
✔ A retail construction project manager who works on behalf of the owner to oversee the entire project to ensure it meets specifications of timeline, quality, scope, function, safety, contractual obligations, and cost.