Gerflor - flooring in retail and shopping areas

THESE days in a challenging high street environment, retailers are constantly looking for ways to satisfy increasingly unforgiving shoppers. In some cases, they’re struggling to ensure they deliver high levels of customer service at all times no matter how their customers interact with them. Retailing can also often boil down to image, and nothing sets the tone of a store, or the entire shopping centre for that matter like the choice of flooring. Installing some upscale touches and the right type of flooring can possibly deliver a direct impact and upturn in sales.

Few shoppers wish to shop in a drab and dreary environment that doesn’t embrace their senses when engaging in ‘retail therapy’. Image can be everything; inside and outside the retail unit. The ‘feel-good’ factor can (and often does) promote increased sales and ensures the retailers’ products bask in the perfect backdrop to highlight their sales appeal.

It may seem like a battle between aesthetic choices of the designer and price concerns of the developer when it comes down to flooring choices, but it’s more complicated than that. There’s also the consideration of ‘downtime’ when new flooring must be laid and the impact of lost business to the retailer can be vast. It’s a situation most retailers will avoid at all costs and a speedy flooring remedy is often the perfect pill to any ‘downtime headache’.

Gerflor has this year unleashed what it describes as its latest award-winning design-led fast-track flooring innovations that are ‘perfectly suited to a host of applications in the retail environment’. Its fast track range of products demonstrates there’s really no need to close a retail premises when a new or replacement floor is required, Gerflor says.

It adds that it fully understands that from luxury boutiques to supermarkets and shopping centres, flooring can play a pivotal role in creating a complementary backdrop to a retailer's goods, alongside providing an inviting environment that’s enticing to customers.

Gerflor says it’s developed a wide range of products that can adapt to the pace of this fast-changing industry in terms of cost-effective installations and meeting the latest decorative trends. High street retailers, supermarkets, DIY shops, convenience stores and forecourt traders may have different briefs but advancements in technology provide a wider choice of floorings for retail commercial facilities. Solutions are available for all needs and to suit short-term and long-term budgets, and for many areas across a retail environment including front and back-of-house applications. Enabling and assisting with this ‘competitive retail edge’ is key to Gerflor’s overall success in this sector, as is providing products that will enable retail outlets to remain open during a refurbishment and therefore reducing the retailers’ financial loss to an absolute minimum.

By installing loose-lay vinyl flooring systems, retailers can benefit from limited disruption to their operations, avoid closure for the 24 hours or more sometimes needed to install traditionally adhered floorings and, importantly, minimise loss of profits.

Combining design with high resistance, these systems have been developed for fast-track renovation and utilise advanced interlocking technology to provide rapid, clean, cost-effective installation, without the need for adhesive or specialist tools. Crucially, they can be laid over most existing smooth floors (even ceramic tiles) with minimal preparation to the subfloor. Plus, as adhesive is eliminated, there’s no need to factor in drying times which has a positive effect on downtime, the environment and potential loss of turnover.

As new trends and colours for the retail seasons ahead Gerflor says it has a dedicated team of talented designers who are constantly researching into exploring new trends. They achieve this, Gerflor says, by working very closely with interior designers to launch new collections.

‘Couple this to top-end technical performance and more than a ‘nod’ to the environment and you have a formidable range of retail flooring products perfect for 2019 and beyond,’ says the company. ‘As we project forward retailers will create more inside-out sensory experiences to enhance the shopping experience. The retail outlets of the future will be shaped by scientists, together with architects and designers to become engineered supra-sensory spaces that delight every sense and that will of course include the flooring.’

Simply put - current trends have no value, the value lies in being able to identify what’s next, not what’s now. ‘It’s this maxim that makes companies such as Gerflor invest in technology and design-led innovation to deliver eye-catching flooring solutions that have the future of the retail environment at the forefront of their planning,’ says the company.
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