Responsible Retail Spotlight:
Energy & Processes

For every retail programme, we have to consider the environmental impact it has, including delivery from the factory to your store(s) or distribution centre.

We work with factories that can demonstrate constant investment and good practice in energy conservation, and in process improvement to achieve measurable reduction in the overall impact of retail fixtures. This means considering delivery of raw materials from the first supplier, energy usage, manufacturing processes on site, manufacturing service consumables, outsourced activities, business and administration support, packaging materials, and storage of products.

Our approach.

To continue to rethink and reduce the energy usage of our own designs and processes, and that of our production partners. We can save energy in the following areas if we reduce or remove certain production processes.

  • Material Transport – minimise the distance of material source to factory.
  • Cutting and Welding – think about smart design that minimises or eliminates the need for cutting and welding.
  • Finishing – can a design be manufactured without double/triple handling parts?
  • Paint – can natural, hand applied, or no finishing be used in a design?
  • Pack and Load – flat packing the design will save on all energy uses by reducing pallet quantities, internal transport, and external transport and delivery.

We’ve found that our clients deeply value an understanding of these processes and it helps us to focus on where sustainability improvements can be made.

The processes in processes.

Fixtures run through more processes to get to their destination than many people would consider. We’ve found that our clients deeply value an understanding of these processes and it helps us to focus on where sustainability improvements can be made. 

Making effort to understand the origin of your sourcematerial is really beneficial. As we’ve previously stated, this is probably the hardest and most opaque area of research that can be done, yet reducing the physical journey to factory will have a significant impact on the environment.

Within a factory, fixtures will run through various manufacturing processes, from folding and punching to polishing and painting. We work with factories to best optimise processes in order to minimise internal transport.

Considering Packaging.

Focusing on flat-packing and reducing unused volume within packaging is a well-known formula for bettering energy standards. Ikea have been utilising this practice for the distribution of home furniture for decades, yet it is so often ignored in the production of retail solutions due to other short-term measures such as time and cost.

The efforts that go into systemising fixtures into components that easily flat-pack make significant reductions in the amount of transportation required to deliver the overall order. For example we have recently developed a retail fixture progamme for a client which sees reductions in transportation of 60% against previous systems. This transport saving equates to a sizable time and cost saving across the overall programme.

Can I have some more?

architect shop design

Leave it to an architect. Or should you?

In recent articles, I’ve talked about retail design being an unknown discipline. This issue manifests itself in brands turning to architects for support in their retail strategy, and whilst that may not sound like a bad thing, there is, in fact, an industry that exists purely to service designing for retail. My intention is to shine a light on designing for retail, believing that our industry can provide real benefit for brands and consumers alike.

Back to Work Without a Bump

“I’m pregnant!” From the moment you tell your boss you’re pregnant, things change. Suddenly you both know that there’s something bigger than your day job that’s stealing away your attention and you both know that, at some point in the not so distant future, you’ll be taking some time out of the business.