Seasonal Retail Challenges and the FM Response

In the ever-changing world of retail, where consumer preferences shift, priorities and budgets change, seasons come and go, maintaining efficient and effective Facility Management becomes paramount.

The holiday, seasonal changes and sales are the most anticipated time of the year, not just for shoppers but also for retailers. With Easter bunnies hopping around in spring, sun-soaked summer vacations with big sale signs and collection changes, back to school and the jingle of Christmas bells – every season brings along its unique shopping frenzy. Yet, beyond the glittering shelves and long queues at the cash registers, lies the unsung hero of the retail industry: Facility Management.

Each season presents its own set of challenges for retail stores. Whether it’s the scorching heat of summer requiring powerful HVAC systems or the freezing temperatures of winter demanding efficient heating solutions, the physical state of a facility directly impacts the customer and employee experience. Every seasonal change means deliveries coming in, packing and unpacking, tones of dust (watch air quality!), construction works to make extra inventory space, moving things around, changing the set-up and atmosphere, having those thematic merchandise displays done in time in the entire store network. Sounds easy?

We know retail Facility Managers know all the nuances of retail operations throughout the year. We also know that reliable technical partnerships can help them plan effective yearly maintenance budgets as well as run seasonal changes smoothly and efficiently in every single store they manage. From managing complex technical FM works and specialized HVAC services to seasonal construction works and fit-outs – a comprehensive grasp of the retail ecosystem can make the difference in delivering satisfying results.

With 30% of annual sales occurring during holiday shopping, it is vital to have facilities in top shape for any occasion that may drive splurge spending. No emergency repairs or unfinished construction works needed at that time – as store managers have no extra time for any unpleasant surprises.

Marek Kwiatkowski, Sescom’s Managing Director and Chief Operational Officer knows that too well as he is a retail industry professional with years of experience in fashion network stores. He always emphasizes the importance of understanding the intricate dynamics of the retail industry and its facilities. By tailoring services, they ensure that Facility Management activities do not disrupt the life cycle of retail spaces but help facility and store managers meet their goals.

Prevention is better than cure, as the adage goes. It all starts with regular maintenance, both interior and exterior. But, as Murphy’s Law would have it, even the best preparations can sometimes fall short. Picture this: it’s the peak shopping hour, and the HVAC system conks off! Panic? Not if you have Sescom Inc. like a reliable technical partner. With our extensive technical network, we ensure quick resolutions to such unforeseen challenges. And trust us, when you’re on good  terms with your team, they’ll move mountains during emergencies, especially during such high-demand seasons and heatwaves – we have it tested.

As seasons shift, maintaining stores in prime condition through Facility Management becomes crucial.

A well-maintained store can entice customers to spend more, while the opposite can just as easily turn them away.

Let’s delve into the numbers: Summer holidays see France taking the shopping crown with 32%. Back to school season makes nearly 6 in 10 parents say they would be willing to splurge for the right reasons. And when the snow starts to settle and Christmas carols fill the air, a whopping 76% of Brits and 69% of Italians are out shopping for the festivities.

With each season bringing its unique set of challenges, retailers can’t afford to rest on their laurels. As seasons change, so do customer expectations and shopping patterns. This dynamic landscape requires a year-long commitment from Facility Managers. From planning FM work scopes for the upcoming year to adjusting support based on seasonal challenges, it’s a never-ending cycle of enhancement and adaptation.

In the end, it’s all about the people. Both customers and employees should be at the forefront of any retail strategy.

Are you ready?