“4 Steps to More Sustainable Store Fixtures”
‘Last Word – Bill Jones’ , Total Retail, September 2009
...rising costs, increasing Health & Safety legislation, rising environmental pressures, the advent of global sourcing opportunities etc – in the last decade Design and Procurement departments have needed greater support from suppliers to enable them to get new concepts to market in less time, and for less money, while retaining the original concept integrity and quality.
More recently rapidly increasing landfill taxes, growing consumer pressure and the recognition of their own responsibilities has seen leading retailers and brand-owners pursuing environmental initiatives despite the current market difficulties. These initiatives are often based around carbon, waste and landfill reductions.
Apart from Environmental benefits, our experience of improving the Sustainability of store fixtures shows that major cost savings can be achieved hand-in-hand with ‘Eco-smart’ improvements to fixture design and procurement.
By identifying the optimum solution in terms of aesthetics, commerciality and sustainability, significant savings can be made immediately and also in the longer term.
For example, a recent initiative for a leading UK multiple saved 29% on trial costs, equivalent to £2 million on a 75 store rollout.
There is considerable information on sustainable store construction and operations, but relatively little on the internal store furniture and fixtures.
Your first critical step is to source fixture-specific ‘Sustainable Design’ guidelines & ‘Sustainable Materials’ data to provide practical guidance for the redesign of existing fixtures and the design of new units.
The design guidelines should outline key principles covering the three core elements of sustainable fixture design ie
The guidelines should also incorporate an ‘exceptions’ process to allow for occasions where a less sustainable solution can be justified.
Key ‘Eco-smart’ principles, used appropriately, can deliver major cost savings at the start of the design process, while the selection of the relevant materials and construction techniques can deliver additional revenue streams at the end of the fixture’s useful life span.
In order to make informed decisions and to set appropriate targets, it is important to grade your latest fixture designs and specification in terms of ‘sustainability’ pros and cons, taking into account both materials and construction.
This will establish the current eco-friendly base line, and help to compare different design options going forward.
An overall grade can then be allocated to the fixture design, combining both the materials and construction analysis.
During the prototyping and store trial process, further opportunities to improve the sustainability grading (and to reduce costs) should be identified covering;
The output from any new fixture design should be a comprehensive drawings and specification pack to enable best value to be obtained during the tender/purchasing process, and to ensure compliance and consistency in quality and sustainability.
It is also critical to include guidelines for the removal of all components within a fixture, including dismantling, recycling and disposal procedures.
Fixture designers/suppliers should provide this as an integral part of their specification final output. This will help to ensure that you can;
…provides retailers and brand-owners with fast, cost-effective and ‘eco-friendly’ development of new design concepts through engineering, prototyping/store trial to full tender pack. With no factories to fill, clients value our independent and unbiased advice.
In recent years the growing importance of environmental issues has dove-tailed with our ‘value-engineering’ approach to fixture design, and led to the development of our new ‘Eco-smart’ services.
These new services are based on actual, practical experience of sustainable store fixture initiatives for major retail chains, combined with the latest academic research.
They are a comprehensive set of ‘Sustainable Design’ tools and guides created specifically for the design, grading, procurement and disposal of store fixtures.
To book an appointment with our design team click here, or telephone +44 (0)1858 410007.
Quantum 4 won the SME premier award at the BCE Awards ceremony held on the 8th June 2010 after entering the Awards for the first time this year following the development and successful implementation of its Ecosmart Fixture Design system.... more
WRAP's halving waste to landfill initiative helps UK businesses and individuals reduce waste & develop more sustainable practices... more.
... our experience of improving the Sustainability of store fixtures shows that major cost savings can be achieved hand-in-hand with ‘Eco-smart’ improvements to fixture design... more.