ABOVE THE FOLD model to a full-service retailer; we changed our assortment and curated it to speak to a specific audience; we changed the entire look and feel of the store and how we visually spoke to the customer through graphics and signage—we literally changed everything. The SportChek store in St Catherines, Ontario is one that stands out to me. This store was designed with a simplified, elevated shopping experience in mind, with a focus on the female shopper. We made the store brighter, allowing the product to be the highlight which creates opportunities throughout the store for creative merchandising and storytelling. The overall fitting room experience was elevated through lighting, mirrors, customer call buttons and an aesthetically pleasing seating area. The store was designed around a central community hub highlighting a locally commissioned piece of art. This hub is where customers can easily access the BOPIS (Buy Online Pick Up in Store) lockers which became a beautiful central eye-catching focal point. This is also the first store where we showcased our service shop like never before, by introducing “Retail Theatre” where customers can see through the glass walls and watch technicians fix bikes, sharpen skates, etc.
Take us through your approach to executing your construction and design strategy
With design being the creator and construction being the builder, they are closely integrated processes within our team and the company as a whole. We begin by working to ensure our design supports and aligns to the banner value proposition and desired target customer experience. Although each store falls under the same family of companies, the experiences for each one is very different. It is essential that we facilitate a seamless experience across banners and channels, while addressing retail trends and a constantly evolving customer mindset. Our design must support modular implementation and have maximum flexibility to enable constant change. And, we need to ensure our design is economically viable in all applications and types of retail environments, including malls, power centers, stand-alone stores and strip malls.
As a company, we aim to continuously improve the energy efficiency of our buildings by incorporating innovative technologies into our store prototypes. The build and construction of the store network encompasses varying types of projects. From new store builds, relocations, expansions, turn-key, shell and store revitalization. Our overall strategy is to align our networks so the customer experience is the same across the country.
Tell me about some of the challenges you face regarding construction in particular?
One of the primary challenges we are currently facing during the pandemic is in managing the stop/start nature of changing restrictions from a cost, planning and delivery perspective. We are also feeling the brunt of inventory and material delays due to challenges being experienced throughout the supply chains. Lastly, the inability to travel has been a significant challenge in trying to oversee projects that are underway.
Talk about sustainability. What are you doing?
CTC is committed to operating as a sustainable Canadian brand. We recognize that climate change poses a serious risk to the health of our planet and, as a company, we have made it a top priority to be more energy efficient, use fewer resources, produce less waste, and provide our customers with more options to reduce their own impact on the environment. As a company, we aim to continuously improve the energy efficiency of our buildings by incorporating innovative technologies into our store prototypes. Since 2003, we have continuously worked to improve our store design by making it more energy and water efficient, to the extent that we have reduced the energy use intensity of new stores by half.
COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — DECEMBER 2020