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Commercial Flooring News

Retail Interiors Can Help To Drive Up Sales

Janet Lowe, market manager at Forbo Flooring Systems, looks at the key issues when recommending flooring for retail environments:

INTERIOR design aesthetics have a vital role for retailers – from enticing customers into the outlet, to ensuring they have a safe, pleasant and memorable experience inside. Flooring is central to that and the chosen floorcoverings must deliver on different fronts including visual appeal, durability, maintenance and

slip resistance.

A retail store’s interior plays a key in setting the buyer’s frame of mind, ensure that they feel welcome and comfortable.

A successful interior embraces the qualities of the surfaces and finishes, encouraging customers to browse and buy. Everything expressing identity is important for the overall shop image and with flooring being one of the largest surfaces, it is important in the look and atmosphere of the store.

No matter what products are offered, the flooring must reflect the brand or image. Although appearance is usually the first thing a retailer thinks about, it is followed by practical elements such as cost, flexibility, ease and speed of installation, performance, safety and longevity. Fortunately,thechoicesarenumerous,with each flooring type having its own particular desirable qualities and associated drawbacks depending upon retail location, use and frequency of visitor traffic.

Starting at the entrance system, retailers opt for smart colours providing a discreet aesthetic, but there is no need to stick to the tried and tested shades. Indeed, many retailers of youth- focused or highly consumer based brands choose more vibrant colours that reflect the brand personality, even incorporating logos into the entrance flooring design. Whenitcomestomakingrecommendations, contractors need to advise retailers on which products combine the performance they require with the look they want. Moving deeper into the store, the flooring choices are even wider.

For large shopping centres and supermarkets, with high volumes of footfall, resilient flooring offers easy cleaning and long lasting performance, remain popular. At the top end of the retail industry, the use of textiles is increasing, as they help convey the sense of indulgence synonymous with the luxury goods section of

the market.

Between these extremes however, many middle market retailers look for something combining the best of both worlds, such hybrid flooring products. Here, retailers still want to capture the warmth and reassurance offered by carpet but, with higher footfall and maintenance requirements than the boutique sector, floorcoverings must perform in terms of cleaning and durability.

With technological advances enabling manufacturers to cover every conceivable requirement, the design scope is arguably better than ever. For flooring contractors working in the retail sector, keeping abreast of the latest products and design inspiration is the best way to help customers create the ‘wow’ factor in their stores and reputable manufacturers will be only too happy to help.

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at