How can retailers best repurpose and expand their usable space without the expense of moving premises? And how can investors maximise their return on bricks-and-mortar stores?
The answer is to install a mezzanine.
Two recent studies have highlighted significant trends in retail. Firstly, investors are snapping up bargains in the sector, with real estate consultancy CBRE calculating that £1.3 billion was spent on UK retail properties in the first three months of 2023.
According to Rhodri Davies, head of UK retail at CBRE: “Prime shopping centre yields are at discount of around 30% compared with the long-term average. They are becoming an appealing asset class to a number of investors, evidenced by recent deals spread across the UK.”
Secondly, a survey found that developers and town planners believe that repurposing stores is the key to revitalising the struggling High Street and shopping centres. They say up to 40% of shops must be repurposed in the next five years, with suggestions ranging from go-karting to food markets to leisure and hospitality.
Steve Norris, head of regeneration and planning at consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton told The Guardian: “This shows the scale of the challenge town centres are facing and the radical surgery required.”
An alternative to turning a shop into a go-kart track, however, is to repurpose it with a mezzanine.
For both investors and retailers, installing mezzanines is a cost-effective way to make the very best of their premises – significantly increasing usable space, offering customers attractive new browsing areas and maximising capacity for displaying products.
Here are our 5 top benefits of mezzanines for retail:
- Mezzanines can look fabulous. Hi-Level Mezzanines can fit feature staircases, glass balustrades and aesthetic materials, as well as offering clients a choice of colours for the tiles on their mezzanine. An example is the mezzanine we installed for Absolute Music’s 14,000 square foot superstore in Bournemouth. Absolute Music is one of the UK’s leading retailers of specialist recording and musical equipment and we relished the challenge of designing the new mezzanine floor with an access staircase and sleek glass balustrade in the main retail showroom. Andy Legg, Sales Director of Absolute Music, said: “This project has run smoothly and delivered us a showroom we are proud of. We are very pleased with the results”.
- The lightweight construction of mezzanines means speedy installation. Retail premises often have limited access through front-facing double doors. Mezzanine elements can be lifted manually and handled easily during installation, overcoming the complications that come with more complex solutions in a restricted space.
- Mezzanines maximise visible product. Putting in a mezzanine can multiply the amount of visible product and shelf space that customers see. Retailers can gain half as much space again, with huge benefits. An example is our work with Granger Hertzog, a company running an acclaimed furniture and prop hire service for the film industry. For its new showroom we executed a two-tier mezzanine design that maximised the space of the unit whilst also minimising obstruction for Granger Hertzog’s products. The company wanted as much open and productive space as possible. The finished showroom captured Granger Hertzog’s vision for a modern open plan concept full of light and character. The larger premises provided ample space to display its extensive collection across three floor levels. Keith Fyfe, Granger Hertzog General Manager, said: “We worked closely together for over nine months, perfecting the design for our showroom and offices and the Hi-Level team were very responsive to our needs. A professional approach justified our faith in Hi-Level and the finished result was a testament to their great workmanship”.
- Mezzanines have multiple uses. The mezzanine can be used as a back office for admin, storage of stock and staff facilities, leaving the whole of the ground floor for customers to browse products. For Pet Food Superstore Jolley’s we designed and fitted a mezzanine to provide additional retail space whilst housing a small grooming facility ‘The Pamper & Groom Spa’. The mezzanine also accommodated a new staff room and toilet facilities. With a mezzanine floor measuring 11m x 12.5m, two staircases and a glass balustrade, Jolley’s were delighted with the high-quality finish resulting in a visually pleasing but practical new retail space.
- Mezzanines impress customers. Mezzanines can bring a wow factor to a store. Big retail park flagship units can be double height at the front with showstopping glazing, with a mezzanine installed in the back half of the premises. Retailers can turn their existing space into more of a shopping experience for customers, an improvement on just popping into a single-floor store on the High Street.
If you’d like to know more about how mezzanine floors can repurpose or expand your retail business, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01730 237 190.