The High Street Needs You! Thoughts of a Shop Fitter

The High Street Needs You! Thoughts of a Shop Fitter

In 1914, Lord Kitchener was eternally immortalised in the advertisement pointing saying ‘I want you’. In the same way that the British Army wanted to enlist recruits, the battle is on to save the UK high street. So, how can shops and hospitality outlets be fit for business when lockdown 3.0 finishes? Following a conversation with one shop fitter, working together seems to be the key according to Stuart Tranter, General Manager of Alanod UK:

Minimum disruption – shop installations usually have to be done at speed to ensure minimum disruption to business. This is where planning and good design are key. Another key consideration is how long a product takes to fit.

  • A shop fitter for many years, Ally Watson, says: “we can go into a shop and think it’s a straightforward job, but everything needs to be thought through and communicated to us, so we can make the job a success. For example.. if the outlet is using surface metal on an interior wall, how is it getting fixed to that? The walls could be battened out, or we could be sticking the metal to the walls….these are the types of questions I want answered in advance to ensure a smooth, speedy job.”

Team work – no matter whether the job is big or small, the end result is usually only as good as the people involved in it. An experienced design, technical and shop fitting team, (or design-and-build shopfitter on smaller jobs) is worth their weight in gold.

  • Watson comments: “it’s all about team work. The technical and design teams need to have worked together to specify the most suitable products and produce comprehensive CAD drawings that we and the fabricator can work off of. Thought through designs avoid costly mistakes.”

Bespoke versus standard – although a lot of larger chains look to standardise their instore design, for many hospitality venues and independent retailers, the USP is in their bespoke look and feel. This means that the materials used need to be flexible, as well as cost-effective.

  • Watson comments: “a lot of the surface metal jobs and countertops that we fit are bespoke. Obviously it depends on the type of job, as to whether only a bespoke solution will do, but whether it is a standard or bespoke fit, the same attention to detail needs to be carried out to ensure the end result says ‘quality’. That is why we only work with trusted suppliers and fabricators.”

Hygienic design – Alanod has been working with shop fitters and designers alike to help them offer a unique hygienic surface that looks good and protects retail and hospitality staff and their customers as well.

  • Alanod’s new MIRO® CU unique copper-coated antimicrobial surface plays an active role in the battle against infection
  • It has the antimicrobial properties of pure copper but delivers them in an accessible, versatile and cost-effective format
  • This hard-wearing decorative surface uses Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) to permanently bond a layer of copper only 200 nanometres thick onto a sheet of 95% recycled anodised aluminium
  • The surface is easy to handle and the bright copper surface is visually stunning when new, and will develop a luxurious patina with time and use
  • Format 1: an 0.1mm foil with a self-adhesive backing (making it is easy to cut and bend for application to light-switches, door handles and other high touch areas)
  • Format 2: 0.5mm sheets for the protection of countertops, tables and worksurfaces.

As retail and hospitality outlets begin to think about how to be fit for business in 2021 we all need to pull together to make them a success. As suppliers, designers, technicians and shop fitters, we all have an important part to play in ensuring the creation of spaces that are not only inviting to consumers, but are safe and hygienic as well.

Samples of MIRO® CU are available on request from Alanod and the company is proud to offer the hospitality sector its 40 years of experience in the research, design, development and manufacture of specialised metal materials.

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