Why We Love Space Planning

Bob Galinsky | December 11, 2019

One of the services we offer here at F.C. Dadson is space planning.  And one of the questions we get sometimes is “What is space planning and why would I need it?”

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Well, let’s say you own a retail business and it’s doing well.  You open another one, and then a third. And then when it’s time to open a fourth location, you realize that all of your stores look a bit different.  The spaces available were different sizes, so you made things fit the best you could but it’s a bit of a mish-mash. You’d like to have a consistent brand look, and you’d like the process to be less chaotic, especially if you realize your dream to open dozens or hundreds of locations.

One of our Interior Designers defines space planning as “making a retail location functional, compliant, and beautiful”.  Let’s break this down:

Functional: The space needs to do what it’s designed to.  If it’s a retail store, there has to be room for retail fixtures, for shoppers to try out the products, and aisles to move around.  If it’s a salon or spa, there will be treatment rooms with space for tables, as well as a retail area and front desk.

Compliant: Every commercial building is subject to a variety of regulations, from the federal to local level.  These regulations affect the way the space is laid out, as well as what types of rooms are required. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is an example of legislation that creates requirements for retail spaces to be wheelchair-friendly.  POS counters need to be low enough for someone in a wheelchair to use, and there needs to be enough of a turning circle for a wheelchair to operate. In addition to the ADA, states and cities also create their own requirements. If one builds a space and its out of compliance, it can get very costly in terms of fines and/or re-building.

Beautiful: People need a reason to spend time inside a retail space.  For some retailers, low prices may be sufficient to draw a crowd.  Or if its a restaurant, delicious food. The design of a space, though, affects how people feel..  If they feel good, they’ll stay longer. And a space that is beautiful (bright, happy, appealing) will make them feel good.  All of our Space Planners at F.C. Dadson are Interior Designers, and they are very focused on making every location aesthetically pleasing.

The Process:

Last thing I’ll talk about is how our Space Planners work.  

Generally speaking, our clients are “concepts” or chains, and after meeting with them our Space Planners will create a “prototypical layout” that shows what a typically functional, compliant and beautiful space will look like.

Once the client chooses a space for a new store, our Space Planners adjust the prototypical layout to fit the location.  Their goal is to ensure that the brand look and feel is consistent, whether the store is in Manhattan, New York; Manhattan, Kansas; or Manhattan Beach, California.   

Like everyone else here at F.C. Dadson, our Interior Designers and Space Planners love helping our clients succeed.  If your company is growing and you’re opening new locations, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to help you succeed too!