These days, when it comes to retail, it’s all about standing out. Let’s face it – we’re in the digital age. It’s easier than ever to order anything from clothes to electronics online and have it delivered right to your door. As a result, we’ve seen brick and mortar retailers around the country competing for a diminishing number of in-person shoppers. Certainly, just having stores full of product isn’t going to cut it anymore.
But all hope is not lost. This shift represents less of a change in market share, and more of a change in the way retailers need to approach their customers. Experience is king, and providing patrons with shopping venues that enhance their experience is how the industry is going to bounce back.
Tension structures achieve just that. Here’s how:
The first benefit that tension structures provide to retail spaces like shopping malls and centers is curb appeal. Tension structures are as much a work of art as they are functional additions to the facade. A well-designed structure immediately draws the eyes of those passing by. Whether they’re driving on the highway across from your location, or just walking around a nearby plaza.
It helps build the brand of your mall or shopping center by creating awareness. You’re no longer just a building with stores in it – you’re that building with stores in it. Immediately recognizable in a photo or social media post. Architectural excellence brings positive publicity, and positions your building as a known landmark.
Like it or not, architects, engineers and property owners must create, expand, or redesign their open-air outdoor spaces for businesses, malls, and especially restaurants. Since malls are on the comeback, they will inherently see more outdoor retail or well-ventilated settings. Tension structures are ideal for these applications, as they shape the space needed for retail without creating a stuffy, unsafe environment for patrons.
Designing with COVID safety in mind must be a priority moving forward, as unfortunately, an end to the pandemic is nowhere in sight. Your customers will notice the extra measures the property is taking, and grow more confident bringing their business to your grounds over those of other competitors.
Tension structures also provide space outside of your building for those to gather. A much-needed reprieve from the sun on a hot day, or shelter from the elements if you’re in an area where it rains and snows. A well-placed structure can quickly become a meeting spot for people, who would have otherwise gone somewhere else to meet up.
Never underestimate the importance of a good gathering place. These can often foster more community than having a shopping mall alone. Places where friends can hang out, a public area to get introduced to a blind date, and so much more. These individuals, while their first purpose may not necessarily be to shop, will inherently spill over into the mall. Giving your store owners much-needed foot traffic through their doors.
Have you ever walked up to your shopping center, only to find that it feels cold and uninviting? It’s a very real problem these days. First impressions mean so much more than they used to. Nobody wants to go to a mall that makes them feel this way. Now picture the outside of your building with a beautiful tension structure defining the skyline, and people outside who are happy and enjoying the atmosphere.
That’s where the true value proposition is. It’s no secret that people flock to other people. If you drive by a building that’s teeming with life, you’re so much more likely to go and pay a visit there instead of a location that barely appears breathing. Create reasons for folks to come, and others will follow suit.
Get Your Tension Structure Initiative Started
In the Tension Structures Division of Eide Industries, we specialize in the design, engineering, manufacturing, and installation of structurally complex and creatively challenging commercial, government, and prototype design projects. We provide expertise and support for architects, landscape designers, general contractors, and property owners to develop their custom tensile membrane project ideas and construct iconic structures. Explore the options for your next project. Contact one of our experts today by calling 800-422-6827.