Retail buildings are of five basic types; down-town shopping centres, single storey supermarkets, warehouse-type distribution centres , mixed use retail and commercial/residential buildings in which the retail units generally occupy the ground floor and superstores. The retail sector is very competitive and therefore the attributes of steel construction to deliver flexible, lightweight solutions fast and cost effectively makes steel the material of choice for the sector.
Customer experience is paramount in retail buildings. Using steel construction, retail floor plans are maximised giving retailers the maximum scope to configure store layouts to maximise sales to their targeted customers.
Many retailers, particularly supermarkets, are owner occupiers and therefore, unlike some other commercial sectors, they have a greater interest in whole life cost and added value through sustainable design. Consequently, the retail sector is leading in the procurement of sustainable, low carbon buildings.