What you need to know

Shopfitting trends are dominated by refurbishment activity in existing stores.

The shopfitting sector was progressing well after the financial crisis reduced activity, but the pressures on major sectors of the retail industry of e-commerce and a disproportionate impact of legislative-based costs on the retail sector compared with the online industry have caused widespread blue chip retailer failures and this has impacted on the shopfitting sector. The sector has responded in the short term by diversifying into office fit-out, but this sector too has now been impacted by the economic uncertainties of Brexit.

Shopfitters have also moved into the logistics sector, partly on behalf of traditional retailers but also to gain opportunities from e-commerce development.

While the impact of rising costs and intense competition from e-commerce will continue to cause disruption in the retail sector, there is an urgent need for retailers to respond by changing the retail experience to a rewarding ‘day-out’ experience. The net result may well be fewer retail outlets run by the major chains, and these may not even be in existing locations, but the need to respond to the online threat is increasingly urgent. This offers major opportunities for national shopfitters as the major retail chains change their store portfolios and more importantly include very different experience related concepts in stores.

Covered in this Report

The shopfitting market includes a wide range of products and services that are used in the fitting out of predominantly, but not exclusively, retail establishments. The market involves a wide variety of skills and products, the majority of which are also utilised in other market sectors within the construction industry. These include the production and installation of:

  • internal wall cladding

  • windows and doors

  • raised access flooring

  • suspended ceilings

  • shop facias

  • signs

  • lighting

  • shelving

  • electronic point of sale equipment

  • floorcoverings

  • counters & furniture

  • dressing rooms

  • electronic display equipment

  • heating & ventilation equipment

The requirements of shopfitters depend largely on the sector involved and specialist work is often subcontracted out to non-shopfitting specialists.

Typically, shopfitters offer design facilities, although specialist designers and architects, who have no in-house production or installation facilities and the work of specialist, non-shopfitting companies are beyond the confines of this Report.

The following criteria are mentioned in the Report:

  • bespoke/standard fittings, with bespoke fittings representing custom-made products while standard products are often available “off the shelf”

  • new build/refurbishment, with both sectors offering substantial opportunities for shopfitting companies

  • client sector, with different client sectors having vastly different requirements in terms of fitting requirements, furniture, image and decor

  • materials, which differ from sector to sector, with wood, aluminium laminates and composites being widely specified finishes in the shopfitting sector

The assessment of the market is restricted to that served by dedicated shopfitting organisations. The market size excludes retailers’ in-house work and that of architects and designers with no manufacturing base. The practice of sub-contracting is widespread in the market though. To avoid double counting, estimates have been made concerning the original value of contracts only.

The wide range of activities involved in the shopfitting market, ranging from integrated shopfitting contractors to interior designers, hinder a precise quantification of market value. As such, estimates of the market size are strongly based on trade opinion.

All of the values quoted in this Report are at current prices unless otherwise specified.

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