Report • 11.03.2020

Flooring for retail spaces: durable, sustainable and smart

Why design isn’t everything

The secret is out: The iXtenso editorial team loves flooring. After years of putting up with old carpet, our office hallway has now turned into a real eye-catcher.

This made us wonder: Apart from a modern and customized design, what other aspects do brick-and-mortar retailers need out of their flooring solutions? We took a closer look at EuroShop 2020 and highlight the latest trends.

Durability doesn’t preclude design

The most important demand set on flooring for retail spaces: it must be durable and scratch-resistant. That’s because – depending on the size of the store – commercial flooring is walked on by thousands of customers each day. Flooring must, therefore, be durable enough to withstand any high heel, dirt, shopping carts or baby strollers.

This makes hardwood options such as oak, ash or beech a popular choice. However, heavy amounts of foot traffic or constant movement of objects amount to countless assaults on the wood surfaces. This is why the Belgian company Pergo relies on a unique protective layer for superior scratch, water, and dirt resistance.

Steven Meeremans, Marketing Manager at Pergo, knows that the secret lies in the so-called overlay: “The surface of our floors is protected by a special triple-layer sealant. Durability is ensured by an aluminum oxide finish. The unique blend of material and technology enhances the look of any design.”

In fact, several real-life durability tests in Copenhagen’s Central Station have shown that Pergo floors are virtually indestructible thanks to the sealant.

Photo
Source: Julia Pott/ iXtenso

Sustainability: Nothing is discarded

Durability and life expectancy are not the only concerns of retailers. Today’s flooring options must also be made from sustainable sources. That’s why the Unilin Company uses 100 percent circular wood in the production of its HDF panels - an essential component of hardwood floors or laminate. Project consultant Alexander Callaghan explains: “Today 85 percent of our chipboard is recycled wood. Our deliberate strategy is that wood should be recycled wherever possible. In doing so, we reduce CO2 emissions and the need to cut down more trees.”

The company uses a sophisticated sorting and cleaning process to give more than a million tons of wood each year a new lease on life - wood that would otherwise be incinerated. Yet in this case, sustainability applies to more than just using recycled materials: "We also convert wood dust and wood chips into energy for our production process," says Callaghan. 

Underlay with sensors for floor covering
Source: Sonja Koller/ iXtenso

When flooring becomes smart

Flooring doesn’t just have to be durable and sustainable, it can also track the movement of customers inside stores. The Future Shape Company now offers smart flooring for retail environments. The system’s underlay can be installed beneath any kind of flooring. A layer of sensors measures electric field changes and transmits the data to a computer system via an integrated chip. Dr. Axel Steinhage, CTO at Future Shape, explains: “Retailers can track customers by using smart sensors to analyze dwell time, to study how quickly guests move through the store and to identify potentially ‘dead spots’ of the store. The collected data is used to create a heat map to identify movement patterns and analyze activities.” 

According to Steinhage, retailers primarily use this technology in flagship stores to later translate the obtained information into other stores to ensure shelf space optimization or to improve their advertising and marketing campaigns.

So to sum up: Flooring in retail spaces must not just look good. It also needs to be durable, sustainable and functional. The next challenge will be to combine these three features into one product.

Author: Melanie Günther

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: A product full of passion
06.01.2020   #pos marketing #event

A product full of passion

FOTOBODEN™ will pull out all the stops at the Playground Area of BrandEx – the International Festival of Brand Experience

FOTOBODEN™ will also act as a Silver Sponsor at the second BrandEx event. After all, the central motto reads “passion” and this can be felt with each and every one of these custom-printable, photorealistic vinyl floors – both ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Retail library in Vancouver
01.02.2020   #design #shop design

Retail library in Vancouver

Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel partners with renowned art book publisher TASCHEN

Fairmont Pacific Rim announces the unveiling of the TASCHEN Library, located on the hotel’s second level. This artistic collaboration is one of only two retail locations in Canada completely dedicated to TASCHEN. The new library at Fairmont ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Experiential Marketing “Par Excellence”
13.01.2020   #pos marketing #flooring

Experiential Marketing “Par Excellence”

FOTOBODEN™ at BOE – Best of Events, the trade fair for experiential marketing

There is no avoiding FOTOBODEN™ at BOE – Best of Events, the trade fair for experiential marketing at the Dortmund Trade Fair Centre from 15 to 16 January 2020! ...

Thumbnail-Photo: INSIDE World Festival of Interiors announces retail winner from RAI...
12.12.2019   #shop design #award

INSIDE World Festival of Interiors announces retail winner from RAI Amsterdam

“Sophisticated and informed” store design by Aesop

INSIDE World Festival of Interiors has announced the best interior designs of 2019 across the categories of Health and Education, Offices and Retail. The annual awards, which started at RAI Amsterdam, encompass the best interior designs from the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: FOTOBODEN™ makes for vibrant action …
01.01.2020   #pos marketing #EuroShop

FOTOBODEN™ makes for vibrant action …

… and is the biggest exhibitor at EuroShop 2020 occupying several thousand square metres

There is no avoiding FOTOBODEN™ at EuroShop! Because visitors will discover one or two of these custom-printed photorealistic vinyl floors in every other if not every hall, without the slightest trace of boredom. Quite on the contrary: it ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Big bang to kick off the year – FOTOBODEN™ extends invitations!...
20.12.2019   #pos marketing #event

Big bang to kick off the year – FOTOBODEN™ extends invitations!

FOTOBODEN™ kicks off the year with a big bang at not just one but three events in January and February 2020

Making a “grand entrance” this all starts with BrandEx – International Festival of Brand Experience on 14 January at the Dortmund Trade Fair Centre. “Passion” is the central motto of the event in 2020 – and the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Clear views into the manufacturing workshop
12.11.2019   #shop design #Trade fair special EuroShop 2020

Clear views into the manufacturing workshop

Showroom Papier Tigre in Paris

Papier Tigre, a contemporary stationery brand, is rehabilitating its showroom on rue des Filles du Calvaire in the Marais, in the heart of Paris. It brings together a sales area, a space dedicated to custom products and the workshop in the back.The ...

Thumbnail-Photo: What shop design can look like: the Blaw men concept store in Barcelona...
04.11.2019   #shop building #shopfitting

What shop design can look like: the Blaw men concept store in Barcelona

The retail shopping experience for men

Yes, men do like to shop! A visit to an outlet of the Spanish BlawStore chain in Barcelona’s neighborhood of La Ribera can attest to this. This is where modern minimalism meets rustic chic and where selected products are showcased in a ...

Supplier

visuals united ag
visuals united ag
An der Gümpgesbrücke 26
41564 Kaarst bei Düsseldorf