Enhancing the shopping experience starts from the moment a customer sets foot in the building. Louise Serjeant, Key Account Manager UK for Retail, discusses the importance of choosing an effective entrance flooring system for retail environments.
With a degree in Design, Louise has over 2 decades track record in sales, with more than half that time spent working exclusively with customers in the Retail sector. Having been Forbo's Key Account Manager for the sector for 8 years, she is closely involved with our major national and international clients, from Brand HQs through to Interior Designers and shop fit contractors, delivering flooring solutions for all aspects of the retail environment for both front and back of house locations.
With the constant flow of customers visiting a store or shopping centre every day, entrance areas can take quite a pounding. Therefore, the first step to take in protecting the building’s interior is to install a high-quality entrance flooring system. Not only is it the first line of defence against soil and moisture being tracked in on both the soles of shoes and the tyres of wheeled traffic, but dirt can make interiors look unattractive and can also damage the interior floor coverings and cause unnecessary health and safety hazards.
Choosing an effective entrance flooring system therefore requires informed decisions to be made, taking into consideration a number of factors including the number of people walking in and out in a given period – and walking the routes (the directions they take once inside) – before applying that information to the choice of system.
Textile entrance flooring systems, such as our Coral range, can stop up to 95% of walked-in dirt and moisture from reaching building floors, reducing cleaning time by up to 65% and prolonging the life of floor finishes. Data from Cleaning Research International has shown that the cost of maintenance totals 86% of the total life cycle cost of commercial floor coverings, therefore a well-designed entrance flooring system and a clear cleaning regime is essential to not only create a healthier indoor environment, but to also reduce future maintenance costs. In fact, Coral incorporates a three-step clean-off zone and can essentially pay for itself within 6 months due to the reduction in cleaning costs.
Entrance flooring systems don’t have to be dull either. For example, there are options available that allow client’s designs to be cut out or printed onto the surface easily, from the recreation of a brand logo or to a more elaborate and complex pattern. This can enhance the entrance area of the shopping centre or retail outlet, and create a long-lasting impression.
What’s more, off-the-shelf modular ‘Fast Fit’ entrance matting systems can be assembled on site and can be walked on immediately after installation. This is ideal as the rise of 24-hour retail outlets means that minimal downtime is critical when it comes to installations, to ensure that works don’t cause disruption to daily business.
The interlocking mechanisms of Coral Click for example, can simply be clicked together using a rubber mallet and with no metal components, this does not interfere with electronic tagging systems.
While there are a wide array of entrance flooring systems available on the market that are designed to handle the high traffic that passes through a retail building - there is no doubt that a full understanding of the client’s needs is taken into consideration, in order to choose an effective entrance system. From engineered single and double-sided mats, such as our Nuway range, which is ideal for intense traffic areas, to collections which comprise attractive and sustainable clean-off systems; there will be products to suit all retail projects.