How Modular Construction is Rebuilding Retail

coffee shop drive thru offsite wood cladding

The decline of the high street continues, with major retailers such as Debenhams, Quiz and Pret a Manger closing brick-and-mortar stores on an unprecedented scale. As the trend continues, KES Group looks at how modular construction is rebuilding retail in a way that is sustainable, scalable and successful. Check it out and don’t forget to see our blog for more offshore insights!


The ‘death of the high street’ is far from a new concept. Skyrocketing rates, high rental charges and a consumer shift towards e-commerce have placed physical retailers in a precarious position as they struggle to balance rising costs with dwindling profits. Indeed, whilst retailers such as Argos have adapted to the situation with a fully digitalised catalogue, others such as Toys R’ Us have sadly vanished with the times. 


Modular Construction and Retail

Whilst these high-street losses represent the impact of a long-running trend, the deterioration of high street businesses has been greatly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, despite the challenges of today, several areas within retail signal hope for the future; including coffee shops, fast-food chains and click-and-collect businesses.

 Offsite construction presents several advantages to the retail sector – especially where eateries, drive-thrus and click-and-collect businesses are concerned. We’ve pulled together some key reasons why these businesses should consider modular construction to protect their present and secure their future…


Fast Food Done Right

drive thru retail food red modular build

Starting up a food retail business poses several challenges. Beyond needing enough space to accommodate staff and customers, eateries must also allow for sufficient space for storage, food preparation and cooking. Meeting all of these needs often requires a large retail space and a major sum of investment.

Modular construction presents an opportunity to meet these needs in a way that is efficient and effective. Spacious and robust, SMARTBUILDS provide the space needed to execute a full dining menu. In many cases, interior spaces can be readapted to accommodate more customers or to react to changing social distancing requirements. 

Most importantly, these compact buildings allow for a LEED-certified drive-thru service, helping you serve more customers than ever before. Not convinced? Check out our recent project with Northern Ireland’s first-ever modular drive-thru ice cream parlour.


Franchising Opportunities

Expanding your brick-and-mortar business change doesn’t have to break the bank. With KES Group, retail businesses can create bespoke outlets that match their established branding. This means matching their exteriors in terms of exterior fabrication and brickwork, as well as creating an internal fit-out that looks as good as a brick-and-mortar building. 

The key selling point here is flexibility. Modular buildings open up new retail opportunities for businesses that want to expand but may be reluctant to commit to an annual or multi-year rental agreement. Furthermore, if you wish to relocate your franchise, the building goes with you. When it comes to franchising, modular construction can facilitate a simple and straightforward experience.

Save on Cost, Save on Time

Modular construction is more time-efficient and cost-effective than any other traditional construction method, with projects completed an average of 30-50% quicker than traditional construction methods. This is thanks to the sheer speed of offsite construction, with the indoor construction process taking place alongside site and foundation work, meaning no delays due to weather. For retail businesses, this presents a unique opportunity to start trading in several weeks.

Retail businesses can also make huge savings when opting for a modular build. Brand new modular units are an average of 35% cheaper than brick and mortar buildings thanks to a faster process, less labour intensive and conducted offsite using fewer materials.



A Greener Approach to Retail

The fight against climate change is at the top of the public agenda, with movements such as the Better Retail Better World Initiative calling on retailers to drastically reduce their carbon emissions. By opting for modular construction, retailers big and small can lead to positive environmental change. 

So – why is modular construction an environmentally-friendly alternative for expanding retailers? Whilst many of these benefits can be attributed to modular’s prioritisation of eco-friendly and recycled building materials, a lot of it goes down to process. An in-house construction process also means less use of vehicles and transport whilst guaranteeing less waste.


Launch Your New Modular Retail Site with KES Group

Are you considering opening a new retail business or drive-thru eatery? As a leading specialist in modular buildings, KES Group can design, manufacture and install bespoke units in a matter of weeks. To get started, get in touch today! 


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