Industry Spotlight: Retail

Retail is an incredibly demanding sector, with a serious requirement for flexibility. To succeed, you need to be able to deliver products to consumers in a wide variety of dynamic and inventive ways. Keeping people interested and beating the competition is a constant challenge.

Storage containers are becoming a de facto solution for a wide range of retail needs as the landscape of the sector changes. Due to the blank canvas nature of a shipping container, it’s so easy for a retailer to customise one to fit perfectly with their brand, and put it to use in a variety of inventive ways.

Pop-ups and mobile spaces

Pop-up shops have been a huge trend over the last few years. Whether it’s a new project running for the course of an event (or for as long as their funding will allow), or an existing brand creating a temporary presence in an unexpected location, they’re all over the place.

While some may try and write it off as the domain of the hipster, pop-ups can act as a savvy marketing tactic to help create interest in a project or breathe life in a neglected area. Shipping containers – easy to move, easy to brand and with plenty of potential to create something unique inside – are an ideal solution.

They’re portable, too – a pop-up shop in a shipping container can easily adapt to get on the festival circuit for a fast-paced summer of bringing a brand direct to customers, or head to a range of expos and events throughout the year.

Of course, the shelf-life of a pop-up is open to interpretation – Box Park in London, the world’s first pop-up shopping mall made entirely of shipping containers, has stuck around for four years!

E-commerce

It should come as no surprise that retail sector has moved away from high-street sales over the past decade or more, and increasingly become reliant on e-commerce. Away from the online giants of Amazon and traditional high-street names with large online presences, there are thousands of small e-commerce businesses run from the homes of budding retailers who don’t necessarily need full business premises. However, as these businesses grow, owners often find themselves stumbling over endless piles of stock as they move around the house. A steel shipping container can keep stock out of the way.

Seasonal storage

Some retail businesses will be selling the same things all year round, but many will be faced with changing demands from their customers depending on the season. Christmas stock and decorations will need to be kept out of the way during summer, and outdoor supplies will likely be taking up shelf space – or on-site storage space – unnecessarily when winter comes around.

Many retailers rely on shipping containers to store seasonal stock as they are ideal for keeping things safe from the elements off-site, while opening up space on the shelves and in the stockrooms on the premises themselves.

If you have any questions about the contents of today’s blog post, or would like to discuss the use of a storage container for retail purposes, please drop us an email or give us a call for more information.