Luxury retailers provide a more elegant and boutique-like atmosphere compared to big box retailers. The customer experience defines a brand’s luxury, and effectively managing facilities for luxury retail means finesse and flawless execution. For facilities executives who oversee a luxury retail enterprise, behind-the-scenes operations and actions are essential to eliminating disruptions and issues in building management. In other words, a few extra considerations go into managing facilities for luxury retailers.
Managing facilities for luxury includes providing superior service, including faster response and immediate solutions to possible issues.
1. Equipment Failure Is NOT an Option
Equipment failure might include burned out lighting units, problems with HVAC controls, issues with plumbing and security. Since luxury brands often have a higher risk of security threats, especially physical break-ins, all systems must function seamlessly and without disrupting the customer’s experience.
All maintenance schedules must occur when customers are not present, and the environment must not change due to improvements in energy efficiency. For example, a major luxury retailer in New York City found new, energy-efficient lighting, explains Chain Store Age magazine, that did not have the eye-numbing brightness that is often associated with LED diodes maintaining their soft and subtle ambient lighting.
2. Managing Facilities in Luxury Must Be White-Labeled
Customers of luxury brands are not looking for companies that have outsourced certain operations. They shop in the luxury environment because of the higher skills, customer service and commitment to quality found in these retailers. Thus, facilities management systems should not be prominent among the retailer.
In the New York City example, the store’s energy management partners are not showing up on the front doors. They operate behind the scenes, keeping the entire customer experience intact, while providing energy efficiency and savings to the company.
Having an extensive team of technicians ready to respond to an issue is also a hallmark of luxury retail, and luxury retailers may need to have things checked during operation. Rather than calling someone with little experience in preserving the customer’s comfort and shopping experience, a facilities management partner must ensure all technicians and vendors understand how to properly correct issues without disruption.
3. Collaboration Between the Store’s Employees, Facilities Managers and Others Remains Essential
Luxury retail implies customers will never see the behind-the-scenes work of facilities management. Instead, they should only see the staff members and brands they want.
The obvious example – do not leave a ladder up in the dressing room to replace a lightbulb while customers are nearby. Thus, any needs on the system should trigger notifications, so the issue can be addressed before it impacts a customer’s shopping experience. In this scenario, a team member might replace the bulb while another team member assists the customer. This maintains the problem-free, hassle-free environment of luxury retail, and communication is essential to this feat.
Putting It All Together
An iconic, well-known luxury retailer in New York City saved more than $1 million following the implementation of a comprehensive facilities management system in 2011. However, you do not see technicians disrupting the customer’s shopping experience, and this is where luxury retail facilities management comes into play. By becoming a white-labeled, behind-the-scenes operation that partners with all team members and store employees, today’s energy management providers have the tools and technologies needed to keep the customer shopping experience intact and dedicated to quality and service.