To offer customers a better shopping experience and increase foot traffic, retailers are remodeling, renovating and refreshing their stores; focusing more on making them a “destination”. This is a popular new concept companies are adopting as economic worries and online shopping have taken significant market share from businesses in the last few years. Modernizing stores and creating an “experience” for shoppers has retailers across the country busy redesigning their locations rather than breaking new ground. 2019 and 2020 may prove to be the most active years for renovations to date.

The top 10 companies planning to make changes also represent nearly 74% of the total number of projected remodelings. For instance, the Target Corporation plans to update 1,000 of its stores (over 50%) by the end of 2020, and recently announced a partnership with Disney for in-store shops and exclusive merchandise. Dollar General Corp. will complete over 1,000 remodels this year alone. Of the planned makeovers, the company will convert approximately 500 stores to the Dollar General Plus format; a larger footprint with more produce options. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., likely in connection with the boardroom shakeup in May, recently stated that it will refresh 160, or 10%, of its 1,536 stores.

Department stores, hoping to stay relevant with the ever changing consumer shopping habits, are actively remodeling stores as well. Macy’s Inc. said it plans to refashion 100 more stores and Stage Stores Inc. plans to convert an additional 100 to Gordmans in 2020, bringing the total number of conversions to 250. Anchor stores across the department industry are shaking things up by including everything from in-store eateries to mannequins with mixed brands; the message is clear though, change is a necessity.

Moreover, some convenience store parent companies are converting many locations to formats that their most profitable concepts use. Likewise, leading drug retailers are looking to add more technology and services to their pharmacies with health stations to entice consumers. In the grocery sector, Whole Foods announced a new concept it plans to open soon in Fairfax, VA; details are limited although it appears to be a large “full service” store rather than its smaller test concept, the 2,500 sq.ft. Daily Shop. Also in the news, Hy-Vee announced plans for several store remodels as well; a $90 million project to expand key departments and foodservice options.

There are 281 retailers that project at least one remodel in the coming year; 50 of which plan to remodel 5 or more stores. A total of 7,642 locations are projected to be remodeled in the coming year. General Merchandise Stores takes the majority with over 2,000, and Supermarket Chains and Drug Store & HBC Chains project over 1,000 remodels each. All of these renovations create open opportunities for suppliers to stock shelves and fill new product mixes. Service providers will also benefit from retail overhauls as the need for new fixtures and displays increase. As we have stated before, retail is not dead; it is only changing shape, and those companies embracing change now will be its pioneers and collect the rewards.