Retail Ventilation: Creating A Better Shopping Experience With Prihoda Fabric Ducts


Imagine you are out shopping. The window display of an independent boutique store catches your eye. As you walk through the entrance, you begin to feel the stifling effect of stale air enveloping you. Staying to browse through the stock doesn’t seem so appealing anymore. Sounds familiar?

Every indoor environment requires ventilation, even if it is simply opening a window. Retail areas are no exception. But beyond the general benefits, a well-designed retail ventilation system can reward businesses with more sales. How? By increasing customer satisfaction.

How ventilation affects customer happiness in retail applications

Ambient factors such as temperature, noise, background music, freshness or scents influence the shopping experience. They are usually carefully curated by customer experience managers to present a specific image, create a certain mood, and guide customers through the shop to encourage them to make a purchase. The problem comes when these factors, which govern the experience, are pushed outside the range in which customers find them pleasant. Extremes in any of these factors can bring the shopper’s attention to them and ‘break the spell’. For example, if the area is too draughty, shoppers can become uncomfortable and distracted from their shopping activity. Similarly, a noisy ventilation system is unpleasant and detrimental to customer comfort. To put it simply, draughts and noise from HVAC systems can hurt sales.

These don’t just affect customers but store employees too. A growing body of research shows that creating a better retail work environment leads to happier employees, which in turn results in more customer loyalty and satisfaction. The accumulation of air contaminants such as VOCs and CO2 results in lower staff productivity and more sick days. But it’s not just productivity that suffers. Research shows that happy salespeople achieve 37% more sales. It makes sense too. If a retail business is competing with every shop that sells similar products, including online shops, it isn’t feasible to compete on price alone. It stands to reason that making connections with customers can drive sales – and no one wants to talk to a grumpy sales associate.

Grey fabric ducts in the ceiling above retail checkout tills
A grey fabric duct with perforations and pockets mounted discreetly above the checkout tills.

There are generally several zones within the same retail establishment with different functions, e.g., sales areas, checkout tills or changing rooms. Each zone typically presents particular ventilation requirements to match its primary use. Additionally, some types of stock can be sources of airborne contaminants. Furniture and soft furnishings are common indoor sources of formaldehyde in the air. To keep the air fresh and pleasant, a furniture store should pay attention to its ventilation system. Similarly, where stock is highly scented or has strong odours, such as candles or pet food, ensuring adequate ventilation is vital to maintain a healthy environment and provide an enjoyable shopping experience.

Despite the obvious links between a pleasant environment and greater sales, ventilation is often not a priority in many retail applications. Once installed, HVAC systems tend to undergo limited maintenance. But why is this the case? Running a successful retail business is a difficult task. With all the complexity of daily operations and more pressing maintenance issues, overlooking HVAC maintenance is practically inevitable. There is often a belief that if the system is blowing air at all, it’s working as it should. As a result, little thought is given to ventilation once the system is in place, even if the space’s purpose changes and, with it, so do the ventilation requirements.

Fabric duct in a retail application

How can Prihoda fabric ducts help?

Choosing fabric ducts and diffusers as part of the ventilation system in retail applications can really help you achieve a comfortable and welcoming environment for your customers.

Prihoda fabric ducts are:

  • Always bespoke – we design each diffuser especially for your application. With no stock parts, we can create precisely engineered air patterns with the perfect spread, velocity and mixing characteristics for each retail area, whether it’s a café, sales floor or changing rooms. No two designs are the same.
  • Quick and easy installation – installing fabric diffusers requires minimal downtime. The process consists of installing the mounting hardware, sliding the fabric ducting into place, and zipping up the sections. If you’d like to know more, we have these handy installation videos.
  • Low maintenance and easy to clean – our ducts can be laundered at low temperature in a washing machine. Or for even more convenience, we also offer a fabric duct laundry service.
  • Aesthetic – with nine stock colours, you can choose the colour that works best with the décor of your application. We also offer a printing service. It’s called Prihoda Art, and it allows you to use bespoke colours, logos, text or patterns on the ducts – because ventilation ducting doesn’t have to be boring.

Ambient factors are an essential part of the shopping experience. A comfortable retail environment keeps customers happier, leading to more sales and higher profits. Retail ventilation can feel like an afterthought, but it doesn’t have to be. With Prihoda fabric ducts, it’s easy to supply clean air at the right velocities to keep the retail space fresh and draught-free.

If you’d like more information, please contact us.

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