Warm shells are becoming increasingly more common in shopping centres throughout Australia to help combat a sluggish retail economy and ensure vacancy rates are reduced.
A warm shell tenancy is a tenancy where part of the fit out has been funded and completed often by the Landlord to entice prospective businesses to sign a lease with a shopping centre landlord. These works may include a new shopfront, floor finises, painted walls, and new ceiling, lighting and services.
Warm shells are becoming more important during tight economic times to entice businesses to open up shop in shopping centres.
This allows short term lease tenants to be more willing to take on a lease as their initial start up costs for fit out have been reduced.
Designing A Warm Shell
We were approached by the Landlord’s representative at The Pines at Elanora on the Gold Coast to design a ‘warm shell’ tenancy.
It was important that we clearly understood the brief to ensure that the end product was a success. Some important points to consider when designing a warm shell tenancy are:
• consider what type of retail business that the Landlord is aiming to attract. This is often determined by the existing retail mix, projected future tenants the Landlord would like to attract, and the position of the tenancy within the mall.
• the warm shell needs to be designed to suit and be practical for the target businesses the Landlord wants to attract. This can be quite vague meaning that the warm shell needs to be designed to be ‘general’ and ‘specific’ to certain types of businesses at the same time. Not always an easy task.
• the finishes need to be durable to accommodate different temporary businesses taking up shop over time.
• the colours and finishes, and the design of the shop needs to have a ‘classic’ feel for longevity.
The Pines Warm Shell
• Open Sesame: The warm shell tenancy we designed at The Pines Shopping Centre was in a prominent position being at the junction to two entrances to the shopping centre.
As such, it was important to be able to design the store to be as open as possible and dissolve any visual barriers to enter the store. This was achieved by placing display windows to the far ends of the tenancy and providing a very large opening to the store. Bifold doors concertina into closets when the store is open.
The openness was also achieved by maintaining full height. Rather than designing a heavy bulkhead, instead a steel and mesh signage apron wrapped around the entrance and is visible even when the doors are closed.
• Cornering The Market: Being a corner site, having the signage to both sides was important. Because of the wide width of the shopfront, signage was installed to the signage apron as well as to the two very far walls.
• Material Goods: The finishes that were used were designed with durability and longevity in mind as well as providing a neutral backdrop to the star of the show – the tenant’s business. The palette is made up of natural finishes combining a variety of textures such as the warm timber vertical battens, the white glazed glossy bricks, and the low sheen 2 pak to the doors.
The Warm Sell
Warm shells make it easier for leasing agents to make the ‘warm sell’ to potential tenants.
By reducing what tenants need to ‘shell out’ to fit out a store, businesses can affordably and at lower risk proceed to taking up a lease.
Landlords offering warm shell tenancies make it a lot easier for business owners to say ‘yes’ to open shop.