Cunnane Stratton Reynolds were recently involved in an application to introduce a new retail format to Ireland. U-Fix Express sought planning permission for the amalgamation of two retail units in Artane for their new hardware store, which is based on the Pick and Brick model.
The Pick and Brick model is a new format for hardware stores which has proven very successful in Europe. It is broadly similar to the format employed by Argos. Rather than requiring a large floor area for the display of products, the shops products are displayed in catalogues or online. Customers come to the shop, and order what they require. Small items are kept in stock and sold over the counter. Larger items such as cement, timber, bricks etc. are stored in a centralised depot and are delivered to the customer’s home.
The benefits to both the retailer and the customer are clear. The retailer can provide a large range of products but in a much smaller unit than would normally be required. This reduces overheads and allows them to locate closer to the customer base rather than in large retail parks on the edge of towns and cities. For customers it means access to a wider range of hardware products in their local hardware store, without the need to travel potentially long distances to the large hardware stores in the retail parks. The result in terms of planning is more sustainable form of retail development and travel patterns.