All cultural attraction retail is characterized by a unique series of challenges and opportunities. The following is a list of the range of retail design services offered to the prospective retailer or retail interest:

‘Request for Proposal’ (RFP) Participation

Participating in a Request For Proposal submission is a highly competitive process. If you are going to participate, it would be smart to have a proven winner on your side. We have participated in many retail design proposals with well-known retail and food service providers and have a very high success rate. To be fair, retail design is only one of many components for consideration, but it can be a very compelling influencer in the board room and can create a big distinction between you and your competition. Our experience can help pave the way to a successful outcome.

Project Programming

‘Programming’ means that a designer has worked to find out about the parameters of the project and will make sure the design solution addresses those specific needs and requirements. It is vital to create the opportunity for all interested parties to be able to be heard to fully understand the attraction and its mission to the public. The store must be a seamless extension of the attractions experience and core values.

SME Retail Consulting

As a retail Subject Matter Expert (SME), we can contribute our specialized, focused knowledge and expertise making all aspects of the retail design richer, more functional and, ultimately, more successful. We often work with lead architects and designers – not as a competitor or adversary, but rather a partner to offer the benefit of our broad specific experience. We can help with selecting best locations, advising on the entrances, window displays, signs, merchandise fixtures, furniture, layouts, lighting, trade sources and vendors. All the elements combine harmoniously to create a great shopping experience for customers and a successful business for our mutual client.

New Store Planning

We survey the attraction for all prospective retail opportunities and provide valuable insights about the positioning of the stores to make sure we take advantage of the full retail potential within the attraction.

Existing Store Evaluation

By visiting the project, we can offer an assessment how the currently operates. We look at the visibility of the store itself from a distance and from all angles, the entrances, display windows, signs and graphics, the fixtures, fixture placement, traffic patterns, lighting, colors, finishes, security and service areas. This can be ‘fresh-eyes’ to make sure the store is as viable as possible.

Conceptual Design Layout

A scale plan layout, sketches and/or 3D model of the sales and service spaces with a proposed optimal layout of perimeter and floor fixtures and furniture. This phase may include studies of various fixture layout options, a rough product location plan, a ceiling plan along with colors and finishes and sketches or catalog cut-sheets of fixtures, lighting, themed materials. A broad-brush, look-and-feel presentation that reflects the design concept in real people terms as well as a rough look at projected budget expectations.

Perspectives/ Renderings

Sketches and/or 3D models are a means of communicating with easy-to-understand pictures of how the finished design will look. Although they are an essential part of the design development process, they can also be used for board presentations, marketing and fundraising.


Communication is the key to success. Using all the material prepared we can make presentations to communicate the design intents and invite client participation. The presentation materials – sketches, digital models, written narratives, personal meetings – all help to obtain ‘buy-in’ from all interested parties and insure the project will satisfy all expectations.

Schematic Store Scale Construction Drawings

Beyond the store layouts, we prepare a set of detailed, digital scale drawings of fixtures, custom millwork, metal, acrylic, with specifications of all materials used in the store construction. They would also include wall elevations, sections through the space, a ceiling plan, certain sections lighting layout and power and data locations. These drawings are typically of sufficient quality and content to communicate design intent and seek and obtain bids from qualified contractors and vendors for the interior improvement work. The information provides the basis for which more detailed construction drawings may be prepared by other consultants, (architects and engineers) for landlord/building department review approvals, when required.

Construction Consulting

Based upon the retail schematic design and find appropriate consultants, vendors, tradesmen and suppliers to execute the design in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Having done hundreds of store construction projects world-wide, Gerken RDC can add great value to a retail construction project by finding sources, coordinating the bidding process, answering questions, scheduling and following through on the details to help bring about a successful store.

Merchandising Consultation

We help the store owner or staff with to understand the new ‘tools’ of merchandising. What fixtures are and how to use them. In addition, we can provide simple but highly effective methods of product presentation intended to create excitement for the customers and build sales for the store. This is one of the best ways to distinguish your store and its merchandise from your competitors.

Multiple Stores

This indicates that we have helped create multiple stores for the same attraction.

Historical Significance

Creating a retail presence in a Historical setting represents an unusual challenge. To be able to integrate the requirements of a successful commercial enterprise while respecting the historic nature of the surroundings is often a delicate balance. We have a broad spectrum of experience to offer many retail options and alternatives to satisfy the retail objectives as well as the responsibility of preserving the irreplaceable piece of history.

Food Service

Occasionally we are presented with the opportunity to design food services facilities that integrate with the retail presentation.