by Sara Costi
The ongoing Covid-19 emergency has highlighted how spaces, such as shopping centres, shops, fashion retail stores, as well as restaurants, lounge bars, and other social venues need to be designed creatively using materials and technologies that ensure hygiene, health, and safety for everyone.
The digital revolution is changing consumers’ purchasing experience. The retail world is evolving at an incredible pace, and physical stores are turning into “5.0 stores”, featuring tech solutions, such as touch-screen POS systems which can also be used as sales support tools along the aisles. This new breed of store also uses digital shop windows and tablets for assisted selling and answering queries about products, availability, sizes and colours.
Retail spaces of the future will combine online and offline channels, bringing the highlights of online shopping to physical stores and vice-versa. At the same time, e-commerce sites will allow customers to order goods online and then pick them up in physical stores. These settings will promote a sensory retail experience through entertainment and storytelling.
In this changing scenario, retail spaces need to be flexible enough to fulfil the strategic role of physical stores and attract customers while ensuring social distancing and hygiene and delivering pleasant purchasing and social experiences.
Casalgrande Padana meets these new requirements with a versatile product suitable for a vast array of architectural interventions. Casalgrande Padana porcelain stoneware tiles come in a wide range of colours, sizes, finishes, and décors. They are perfect for both floorings and wall coverings, new buildings and restorations. There are even ranges for antibacterial floorings, ensuring safety, and removing architectural barriers.
Casalgrande Padana porcelain stoneware, a sturdy, antibacterial and versatile material
High footfall areas like retail spaces need to withstand significant static and dynamic loads; therefore, the thickness of the porcelain stoneware tiles plays an essential role.
Casalgrande Padana’s Technic collection is made up of tiles with three thicknesses: the traditional 8 mm, 12 mm, and the increased thickness of 14 mm for even higher loads. Then, there are settings in which floorings can get quite slippery (think of fish and meat shops or the cutting, butcher’s, cold cuts, fish, and food processing areas). Casalgrande Padana’s non-slip tiles feature a structured surface that solves this problem.
After years of experiments and research, Casalgrande Padana has developed Bios Antibacterial®. This range of porcelain stoneware flooring and wall covering tiles can remove up to 99.9% of the four most common bacterial strains in confined environments (Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecalis). Moreover, these tiles eliminate odours and combat mould and yeasts. This innovative technology exploits the antibacterial properties of titanium dioxide, a natural material that doesn’t release any harmful emission and that, in interior applications, reduces harmful substances significantly, thereby ensuring healthier settings while eliminating odours and improving the quality of the microenvironment they’re installed in.
Casalgrande Padana’s Tactile range is the perfect solution for social distancing floor signage and eliminating architectural barriers, as it allows the visually impaired to find their way without further indications. Tactile is especially useful in high-traffic urban settings in which social distancing needs to be implemented, or where there is a danger to people.