How can a retailer maximise the chances of their new shopfit being completed on time?

When opening a new store, it’s crucial that the shopfit is completed on time. If it’s not, the store opening and trading could be impacted, as could training, recruitment and ordering stock.

Delays can be minimised by having a full set of plans and specifications ready for approval by the landlord’s surveyors, which will make everyone clear about the extent of the works and any requirements the landlord has.

When a licence is applied for, the tenant often has to cover the landlord’s legal and surveying fees. The retailer should get an idea of what these will be upfront and ensure that funds are with their solicitor.

Planning and building regulations need to be considered. If the works need these, the retailer should make the applications as soon as possible after getting the landlord’s approval. Emma van Klaveren, associate at law firm Thomas Eggar, says: “Getting permission can often take some time. The licence can be completed and grant consent to the works subject to planning consent, but the lack of that consent obviously affects their commencement.”

You should also check any

site-specific requirements. Many developments have tenants’ shopfit guides regarding works. Retailers should ask whether any are in place and obtain copies up front to ensure that their plans comply with them.

Van Klaveren says: “Ensuring you are well prepared to obtain approvals as soon as possible will help to enable a fit-out to be completed on time.”