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  • Writer's picturekellieheinze

Less IS more. Retail HQ's are hoarding materials, preventing them from right-sizing.

ClearSpace helps firms to reduce their filing footprint, free-up floor space and right-size their office. In the Retail sector this is particularly challenging in HQ’s where there are large quantities of storage in offices occupied (and over flowing) with garments, samples and homeware – all of which are bulky and abundant - yet required to be at hand for buyers and designers to access to be able to do their day jobs.

Retail worker searching storeroom

Why change the way you do things?

Typically, Retailers engage with ClearSpace in the preparation phase of an office relocation or refurbishment project. This is a good time to review existing processes or issues with the current environment. Firstly, because staff are in the mindset for imminent change and secondly, a deadline exists (move date/refurbishment date). Other triggers for change will often stem from the firm’s Facility’s team who may be concerned with the volume of storage raising potential H&S risks - this is another typical driver for a rationalisation activity. Other Retailers our team have worked with have had ambitions of a cleaner open plan office. One previous CEO customer once said, ‘I would like to clearly be able to see from one corner of the office to the other’; without any clutter disturbing his view.

How ClearSpace help?

The ClearSpace team are highly experienced in helping Retailers to streamline, organise and rationalise their onsite storage and to implement business processes that ensure lower levels of onsite storage are sustained. Having helped everyone from high street Retailers, luxury brands to well-known TV shopping channels, our Project Managers have managed some of the highest profile and challenging change projects over the past 10 years. We’ve enabled Retailers to create open, tidier environments for their Design and Buying & Merchandising teams and in majority of projects successfully implemented onsite storage reductions of over 70%. This level of reduction has had a huge impact on floor space and the successful implementation of an open-plan, agile environment.

Retail office worker
Retail office worker

How to approach a rationalisation project?

Some Retailers are exiting traditional buildings or a building they’ve been situated in for many years, resulting in clutter build-up in meeting rooms and even in the open plan spaces and corridors. The place to start is to undertake an analysis of what you have.

A storage audit will be able to update floor plans and establish ownership of storage by team and even at individual level. Interviews with a representative from each department will further shed light on business processes within their team and highlight opportunities for improvements. Typical feedback reported to us during these exploratory sessions include;

1. Issues with recalling materials from offsite storage resulting in teams keeping materials close/onsite

2. No records management or retention policies resulting in storage being managed poorly and not being archived in a timely manner or properly resulted in items getting lost

3. Having no formal processes for the management of samples and POS materials resulting in huge quantities of material being sent to HO and stored onsite

4. Staff not using fulfilment solutions but rather having POS and samples delivered to HO for approval and sign off

5. Storing items that shouldn’t be in office storage such as personal items and food


Reducing onsite storage will result in floor space being released. This floor space can be redesigned and/or repurposed to create collaborative space. Alternatively, this may enable you to downsize the office space you have which in Cities like London, could free up £100k’s per annum. If you are relocating offices, a storage rationalisation exercise will ensure you don’t purchase storage furniture unnecessarily or pay to relocate redundant materials. A standard filing cabinet will cost you £400 on average, times this by 100 and you’ve saved yourself £40,000 in capital outlay on furniture.

Cost benefit analysis for Retail company (500 headcount) based in London

Retail cost benefit for reduction in real estate
Cost benefit analysis for 500 headcount Retail HQ based in London


> Retail HQ's typically store 10-15 linear meters of materials per head.

> In our experience, we have found, on average, 75% reduction potential.

> Our Project Managers have experience with over 10 major HQ Retail clients.

In you have an active project and are wanting to improve your workspace through the rationalization of onsite materials and improved business processes, our team are ready to talk you through some options. Contact Us here.


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