Spring Landscape Enhancements for Your Retail Space

Posted by Joseph Barnes on Mar 26, 2024 3:38:16 PM

The increasing sounds of birds chirping tell us that spring has indeed sprung. But there’s another familiar sound—the ticking clock on getting those landscape enhancement projects started for your retail space in time for the spring shopping season. There’s no time like the present to get going because heightened curb appeal does more than increase foot traffic and customer engagement.

Quality landscape enhancements also increase property values along with the value of the business itself. After all, heavy foot traffic highlights the success of the business to potential buyers should the business owner wish to someday sell. With that in mind, we’re going to look at four specific enhancements (number four is particularly budget-friendly) to help you accomplish those goals for your retail property.

Lighting – Setting the Mood and Ensuring Safety

Outdoor lighting should be both functional and aesthetically pleasing, providing a safe environment and an inviting atmosphere. LED lighting is a popular and smart choice in today’s commercial landscapes because it is a proven energy saver, durable, and incredibly versatile. 

Compared to older technology, well, there’s no comparison to the visibility LED fixtures provide for uses such as:

  • Sign spotlights
  • Area lights
  • Dusk-to-dawn lights
  • Canopy lighting
  • Path lighting

How much impact does quality outdoor lighting make on retail spaces? Customers need to feel at ease navigating the property so they’ll return and tell their friends about the impressive shopping experience. Studies show that shoppers are more likely to share negative experiences than positive ones. So, going above and beyond with an inviting ambiance is a must to attract and keep customers coming back to spend in your shop.

Below are three expert tips for choosing the right outdoor lighting:

  • Area Focus: Each outdoor area has a specific purpose, so tailor the lighting to that exact purpose. A clear example is the soft glow needed for outdoor seating compared to lighting meant to provide security in parking areas.
  • Customizable: Go beyond brightness options by utilizing varying color temperatures. Warm light (2700K-2800K) creates a cozy atmosphere. Cool white light (4000K-4200K) can highlight landscaping foliage and vines.
  • Professional Guidance: Be certain your commercial landscaping company has certified electricians and lighting experts on staff or provides the credentials of any subcontractors being used to complete your project. This ensures your property’s lighting will be properly installed and optimized for efficiency.

Bonus Tip: Beware of lighting that makes retail properties less safe (i.e., excessive lighting that impairs driver vision at entries and exits).

Image of large lamps and pink flowers in hanging baskets


Hardscapes – Blending Functionality with Style

Many retail property managers miss great opportunities to enhance their landscape with commercial hardscape elements. Visually pleasing options are endless when it comes to walkways, patios, water features, and other hard surfaces.

Walkway designs should incorporate thoughtful aesthetics while guiding customers along easy-to-navigate paths. These paths often funnel people into patio areas where the vibe should be relaxing so that shoppers slow down and ultimately stay a bit longer. With water features, the sky’s the limit on all the creativity available with fountains, ponds, and another versatile landscape enhancement we’ll touch on later in this article.

Two trending water feature options:

  1. Pondless waterfalls
  2. Combining fire pits with fountains

Top-tier commercial hardscape designs make a big splash for retail properties, adding structure and style to the area while amping up usability. How do they do it - by promoting socializing, which is the number one advantage physical stores have that can never be replicated by online shopping. In fact, a certain sustainable sector of retail (recommerce - an estimated $188-billion industry) is growing rapidly due to the inherent “browsing and lingering.”

Yellowstone Landscape believes beautiful natural environments can bring people together and provide a sense of peace. That's a hugely underrated advantage for brick-and-mortar retail stores competing with online stores, which will never be able to replicate the sense of community and belonging that comes with a great in-store shopping environment.

Pergolas – Adding a Touch of Elegance

It’s nearly impossible to go wrong with a commercial landscape enhancement that has been a hit since ancient Roman times. Pergolas (sometimes referred to as trellises, patio covers, or arbors) are outdoor structures that help organize landscape sections while adding an air of charm and character, especially outside of retail spaces.

Shoppers can enjoy an outside break with the sun and rain protection pergolas provide. This is possible even in the wintertime as many patio covers can have all-season glass walls added. Spring is the time to plan for winter because, as you know, time is flying by (at the time of publishing this article, 90 days have already slipped away in this “New” Year!).

A couple of design tips for integrating commercial pergolas:

  • To get a perfect fit for the space an experienced landscape designer can help you avoid overwhelming or underwhelming the surrounding landscaping.
  • Material selection is critical because there’s a balance between aesthetics that blend with your retail branding and durability. It’s tough to beat wood’s natural look, but powder-coated metal pergolas that don’t rot, chip, or fade can save on maintenance costs.

Of course, wind resistance and snow-load capacity are also key considerations for installing pergolas. 

pergola office retail space

Rotating Seasonal Commercial Landscape Elements 

If you’re looking for the most economical landscape enhancement a retail property manager can choose to consider rotating in seasonal elements and designing multi-use sections of your commercial landscaping giving you vast options and budget flexibility.

One popular trend we continue to see being added is splash pads as a water feature in retail shopping areas. These make shopping more fun and interactive for families with young children who could otherwise “convince” their parents to end the shopping day early. 

These commercial hardscapes could easily be converted into sitting or dining areas once summer ends. And when even colder weather arrives, it only takes minimal effort to convert the space into a fire pit gathering area, as one of many options. Then, when spring rolls back around, the area might be perfect for a farmers market - which is always a popular way to bring in members of the surrounding communities.

More seasonal elements that make shoppers feel welcome are:

Small Concert Venues: As big-venue ticket prices continue to rise, live music is harder and harder to find. So couples and families love having an intimate concert setting that is also an affordable local event that’s ideal for inviting their friends and neighbors. 

Themed Displays: There are no limits when you consider using outdoor spaces that are perfect for promoting community themes such as small festivals, charity events, art exhibits, local sports team boosting, environmental awareness, holiday branding - the list can go on and on.

Two keys to enhancing outdoor areas on your retail property? One, get started now before the clock runs out! Over 20% of this year has already slipped away. Two, choose a commercial landscaping partner with a nationwide experience that gives you the maximum options for stretching your landscaping budget while adding world-class aesthetic value at the same time.

Yellowstone Landscape is ready to get started and bring your design ideas to life. Contact us today.

outdoor venue with turf and hanging butterflies


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Joseph Barnes

About The Author

Joseph Barnes

Joseph Barnes has served as Marketing Manager of Yellowstone Landscape since 2013. He writes on a variety of topics related to the commercial landscaping industry.