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Retail Rooftop Supports: Prep for the Busy Season

Posted by Art Valentz on November 12, 2019

This year, as in years past, retail sales are expected to be literally through the roof. Not only do retail sales tend to spike between October 31st and December 25th, this year’s spike is expected to be up to 5 percent larger than in 2018. All told, consumers are projected to spend up to $1.1 trillion during this year’s holiday season.

Why do you – a facility manager – care about retail roofing during this year’s holiday season? Here are some good reasons:

  •       Let’s say that your single department store takes up an entire building, or at least an entire wing of a building. A roof leak or – much worse – a roofing collapse may put a large portion of the building, or even the entire building, out of commission. The store will have decreased floor space to sell items, and shoppers may be put off by the appearance of a disheveled building.
  •       Let’s say instead that your facility is a mall where your tenants rent storefronts. Leaks and other roof damage will depress foot traffic overall, while putting some stores temporarily out of business. If these stores lose potential revenue during the busiest day of the season, they’re likely to churn – leaving you with storefronts to fill.
  •       Lost business and irate shopkeepers aren’t the only thing you have to worry about. Leaks pose a genuine hazard to consumers, as they can slip and fall due to unexpected pools of standing water. This will make the building owner a target for lawsuits. The average slip and fall lawsuit can cost $50,000 to defend – plus an additional $100,000, which is the size of the average amount awarded to the victim.

Retail roofing is serious business, especially during the run of November to December. During this period, a retail store can expect to make up to 21 percent of its sales for the entire year. Missing even a single shopping day can affect the balance sheet for the entire quarter – it can literally be life or death for a small business. Consumers, meanwhile, are quicker than ever to vent their ire via social media when it comes to shopping delays.

What About Holiday eCommerce?

As far as retail roofing is concerned, the rise of ecommerce may be seen as a reason to breathe easy when it comes to worrying about the safety of their premises. After all, if everyone is ordering online, there’s less reason to worry about leaks in your physical retail roof, right?


First, many retailers realize that while they can’t match the convenience of two-day shipping a la Amazon, they can offer something arguably better: order online, pickup in-store the same day. Known as “click-and-collect,” this model is rapidly growing in popularity – almost 70 percent of US consumers have used click-and-collect in the past 12 months.

Second, another increasingly popular model is combining retail stores and warehouses – using retail stores essentially as fulfillment centers for local deliveries. This model started with online orders at grocery stores and is gradually creeping into other verticals. Even if fewer people are visiting your store over the holidays, it’s possible that your business is still using your store as a delivery hub. This means that a leak or other damage will slow down customers’ online orders and damage your business.

Protect Retail Roofing with PHP

With the holiday season approaching – and with the arrival of winter weather – now is an urgent time when it comes to protecting your retail roof. It is imperative that you begin inspecting your roof and repair any damage that can turn into a leak.

At PHP Systems/Design, we’re here to help make it easier to implement inspections and repairs. Our rooftop supports and walkways let you elevate critical systems – such as HVAC, piping, and cabling – off the surface of your roof, preventing penetrations in your membrane. In addition, our walkway systems make it safe and easy for inspection and maintenance crews to traverse the rooftop surface – preventing falls and allowing workers to inspect the roof while minimizing contact with the roof surface.

No matter whether your business makes its revenue online or off, your brick-and-mortar presence is the lynchpin of your brand – which means that its roof is still important. Make sure you protect this critical investment.

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