Blog – Count Your Change

Count Your Change: The WorldGBC Retail Metrics Framework

By Richard Francis. Posted 10 September 2015.

The WorldGBC is currently developing and piloting a Retail Metrics Framework based on the Metrics Framework in last year’s landmark Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices report.

The Framework will allow the retail industry to measure and quantify the impact of physical environments on business performance.  The logic of the Framework is simple:  better environments lead to better experiences that lead to better economics for retailers.

Why Retail is Different

This Framework opens a powerful new line of inquiry: how does the environment provided affect where people want to spend their time (and money)?

Consumers have more freedom than office workers in terms of where they choose to be, so where they go and how they behave in different environments are fundamentally important questions for developing the business case for greener, healthier buildings.

The Retail Metrics Framework takes the prior WorldGBC work on offices one step further by focusing more closely not just on money that can be saved (through lower worker absenteeism, staff turnover, etc.) but also on money that can be earned (from customers) by providing better retail environments.

Looking at retail helps provide answers to difficult questions. Productivity, for example, is a category that can be difficult to define and quantify, especially in places like offices. But retailers have a wealth of data about productivity as defined by sales, dwell time and footfall. They also have significant amounts of experiential data in the form of customer and staff surveys. Retailers are data rich and in a powerful position to screen their financial performance by the physical factors known to affect health, wellbeing and productivity.

This is what makes the retail work so promising – the possibility of empirically and directly demonstrating that what is good for the environment and people is also good for business.

We recognise that what makes retail so exciting – the amount of data to review – also makes it potentially daunting for some retailers to engage. That is why the Framework is deliberately concise: ten components of the environment to consider, two experiences to measure (staff and customer) and ten economical metrics to review. We want every retailer to be able to engage with our work because anyone can do this and everyone should.

How You Can Get Involved

The WorldGBC is working with retailers to pilot the Framework in different types of retail environments to gather evidence and disseminate best practice.

We know from the research and our work so far that there are powerful relationships between place and performance, but we also recognise that there is much more work to be done and more examples to collect.

We welcome your questions and suggestions, and we are particularly interested in hearing about case studies and evidence you may have that can feed into our work.

If you would like to know more about the Retail Metrics Framework or become further involved in the Better Places for People campaign, please email us at betterplaces@worldgbc.org.

Richard Francis of The Monomoy Company is leading the development of the retail framework and metrics on behalf of the WorldGBC.