If you follow Steve Closser on LinkedIn, you already know that Closser and his crew at Translucent are the “busiest micro market consultants on the planet”.
Translucent offers a broad spectrum of business coaching services for operators, usually initiated by micro market consulting. With constant exposure to micro markets around the country, Closser has a front-line view of what is currently trending in micro markets. He sees four current trends:
Trend #1 – Total breakroom redesign
Closser said that total breakroom re-design is becoming common and micro market operators are involved in the process but need to see the opportunity that exists with this trend. “Sometimes the clients don’t understand what their employees really want in a breakroom area. It’s important for operators to be the expert, to provide guidance for their clients, to reset the breakroom expectations for their client,” said Closser. “If an operator positions themselves that way, it gives them a tremendous advantage over their competition.”
Steve Orlando, an experienced operator of ten years who co-founded Fixturelite, the leading supplier of micro market retail displays, seating and design features, is seeing the same trend with his clients, for good reason. “To protect your existing business, to secure a new long-term contract, to keep clients happy and to increase micro market revenue, it is a very good idea for you as an operator to suggest a “market refresh” to your longtime clients,” said Orlando. “Often, that process is part of a total breakroom redesign.”
Trend #2 – Really good Wi-Fi
Today, employees want good Wi-Fi and according to Closser, that can mean open, non-company Wi-Fi – “where big brother isn’t watching.”
“Wi-Fi is critical because micro market users are spending so much more time in the breakroom,” said Orlando. “That’s why furniture with built in charging stations and electrical plugs should be integrated into a design.”
Trend #3 – Bar height, shared seating
“We’re seeing a demand for bar height round tables with stools that can seat four to five people and even bigger tables that are up to eight feet long,” said Closser.
“This type of seating is becoming more common because of the collaborative nature of breakrooms and dining in general,” said Orlando. “Shared tables are becoming a mainstay at many urban eateries, so it’s not surprising that the trend is moving to the workplace. At Fixturelite, our furniture line and our designs have been accommodating this need for some time.”
Trend #4 – Soft seating
Closser said that comfortable, colorful, soft seating is become a micro market mainstay. “What’s changing is that clients want to build that comfortable breakroom environment, that place to relax, around the market itself – not in the next room,” he added.
Orlando said the trend varies from one company to the next, but in most amenity hungry accounts – typically the best kind, clients want the breakroom and the micro market area to be about refreshment, recharging, relaxation and collaboration. “This client objective isn’t accomplished without a thoughtful approach to design,” said Orlando. “It is one of the big reasons that so many operators are turning to Fixturelite for micro market design solutions.”