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Teamwork Labor Services transforms age-old retail concept



Shop within a Shop exists in nearly every retail environment, but not everyone connects the industry term with the familiar branded sections and displays within major store chains. Chances are recognition of the brand kicks in upon seeing rivals with designated spaces on opposite sides of the retail environment.

The competitive nature of brands is the gain of retail giants like Dick’s Sporting Goods, which houses battling brands Under Armour, Nike and Adidas, among others. Installation veterans Teamwork Labor Services Inc. have been installing Shop in Shop spaces for Under Armour since 2007.

Under Armour Shop in Shop

Under Armour Shop in Shop

“Shop in Shop means a store within the store. It’s the same concept as if you went to drugstore and someone had a branded display for sunscreen or toothpaste. When you have a large sporting retailer or even a grocer, there is an area designated for the brands to distinguish themselves from other brands in the store,” explained Paul Dundas, president of retail division, Teamwork Labor Services Inc. “It emphasizes brands clearly, and it escalates the competition. Under Armour will do a Shop in Shop and their competitors will have to consider keeping pace by doing the same. It is a big win for the retailer as the competition heats up within their stores.”

Knowing what a Shop in Shop is doesn’t mean a person will automatically spot them in every store. Sometimes, the branded sections are muted in their exposure and blend in with the stores themselves. A Shop in Shop is not muted; it is meant to have “pop!” and appeal to the eye.

“Usually a Shop in Shop is installed by the brand in one of their high-sales volume stores or high-profile stores. Under Armour is in all Dick’s Sporting Goods, but only their highest sales volume stores are going to get the Shop in Shop treatment due to it being a good investment. The concept is quite common with all the brands, and you see it applied on a much smaller scale at all retailers,” added Dundas.

Teamwork installation expert

Teamwork installation expert

Once concepts of its fixtures and designs are completed for its Shop in Shop spaces at both new and remodeled stores, Under Armour provides Teamwork with a schedule of its installation program and a master list of store locations. This allows Teamwork to plan and strategize these installations for the whole year.

“For example, if we know in advance that Under Armour has 25 Shop in Shops for any given week, we are better able to move resources to support the campaign. It’s a strong partnership,” he said. “Usually, it takes a two-day period to get all the work done [at one location]. There are multiple areas within the Shop in Shop – Men’s, Women’s and Youth departments. We divide all those sections over two nights.”

Upon arrival, Teamwork’s master carpenters, construction specialists, graphic specialists and fixture specialists start the process by unloading materials and preparing a comprehensive inventory and damage report, which is immediately uploaded to the UA Account Manager of Teamwork’s online management system, CONNEXT. This real-time system then sends the company’s clients an alert on their smartphone about the project’s status. Creating CONNEXT allowed Teamwork to become more efficient when implementing Shop in Shops and other retail work.

“We started [the company] in 2001, and at the time, technology was in its infancy. Early on, we created the first online management system,” stated Dundas. “We started at an early point focusing on keeping people informed. This was paramount to our success. The online management system was a success, and we were the first to do it. All of our personnel are equipped with tablets to interact with the system to keep clients informed and in tune with the project in real time. Our newest system, CONNEXT, has project reporting features and alerts the client when the crew checks in and finishes.”

CONNEXT also shows map views of all active installs when Teamwork professionals are scheduled to do rollouts at multiple retail locations a day.

Empty displays to be installed

Empty displays to be installed

“With rollouts, it could be 50 or more locations a day. Rollouts refer to chain-wide initiatives by brands or retailers. Rollouts could be a signage program, a fixture addition/replacement or something more elaborate, requiring more personnel. All rollouts are strategic in nature and meant to have immediate impact,” he explained. “For TJ Maxx, we do rollouts that might involve new fixtures or decor. The rollout might be chain-wide, strategic or regional ranging from 10 to thousands of locations. The work might be a few hours to a few days at each location.”

Constantly evolving, Teamwork professionals also do everything from fixturing, light carpentry and millwork to graphics and décor. They work in new store environments as well as existing.

“In this industry, you can’t be a one-trick pony. You need to have a diverse workforce. We’re strong in the categories we perform in. Our capabilities are diverse,” added Dundas. “In the Northeast, we can build the building as we have experienced licensed construction supervisors, but we don’t do heavy construction everywhere. We do it regionally where we have the talent. Clients want you to do other things when you perform well for them. Client demand has been the basis of our expansion over the years.”

By building retail industry relationships and presenting its team’s effectiveness at meetings, such as GlobalShop, Teamwork has gained a diverse range of retail clients across the U.S. From its success in retail, Teamwork has also forayed into installations at museums, studios, corporate offices and schools.

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