RECYCLED STEEL SHIPPING CONTAINERS MAKE REMARKABLE RETAIL UNITS
It’s tough to make a case for corrugated steel shipping containers being beautiful but they can certainly be converted into striking and novel retail units that stand out in a crowded marketplace. They can also be constructed at relatively low cost, in comparison to conventional stores.
Understandably, for youthful first-time entrepreneurs, they are an attractive proposition, particularly when start-up costs need to be reduced to a minimum. The cash saved on the building itself can then be invested in all-important stock, fixtures-and-fittings and an effective marketing campaign.
Puma City – The Transportable Shipping Container Store
Puma is a German footwear manufacturer that dates back to 1948, but the innovative company is continually looking to the future and for new ways to promote its popular brand. To this end, it commissioned New York-based LO-TEK architects to design a 11,000-square-foot event and retail space, one of the first in existence, built using twenty-four Corten steel shipping containers. The exciting project went on to garner numerous architectural and design awards, including Best Retail Premises.
Puma City’s impressive structure was specifically designed to be rapidly disassembled and relocated by road, rail or sea, so that Puma could tour the country promoting its wares. The modular nature of steel shipping containers, whether they be general-purpose, insulated, refrigerated or side-opening, ensures they can be safely stacked and joined. In the case of Puma, they were arranged over three levels, with some boxes cantilevered out, to provide sheltered leisure areas and increased visual interest. Some Corten steel roofs and walls were removed, to provide increased height and a greater feeling of space. A regular Conex box is too restricted at 8’6” in height and ‘high cube’ versions only a foot higher. Expansion allowed for a bar area, plentiful storage and modern office space to be included in the revolutionary design.
London Enthusiastically Adopts the Shipping Container Shopping Mall Trend
London, England, is a vibrant city, just as quick as Los Angeles and New York to embrace new trends and, in this case, build remarkable shopping malls from corrugated Corten steel shipping containers. A number of these vibrant spaces have sprung up across the metropolis over the past decade and been enthusiastically received by Londoners and its legions of tourist alike.
According to official statistics, roughly 2.48 million 40-foot shipping containers arrived in the UK in 2015, yet only 2.41 million left its shores. This clearly indicates that there is a readily available stream of second-hand boxes that can be converted into stores, bars, restaurants, galleries and offices. The spacious and secure units can be had for as little as $2,000 and will promise many years of trouble-free service, if properly maintained.
Boxpark Croydon, in the south of the city, is comprised of 76 Corten steel shipping containers, converted into an appealing range of boutiques, specialist stores, fast food joints and bars. It has a genuine buzz and has reinvigorated a once jaded area of London. Boxpark is so successful that another has been built in uber-cool, inner city Shoreditch. It looks like shipping container retail parks are here to stay.