Fabcon’s work is also highly regarded among independent grocers or franchise locations looking to reinvigorate their businesses with a new store or expand into new territory. Like many of our customers, the priorities of a grocer using our precast panels are speed, cost, and capturing building performance benefits.
“The biggest thing for grocery—and retail clients in general—is speed of construction,” said Fabcon Sales Engineer Matt Smith. “They want to get the registers up and running as quickly as possible. The fastest way to do that is with precast.”
But the need for tight scheduling doesn’t mean unique design options are limited. “Grocery also has higher levels of aesthetic requirements than big box retailers would. They like to take advantage of our premium finishes. So while big box stores may dress up the front of the store, the sides and rear are often kept pretty ‘Plain Jane.’ It depends on the customer and the city requirements, but we have the ability to add texture and appeal all around.”
From unique colors to aggregate finishes, sandblast options and formliner patterns, there are few limitations to what an architect or designer can bring to the look of your store with our precast panels.
But there are also code requirements and the desire for energy efficiencies. That’s why many grocers gravitate to our 12″ VersaCore+Green™ sandwich panels with their impressive R-value of 28.2.
“They want a higher R-value, which these panels provide,” said Smith. “They have continuous, edge-to-edge insulation. Not only does that meet energy codes, but it will reward the owner with lower energy bills. So it lowers the cost of ownership over the years. It’s a more expensive panel, but it pays for itself very quickly.”
FABCON PANELS ARE LIGHT ON A BUDGET, BUT THEY’RE ALSO LIGHTER PER SQUARE FOOT THAN THOSE OF COMPETITORS.
Fabcon works with many recognizable national and regional grocery chains such as Trader Joe’s, Target, Hy-Vee, SuperValu, Whole Foods, Aldi and Kroger. And construction managers for sizable chains like these may oversee the build-out of a few stores a year to upwards of 10 or more. In these cases, even small efficiencies can really add up.
“On the larger end of things, there are always efficiencies when you repeat a design. So if the architect can design buildings in several states, you’re not starting from scratch each time—both in terms of production and buildout.”
There’s a definite correlation between the volume of projects and the ease of replicating key manufacturing and installation processes.
“Because of the close working relationships, all parties at the table develop a kind of shorthand when working with architects, general contractors and management from the grocery chains,” said Fabcon Sales Engineer Don Johnson.
“‘It’s just like the one we built in Cedar Rapids,’ for example. That only serves to speed up the process and eliminate pitfalls along the way.”
While the economies of scale are obvious for large grocery operations, our precast panels are also a draw for independent grocers. Most are delighted when they see how far their budget goes towards the store they envision.
This means that the same panels and finishes that are available to our largest chain customers are also in play for local stores…not to mention the money-saving performance capabilities that our panels can bring to ease any bottom line.
“With four manufacturing facilities, we’ve got the largest production capacity in the country for wall panels,” said Smith. “That means we normally have the shortest lead times.”
The panels are manufactured in a controlled environment in our facilities and trucked to the build site. From there, the install team sets the panels in place—a 25,000 square foot building will be enclosed within 4–6 days. Then the builders can focus on roofing and sealing the outer envelope so interior work can begin.
After all, time is money.
OWNERS OF SMALL AND LARGE GROCERIES ALIKE ARE DELIGHTED WHEN THEY SEE HOW FAR THEIR BUDGET GOES TOWARDS THE STORE THEY ENVISION.