Shopping centre sign installation

09 Jun 2014

Installing signage in a shopping centre can be a complicated business and there’s undoubtedly more to it than the average shopper realises. Here is a look at the most important considerations involved in retail signage when thinking about how to install signs in shopping centres.

Background and Preparation

Today’s retail market is highly competitive and attracting customers to outlets in shopping centres requires well-thought-through signage which must be skilfully designed and professionally installed to draw customers and adhere to corporate guidelines.

When choosing a company to install shopping centre signs, there are certain basic professional requirements which they need to demonstrate.


If your signage requirements involve contractors working at height, it’s important to ensure that the firm you select:

  • Is a member of the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), which encourages its members to work safely and effectively when using powered access machinery.
  • Is a member of the Prefabricated Access Suppliers And Manufacturers Association (PASMA), which is involved in safety training for contractors.
  • Professional levels of health and safety competency are also vital both to ensure protection and to fulfil insurance requirements. Therefore when investigating potential contractors, clients should ask whether:
  • —- They adhere to Competency Card Scheme for Construction (CSCS) standards, which demonstrates that they have fulfilled the basic requirements for their particular skill.
  • —- They adopt a Safety Management Advisory Services’ (SMAS) Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) approach, which shows they possess core criteria competencies.
  • —- They meet the standards of the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS).

Site Access

Access to the individual site can prove challenging, depending on the circumstances and location. The safety of the public, of course, is the primary consideration and it may be that the area needs to be cordoned off to protect passers-by. This can prove inconvenient for other retail outlets nearby and will need the approval of the shopping centre management.

If the signage is elevated, appropriate mobile elevated work platforms (otherwise known as MEWP’s) or scaffolding may be required to allow safe working at heights – any contractor selected must demonstrate their professional competence to work at heights.

Time Sensitivity

One major question a contractor must answer is how long the job will take and when is the best time to install shopping centre signs. Clearly, the most logical option would be to complete the work when the centre was closed to the public to allow speedy and safe installation. However, even this brings its own set of complications. With shopping centres often open until 10pm and reopening at 10am, this only leaves a window of opportunity of 12 hours of concentrated work time available.

This may be enough time to complete the job, but there is always the chance of an overrun in the event of unforeseen circumstances or with longer, more complicated installations. Clarification must be sought as to procedures in such circumstances.

Power Supplies

If an illuminated sign is being being installed it will require it’s own power source, which is usually from the interior of the retail outlet, but contractors will also need access to power for their tools and equipment. Final connection of an illuminated sign will require a qualified electrician with the appropriate certifications.