Mini Series –

Designing For 2021 And Beyond Ft. Technical Design



The last time we were here, we interviewed Whitney Burns and discussed interior design and creating a safe and welcoming environment for your customer while staying functional for business. This quarter we are going to talk to Jason McDonald, lead technical designer for Paragon Solutions, about technical design and the process that goes into the earliest decisions to create the environment wanted by our client.

Below Jason answered a few questions about what technical design is and where he believes it will be going in the future.

What does technical design include when designing a C-store?

Technical design is the initial process at Paragon Solutions where we work with the clients to determine the best flow and function of any given store. We typically start from macro to micro, working on site planning and stores layouts, and then diving into the equipment, lighting, and other details that go into the creation of the store itself. Many elements go into the designs, and our goal is to work with the client to determine what is both operationally and functionally appropriate to the location. We are creating a customer experience at Paragon Solutions, and the groundwork starts with the technical design process.

How has the last year changed how you design a store now?

I think that COVID has forced our industry to relearn the way we approach a lot of elements. Customers want safe, clean stores to interact with, and COVID has forced many retailers to change the way they approach areas throughout their stores. For instance, touch free is now crucial, and touchless bathrooms are a part of every conversation we have as we design stores. Quality is also something that has come to the forefront of customer wants; while it’s always been important, now it’s crucial to pull customers inside the store. From bean-to-cup coffee (the freshest cup of coffee you can have) to self-checkouts to expedite the checkout process, the goal is to provide a unique experience that enhances the customers day.

What trends do you see immerging when it comes to store layout in the coming year?

With customers now expecting and demanding the cleanest, safest stores possible, I think we’ll start to see more stores embrace and expand those ideals. We recently partnered with C-Store Decisions to develop Safe Shop Assured, a “certification program that enables retailers to communicate that they are truly best in class.” I see this as the future of stores, where customers can easily search and find the best of the best, no matter where they are in the country. I also see technology being more integrated into stores, from ordering apps and kiosks to RFID checkouts and beyond; it’s an exciting time to be a part of the design community.

We hope Jason’s comments on the importance of technical design and where it is going in the future incites you to start planning your own store design and what your customers are hoping to see when walking into your store. As Jason stated, our partnership with CSD in developing Safe Shop Assured is an added comfort for you customers, not only in store design but having the ability to tell your customer you have taken all the steps to create a safe environment for them and for your employees.

Let us know your thoughts: do you agree with the changes we see coming to store layouts in the future or do you think they will stay as they are now? We are happy to answer any questions you have on the technical design of your store. Give us a call at 817.927.7171 or email me to learn more about our process and how we can help you on any upcoming projects you may have.

For more information,

contact Arika Lawshe


or 817.927.7171