Industry Sectors: Retail

Communication and Safety for Retail Premises & Outlets

Shopping has become a popular leisure activity and a necessary aspect of modern life. There are various types of retail establishments, including local stores, outlet centres, superstores, and shopping centres, each of which requires a suitable communication system. During peak times or seasonal events, a large number of people may be present in a store at once, leading to increased noise levels. In contrast, shopping centres may be quiet early in the morning. An effective mass communication system must be able to adjust volume levels accordingly. Building managers must prioritise safety in any gathering of the public. For instance, a large supermarket may need to announce general information and special offers, but it’s more critical to have the ability to communicate clearly and urgently during emergencies like a fire. A voice alarm system provides this and more.

The communication system requirements for different types of retail establishments vary. For example, a small local store may benefit from a basic public address system via the telephone system, while a shopping centre with multiple retail outlets requires more planning for the type of communication methods needed. This includes following the BS9999 code of practice for fire safety in buildings.

For reliable public address and emergency communication, a networked voice alarm system is typically necessary. This may include a site-wide voice alarm system for the building management, linked to local ‘tenant’ systems for each store. During an emergency situation, the building management can override a store’s broadcast.

Baldwin Boxall offers retail audio management systems from its VIGIL ranges of products, which comply with current and future standards, including BS5839-8, EN54 pt 4 & 16, BS5839-9, and BS8300 for emergency assistance toilet alarms. VIGIL Voice Alarm (VA) systems provide controlled evacuation for any type of retail establishment, with options for central or decentralised control. By installing an Emergency Voice Communication (EVC) system, even the most vulnerable can be safely evacuated.

VIGIL systems also offer various non-emergency sound solutions, such as public address (PA) announcements, timed announcements, background music, and ambient noise sensing to ensure clear broadcasts during both busy and quiet times. The system features a user-friendly zoning, routeing, and audio path monitoring, as well as a dedicated battery backup for life safety systems. Additionally, Baldwin Boxall provides disabled refuge area, fire telephone, and emergency assistance alarm systems through its OmniCare and CARE2 options, which allow for a complete solution with the ability to connect different outstation types on a single system.

Industries - Retail


  • Fire alarm linked voice alarm system
  • Staff/public information/public address system
  • Phased evacuation
  • Selectable emergency/alert messages/tones
  • Emergency fireman’s microphone
  • Microphone priority handling.
  • Coded/multi-lingual digital messaging
  • Interface between landlord system & tenants’ sub-systems.
  • Routeing to selected/all loudspeaker zones
  • Background music and timed spot announcements
  • Battery backup and full monitoring
  • Disabled refuge area communication
  • Fire telephone system
  • Emergency assistance/toilet alarms
  • Provision of clear and precise instructions in the event of an emergency.
  • Zonal/’all call’ facility for phased evacuation and coded messages.
  • Broadcasting of opening/closing times, etc.
  • Enhanced in-store atmosphere/ambience.
  • Background music, with interrupt for announcements.
  • Central monitoring of all emergency assistance/toilet alarms.
  • Advertisement/opening hours announcements.
  • Local ‘Tenant’ independent broadcasts, overridden by central site-wide system when required. 
  • Aquds Mall, Algeria
  • Ashford Designer Outlet
  • Barnsley Market
  • Brent Cross Shopping Centre
  • Brickworks Shopping Centre, VIC, Australia
  • Brunel Swindon Shopping Centre
  • Castle Quay Shopping Centre
  • Clarkes Village
  • Croydon Centrale Shopping Centre
  • Debenhams, nationwide
  • Dundrum Shopping Centre, Ireland
  • Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre
  • Eastgate Shopping Centre
  • Exchange Shopping Centre
  • Fenwicks, Tunbridge Wells
  • Fishergate Shopping Centre
  • Friars Walk
  • Frölunda Torg Mall, Göteborg, Sweden
  • Gyle Shopping Centre
  • Harrods, London
  • Harvey Nicholls, Leeds
  • Hatfield Galleria
  • House of Fraser, Belfast
  • Huvudsta Centrum Mall, Stockholm, Sweden
  • IKEA, nationwide
  • Jervis Shopping Centre
  • John Lewis, Nationwide
  • Junction 32 Outlet Centre
  • Lakeside Shopping Centre
  • Liljeholmens Centrum Mall, Stockholm, Sweden
  • M&Ms World, London
  • PRADA, Bond Street, London
  • Primark, Belfast
  • Quayside Newry
  • QVC
  • Ralph Lauren
  • REAL Shopping Complex, Poland
  • Renoma Department Store, Poland
  • Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre
  • Sainsbury’s, nationwide
  • Selfridges, London
  • Smaralind Shopping Centre, Iceland
  • St James’s Market, London
  • SSL, Aylesbury
  • SSL, Whitechapel
  • Sturegallerian Mall, Stockholm
  • Superbest Supermarket Stores, Denmark
  • Swindon Shopping Centre
  • The Mall Shopping Centre, Maidstone
  • Waitrose
  • Wembley Designer Outlet
  • Westfield Centre, Bradford
  • Westfield Centre, Stratford
  • White Rose Shopping Centre
  • York Designer Outlet


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