Why it works: fabric ducting in retail applications

If you take the time to look up in any retail space, you’ll more than likely see similar ventilation systems wherever you go. This will usually consist of some spiral ductwork and industrial diffusers. There’s nothing wrong with this, it works by and large.

Prihoda fabric delivers air into the retail space for comfort and environmental control

But if it isn’t broken, then why fix it? Let’s answer that by asking a few important questions.  

  • Does this ventilation systems add anything to the store concept or POS in any way?
  • Is the system adaptable if the store has a makeover or changes layout?
  • Does this system provide the most efficient operation in terms of:
    1. Air pattern?
    2. Operational efficiency/cost?
  • Was it the most cost effective way to approach the project?
  • Is there any environmental benefit or pay back in using this type of system?
  • Is the system easy to clean to maintain and guarantee employee and customer safety through correct levels of hygiene?

The answer to all of these questions is probably no in majority of cases. 

Had the retail space been designed with Prihoda fabric ducting the answers would have been quite different as explained here:

How Prihoda fabric ducts add to the store concept or POS

Prihoda fabric ducts add to store concepts

A Prihoda fabric duct is mounted in the retail space and delivers air into the occupied zone for comfort and environmental control.  If we take a round shaped duct as a typical example this can be mounted just above the sales floor and be made from any colour, or printed with any logo, pattern, design or message. The duct is aesthetic and adding to the ambience and image the store is projecting. It’s working at maintaining a level of comfort and working at delivering the sales message at the same time.  

Adaptable for future store upgrades or makeovers

Prihoda fabric ducting systems are not expensive – if the store design changes, maybe it’s being refreshed or maybe a change of owner, the fabric ducting can change too. The main suspension system remains in place – it’s just the physical duct that changes. As these are zipped together in 5m sections and slide easily within their support rails, it’s a very quick job to remove and reinstall new ducts with new colours and messages or even new air patterns if the retail space below has changed layout.

Optimal air patterns for comfort and efficiency

Uniquely, Prihoda fabric ducts are each designed for the space they serve, nothing is standard or taken from stock. The air volume, mounting height and air temperatures all have an influence on the design of the system so that each duct becomes a unique design. This allows Prihoda to design the perfect air pattern for the space. We’ll use a diffuser design that encourages lots of mixing and entrainment to ensure that all the cooling or heat energy is transferred into the air in the room and evenly distributed around the store. 

Most cost effective way to approach the project

With a 10 year warranty, flame retardant material and cleanroom non-fibre shedding specification Prihoda fabric duct offers excellent value when compared against more traditional systems. Typically the cost to supply and install a Prihoda system can be around 70% less than a traditional steel and grilles alternative – and the fabric duct won’t need hiding or painting. Installation time is around 10 times quicker and uses much less supporting structure. 

Environmental benefits or payback

Prihoda fabric ducts: 100% recycled

Traditional galvanised steel contains 18 x more embodied carbon per m² than an equivalent area of Prihoda classic material. Additionally, Prihoda fabric ducts are available as a 100% recycled product with our polyester threads made from recycled plastic bottles. This is a 100% post consumer benefit – using a product designed for one purpose and then disposed of – for us to re-purpose into our classic or premium materials with identical quality and warranty guarantee. Prihoda recycled material re-uses 13 x 500ml plastic bottles per meter squared of material used – as an example a 20m duct of Ø500mm in a retail store would re-use 408 plastic bottles that may otherwise have found themselves in the ocean or landfill.

Easy to clean?

Offered with an anti-bacterial protective nano coating and designed to be washed in any normal sized washing machine (but never tumble dried) Prihoda fabric ducts are easily removed as they zip into manageable 5m sections for cleaning. Regular cleaning removes any dust internally or externally and kills all bacteria and mould spores that attach themselves to traditional or fabric ducting surfaces.  Designed to be cleaned easily by anyone Prihoda do also offer a care package to clean and certify customers fabric ducting systems.


Please take another look up and now imagine a fabric duct designed specifically for the store you’re standing in, colourful and aesthetic, representing the brand of the store, made from recycled material and delivering air in a comfortable and unobtrusive manner – all at a lower cost and with a more hygienic and efficient design. Prihoda are already working with major retailers and have completed projects for IKEA, Morrisons and John Lewis Partnership amongst others. Please contact us for more information or to help you develop your store designs.



(A Retail Times’ sponsored article)