Bakers Journal

Features Business and Operations
Flexible Fixtures


October 28, 2008
By Tim Matey

Topics

In an industry where consumer tastes are constantly changing, it seems
almost inappropriate that most retail displays are so static. They say
that, on average, retailers revamp their design concepts every five to
seven years.

Add flexibility to keep displays relevant 

In an industry where consumer tastes are constantly changing, it seems almost inappropriate that most retail displays are so static. They say that, on average, retailers revamp their design concepts every five to seven years. What about those four to six years in between? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to “mix it up” a little and be able to accommodate new products and meet the ever-changing needs of your customers? It turns out you can and it’s easier than you think. Below are a few simple tips for building flexibility into your fixtures.

Put It on Wheels
A simple trick for adding flexibility is to make your display mobile. Attaching casters to the bottoms of fixtures opens up the sales floor for interpretation. Whether you want to move sale items to the front, find out that you can increase the sales of one item if it’s placed near another, need more room, or whatever the case may be, displays on casters can be easily wheeled around to create a whole new layout.

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If you decide to go the caster route, it’s important to select the right hardware for the job. Take into account your display’s weight as well as what type of flooring your caster will need to roll over. And don’t worry, adding mobility doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice beauty. I’ve seen retailers leave them exposed for a fun, industrial look, but if that’s not the look you’re going for, fixture manufacturers have many tricks up their sleeves for hiding them away.

Make It Modular
Modular design is far from a new concept. It’s quite popular with multi-unit retailers who have used it to help their concept fit into different-sized locations for years. At the store level, modular displays continue to afford retailers a great deal of flexibility. Instead of designing your display as one large piece, consider breaking it into smaller units that somehow fit together. No longer limited to just one configuration, retailers are able to reassemble the pieces as needed. Nesting table-type displays are a great example of this. Adjustable shelving is another.

Get Graphic
My first two tips have a common theme – mobility – but displays don’t always need to be mobile to be flexible. In fact, my last offering requires no display movement at all and still packs a noticeable punch.

Often, fixtures are designed sans graphics. Considering how powerful graphics can be in attracting attention and communicating information, it’s well worth your while to consider adding some to your design. There are a ton of clever yet stylish frames and holders that not only make it easy to find one that matches your display, but also make it simple to swap out graphics. Now if you have new merchandise you want to promote or just want to make your existing products noticeable again, no problem. You now have an easy and relatively inexpensive way to make it happen.

Just because most retail displays are static and unchanging doesn’t mean yours have to be. Make them mobile, modular and graphic, and be ready for when merchandise and consumer tastes change. Of course, these are only a few of the endless possibilities out there. All it takes is a little flexibility in thinking to come up with some really flexible displays. / BJ

Tim Matey is a retail consultant for F.C. Dadson, Inc., a nationwide fixture management company. The company offers space/floor planning and conceptual design, graphics, POP displays, trade show exhibits, turn-key fixture design and manufacturing along with nationwide installation. You can reach their national sales consultants at 1-800-728-0338 or visit them on the web at www.fcdadson.com.


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