Retail shelving is so ubiquitous that you may not even give it much thought until it comes time to buy new pieces. These five tips will help you choose the right retail shelving for your business.
- Choose shelving pieces based upon the types of products you sell
Different types of retail shelving serve different purposes. Some are heavy-duty, while others are best suited for lighterweight merchandise. Gondola shelving units, end caps, and wall units are the multipurpose workhorses in the retail industry. They're very heavy-duty, and best suited for large, bulky, heavy merchandise. They can also provide the framework with which to construct your store layout.
Slatwalls with floating shelves are versatile, like gondola shelving, but are much lighterweight and don't take up much space. Use them for smaller, lighter merchandise. They can be freestanding or installed on the walls of your store. They use floating shelves with no brackets needed. You can change shelf configuration instantly to accommodate merchandise of different sizes and shapes.
The slatted gondola unit has the sturdiness of the gondola unit and the refined, sleek look of the slat wall; it has sturdy, heavy-duty slats and shelving so that you can change out displays quickly and easily just as you can with the slatwall, but still enjoy a sturdier shelving option.
These and other shelving options come with accessories like faceouts, waterfalls, bins and baskets that let you display any type of merchandise attractively, from clothing to housewares and more.
- Choose the style based upon your "niche"
Contemporary or classic? Vintage or high-tech? The style of shelving you choose depends upon the customers you serve and the products you sell. If you sell fine jewelry, for example, glass shelving with carefully focused lighting suits your merchandise much better than rustic wood or industrial metal.
- Choose shelving that fits your space
If your store is small, the shelving you buy should showcase your merchandise without overwhelming your space. You may not want to invest in a lot of gondola shelving because it's big and bulky, but you can serve most shelving needs with lighter, smaller, more mobile options like slatwalls and slatted gondola units.
- Choose shelving that will help you control customer traffic
Gondola shelving perfectly structures a store layout that helps your customers shop. Construct a counterclockwise footpath through your store that customers will be guided to follow as they shop. They won't know they're being guided, but when they're on this path, they'll see every department, every major display, and will be enticed to break away and browse further.
- Choose shelving that can help prevent theft
The retail shelving you buy can actually help prevent "shrinkage," or theft in ways like displaying jewelry and other small, easily concealed merchandise in locked cases. Customers can still see what you have to offer, but can't touch unless you give access. Or, you can use gondola shelving to create dead-end aisles for each department. This is especially useful for items that can't be kept under lock and key but can still easily be stolen. Customers must enter and exit aisles from one central area so that they can't slip out a side door unnoticed.
It doesn't have to be difficult to determine what you need when you're about to purchase new retail shelving. Keep the customers you serve in mind, and make sure you meet your own needs, too. While functionality is certainly important, so are aesthetics. Today's shelving options give you both.