Gondola shelving is nearly ubiquitous in retail environments. Unfortunately, we see it misused nearly as frequently as we see it used. With your retail square footage at a premium — and too often commanding a premium rent — that’s one thing you literally cannot afford. As with any retail shelving provided by Shelving Design Systems, there’s a right way and a wrong way to use gondolas, and we’re here to help you get it right the first time.
A shelving design consultation is an important first step in utilizing gondola shelving. One of the most persistent complaints about gondola shelving is its inflexibility. Even resetting a planogram on an existing gondola can be a major undertaking, and reconfiguring a store layout can verge on rage-inducing. However, careful shelving design that considers long-term use and traffic patterns can ensure that frustration is kept to a minimum.
Consider Your Inventory
Inventory dovetails with planning. There are a few reasons for this. Few things make a retail environment less inviting than choosing the wrong shelving for the job, or having shelves that are incorrectly spaced and poorly stocked. Sparsely-stocked shelves can give your customers the impression you don’t have what they need or, worse still, that you’re having trouble meeting your bills.
Maximize Your End Caps
We mentioned earlier that inflexibility is a common complaint about gondolas. Proper planning and shelving design address this directly, as can the use of the right fixtures on the gondola. But it’s also worth noting that end caps provide another exception to that rule. They’re great at driving impulse buys, and their location and smaller size makes getting creative easy and fun. Reset your end caps frequently to move old stock, emphasize promotions, and keep your layout interesting.
Take Your Time with Visual Merchandising
That, in turn, brings us to visual merchandising. Not only is shelving available in a wider range of colors than before, it can also be complemented by custom lighting, graphics, signage, and a host of other collateral. All of it helps you reinforce your message, highlight your merchandise, and make each shopping experience unique for your customers.
Find Innovative Solutions
We know gondola shelving is the backbone of many stores. We’ve even devised a unique serpentine gondola that’s easy to configure and provides an attractive look in irregular spaces.
But we’d also remind you of one last, important, point: gondolas are a key part of many retail layouts, but they need to be considered in context. They’re not a one-size-fits-all solution. Often as not, varying your types of shelving and displays best fits your inventory and your sales goals — and helps your gondola shelving shine by doing what it does best, rather than trying to fit a role for which it’s not intended.