For many, the word “gondola” is sure to conjure up visions of the narrow, flat-bottomed boats being poled by singing gondoliers through the canals of Venice or the cars dangling precariously from cables taking passengers, especially skiers, up the mountainside. It's also the name given to that part of a hot air balloon or zeppelin where the pilot and passengers travel. In the world of retail sales, however, a gondola is a particular shelving arrangement that can be found in just about every possible type of retail sales establishment and that has long been the most popular means of displaying goods for sale.
What Exactly is Gondola Shelving
Although there are some certain exceptions, gondola shelving is most noted for being double sided and free standing, capable of displaying product on both sides. A vertical piece is attached to a flat base for maximum stability and it's not uncommon for gondola shelving to be capable of handling static loads of up to 500 pounds. The vertical piece may be solid with notches built in to accommodate separate shelves that may be adjusted up and down according to your needs for product display. Other choices for the vertical piece (or backing) can include pegboard and slatwall, which are both capable of being fitted with an almost endless number of display accessories such as hangers, hooks, baskets, bins, brackets for holding shelves, vertical dividers, brochure holders and more.
Gondola shelving offers a long list of benefits when incorporated into your store design, whether you're outfitting a convenience store, an auto parts store, a pharmacy, a clothing store, a liquor store, a pet shop, a grocery store or supermarket, a discount store or any number of other types of retail outlets. Here are just a few advantages gondola shelves can lend to your merchandising area:
- When properly manufactured for quality, they're extremely heavy duty and durable, capable of providing many years of service.
- They come in a variety of heights, widths and lengths. Because gondolas are cantilevered - only attached at the back and without front posts, they can be used to create long runs that look like continuous shelves.
- Gondolas can be adjusted to accommodate just about any configuration you want.
- These shelves are easy to move to other areas of your store when you want to change things up.
- Short gondola sections can be placed at the end of a long gondola run to tidy up the look and provide an “end cap” for placing high visibility items, seasonal or holiday specialty items, etc.
- Gondola shelving is excellent for use in creating aisles throughout your store and can be installed to form dead-end aisles, thereby improving store security and to provide a logical footpath for customers, enabling them to view most departments within the store.
From Tried and True to All New
For decades, gondola shelves were fairly unchanged in their appearance, mainly consisting of beige or white metal parts, with sharp edges and square corners, much like you'd expect to see in just about any large chain-store pharmacy you may visit. Recently, however, there's been a push by some of the top manufacturers to provide some relief from this “same old, same old.”
Madix, for example, a leading gondola shelving manufacturer, offers a line of various colors and materials in their Maxi Line and their Concave Radius Shelving is absolutely eye-popping as it uses curves which makes their gondolas appear to be undulating.
Check these and other gondola options out as you build or remodel your store. Top-quality shelving will add a definite touch of class to whatever you're selling!