For anyone new to the business and even some who have been involved in retail for a while, the impact that shelving, whether used or brand-new, can have on their success may not be immediately obvious. What may be all too obvious to them, however, are the tell-tale signs that the corner café or convenience store is not making the kind of turnover they had been hoping for or that might be necessary for the continued survival of their business. Such is the fate of those who, from a lack of understanding of the many types of display equipment available and the specific applications for each of these types, often end up presenting the wrong image to their prospective clients.
It may be that, to save money, you chose to make use of the existing used retail shelving left by the previous owner or tenant of your premises. However, that does not mean it will automatically be suited to your particular purpose. For example bins may be an ideal option for displaying seasonal items but they simply won’t work for all products. For example, smaller items offered in a variety of colours and sizes will need a different type of display in order to maximise their visibility and facilitate access. In such cases, a pegboard will be a far more effective option.
Frustrated customers don’t buy. Instead, they just leave and some will not come back. New or used, the suitability of your retail shelving cannot be determined by anything other than its ability to display your assorted products as effectively as possible and, if your range is particularly diverse, this could require you to combine a mix of different display options.
One of the aspects of a smaller store that can be very limiting is the available floorspace. While it may serve as an impressive centrepiece, an outsized, double-sided, freestanding gondola is hardly the best way to utilise the little space that may be available to you. Instead, by attaching a single unit to each of the walls, you can ensure there will still be sufficient room in the centre of your floor for some alternative form of display equipment without fear of unduly restricting the free movement of your customers. Incidentally, those valuable shoppers are most unlikely to show much concern about whether your retail shelving is used or new, as long as it facilitates their shopping experience.
Even when you are certain that the display equipment you have is the most suitable option for the products you intend to stock, how you utilise it also plays a role in determining its impact on your customers. This is a task for which you will be required to combine visual appeal with customer convenience and one that will require adherence to some basic yet tried-and-tested merchandising principles. For instance, since most of your shoppers will scan your shelves from left to right, organise you products from premium to economy in this direction. Following the same principle, arrange them first by sub-category and then by brand.
Even if your existing installation is unsuitable, the lower price of used retail shelving means replacing it is a viable option.