a PEG on which to hang

The trend nowadays is doing less with more. Take for instance the tiny-house phenomenon, pocket-sized devices and the appeal of minimalism. Even the Big-Box, retail giants like Target, IKEA,and Best Buy are investing in smaller retail spaces to appeal to the convenience and accessibility that their urban consumers demand. As e-commerce continues to rise, brick-and-mortar stores need to refocus on what brings customers to their doors, why they stay and especially why they come back.

In our previous post, we addressed the need for personalization and customization. The key issue being, how to offer options without overwhelming the customer and even more so, how to keep them coming back. The famous marketing study by Sheena Iyengar (Columbia University) and Mark Leppar (Stanford University) in Menlo Park asked whether the number of options correlated to the number of sales. Contrary to popular belief, offering more options didn’t lead to more sales and in most cases, actually accomplished the opposite results. Although more customers sampled the table with 24 flavors, more sales occurred when only 6 flavors samples were available.

To ask retailers what’s more important, getting bodies through the door or increasing sales (although both are very important), the answer lies in the receipts. But that’s the catch 22, you need to offer a range of options to get customers in but offering too many can cause a revolving door without any sales.

That’s where optimizing the shelf space becomes key. Creating an efficient use of walls, tables, and display areas; that are flexible to handle a wide array of product lines without feeling burdensome. A great way to accomplish this is with PEG BOARD.


But stop, before shopping the pegboard section of a home improvement store, there are ways to customize this solution.


Perhaps the right look means simply a new coat of paint. For example, the wall display to the right.

By painting the stock pegboard matte black it creates a moody backdrop that encourages the products to pop. The standard peg board also pairs well with the tools and workwear often seen on a hiking trail or workshop. And by adding strategic spotlights, it emotes a sense of nostalgia and authenticity that it’s customers are drawn to.

Using the pegboard to strategically place elements that reflect craftmanship and outdoor activities along with merchandised products, encourages customers to associate a sense of greater connection with the products/brand. And from season to season, the layout can be easily updated with new products and arrangements.

Great for retailers like REI, Pantagonia and other sporting goods brands, it’d be the wrong look and feel for luxury or tech retailers.







Standard pegboard panels are 1/4″ perforated holes, 1″ center to center, evenly spaced. Easy to move, lightweight and affordable, they’re seen in garages and shops across the world. But as such a recognizable material, it’s use can be seen as generic, cheap and boring. Not the appeal more retailers and brands are looking to achieve.
















By abandoning the standard hole size and pattern, the pegboard panels have a sophisticated feel.

In addition to varying the hole size, variations in hole patterns can lend to a curated feel. Strategically placed perforations present a customized and elevated touch. Designed specifically for the needs of the space, brand, and products instead of a generic massed produced material.




Sizing is one method to achieve uniqueness, another is the material choice. Who said pegboard needs to be a wood derivative. Take, for example, Cafe Tres in Montreux, Switzerland, designed by the Ukranian architectural firm, Drozdov&Partners, that uses concrete pegboard panels throughout the entire restaurant.

By just adjusting the construction material, the panels take on an entirely new aesthetic. As opposed to the temporary nature of plyboards or MDF, concrete has a permanence and strength that lends well to a sense of heritage and longevity. Attributes that any restaurant, old or new strive to achieve through their food, drinks, and atmosphere.


The architects and designers could have easily mounted solid slabs of concrete but by perforating holes, it added levity to the environment. In addition to added functionality. Replicating the scene behind the kitchen, it brings a sense of authenticity by incorporating kitchen elements into the dining room.

Tapping into the memories of visiting your grandmother’s kitchen and seeing her utensils, dishes, and bowls hung for easy access, Cafe’ Tres welcomes their customers in their home/restaurant.







Exploring pegboard options, such as colors, hole sizes and placement and material options is a great foundation but to bring it all together, what goes on the panels?

There are the go-to peg hooks found in improvement stores or online, typically inexpensive and available in a silver finish like zinc or stainless steel. They range in various sizes and shapes with a very utilitarian look and feel, for example, the mobile wardrobe wall to the right.

Great for a minimalistic, functional aesthetic.

But also basic.

When used in a retail space however, it can come off as uninspired and an afterthought.


This is where creativity can grow out of necessity.

LORIS&LIVIA did just that.

In their own words,” After designing BRADBURY’S gallery space and nettled by the monotony of standard pegboard accessories, we have taken a step further and explored a new set of intriguing pieces: a tray, a shelf, a lamp and hooks, designed using a minimum of components for easy assembly, quick installation and clever combinations.”

The simplicity of their hooks and attachments lend well to a retail space and can add a touch of personality and charge to a standard pegboard layout.




Another creative approach is to add varying lengths of wooden dowels to 3-dimensional cavities across a pegboard wall as seen in the image to the left.

The “Peg Wall Bookcase” designed by Elizabeth Whittaker of Merge Architects takes a static wall and brings movement and energy to and old need. This structure could be easily replicated to display apparel, gifts, or be an instagram worthy feature within any store.


In our next blog post, we’ll continue to explore the pegboard and attachments accessories. Hopefully, this sparks some inspiration until next time.

Let us know your thoughts on pegboard in the retail space.

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