The retail gondola, a ubiquitous structure designed and engineered to support and blend into the background, could be the solution you’ve been looking for.
We’ve all come across the spectrum of beige that’s graced the aisles of our local grocery chains. Perhaps only
noticed when your shopping cart momentarily crashes into them; as you’re reaching for the 5 lbs bag of coffee to keep you focused. C’mon, we’ve all been there.
However, these units are more than they appear. With an array of options, ranging from the bland to the spectacular, they provide support and versatility! The Lozier shelving system is manufactured domestically in the USA, with shorter lead times and (often) more affordable pricing. It’s perfect, right?!?! Not necessarily.
Unfortunately, the gondola isn’t the fixture “unicorn,” that’ll work for every project. We’ll explore the the pros and cons of using these units with a quick checklist to help you determine if this is the solution to your merchandising needs.
But first, what’s exactly is a gondola?
Sadly, you cannot float along the Venetian lagoons on this metal structure.
The retail shelving gondola has been a fixture (pun intended) in the visual merchandising industry from nearly the beginning. Displaying products while creating a shopping path for customers to browse and make their next purchase selection.
It’s modular shelving system consists of a flat base and an assortment of vertical boards, such as slatwall, pegboards and perforations. The vertical boards and upright frames support either shelves, hooks or lend well to custom made display solutions.
Lined up uniformly, these units create endless aisles of products.
Turned perpendicularly, it forms an endcap, one of the most coveted positions when it comes to product placement.
The 2 most common brands for store fixtures are Lozier and Madix. However, some big box stores may use different brands of fixtures custom made for their stores.
Now that we’re familiar with the basics anatomy of a gondola, let’s get down to what’s really important.
Anatomy of a Store Gondola
The standard stock gondola consists typically metal uprights sandwiching a variety of boards available in different sizes, colors and materials. The uprights have slots, also in various shapes and sizes, which can be an easier overlooked engineering consideration. When retrofitting to an existing gondola, be careful to note the make and model of the gondola. It could lead to costly and timely mistakes that could drastically affect the success of your project.
These upright are are the workhouse of the gondola, available in stock colors at an additional cost. Which may be worth the investment. Transitioning a bland utilitarian piece of equipment into a well-branded fixture. They can create the impression that makes the difference between a sale or not.
The boards held up between the uprights are available with slots, perforated holes or flat to hold shelving, hooks and signage. All supported on a open box frame base.
What are the Pros and Cons of using a stock gondola
and is it the right solution?
Now’s the time to explore all the possibilities of what a stock gondola can offer your brand. Be it your first time running a retail project or you’re a veteran in the field, these quick reference points can be invaluable to making a decision in a snap.
Starting off with the Pros
Flexible, expandable and easy to update.
Most gondola system uses common parts with standardized engineering that allows endless combinations.
A huge benefit when it’s time to refresh the merchandising and store layout. Another plus is the ability to grow with your merchandising needs.
As your store footprint expands, adding additional components to an existing fixture is a no-brainer. It’s cheaper than starting from scratch, maintains brand consistency and provides ease of mind knowing that everything will fits as it should.
2. Domestic Production
In the global economy it’s nearly mandatory to have resources that maximize your ROI, but that doesn’t necessarily mean sourcing overseas is the right call.
Lozier is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska with additional facilities in Missouri, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Alabama. And with overseas shipments ranging anywhere from 12 – 16 weeks, who wouldn’t appreciate a domestic source with within a 30 days.
3. Reduced Development Time
With 40+ years of experience developing retail solution, we’re experts in creating custom in-store programs at record speeds. However, development takes time and resources that could be saved by using already available components.
Make it bold.
Make it an experience for your customers that’ll last with them until the moment of purchase.
Like downloading an app, enhancing the gondola with custom graphics, product demo stations and imagery will create the memories that influence buyer behavior. Work with an experienced display partner that understands the gondola engineering system to ensure all components work together seamlessly.
But with so many options available, it could become a inventory tracking headache, not to mention the multiple opportunities for order confusion and costly mistakes. Benchmarc’s solution to this is a custom web ordering site we develop for our clients. The web ordering enables easy visual confirmation of the fixture/display layout along, easy online ordering and seamless ordering processing.
Now the Cons
A clearly noticeable sign of stock component is in their bulkiness. Depending on your brand guidelines and weight/height requirements, it may not work for your look and feel. We help our customers brand the stock gondola display fixture, but it’s still adding elements, which add additional bulk to a sturdy frame.
In addition to the look and feel, a major concern in merchandising is available space. From box store to independent retailers, the store footprint is getting smaller which means every inch counts.
2. Closed System
Similar to the Apple’ business model of keeping a closed system platform, Lozier’s modular gondola is a engineering success for their own product compatibility but can be frustratingly challenging when working with existing parts.
Ever considered purchasing a new product from Android? Only to realize that all your other devices wouldn’t be compatible. We’ve all been there.
It’s important to select the right system from the start and stick with it.
3. Design + Engineering Constraints
With any stock selection there’s a range of options… but also limitations.
Before selecting the right stock fixture manufacturer, explore your options and the constraints for example shelving depths and heights:
AVAILABLE SHELF DEPTHS
LOZIER 7, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 25, 28, 31
MADIX 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 28. 30
AVAILABLE GONDOLA HEIGHTS
LOZIER 36, 42, 48, 54, 60, 66, 72, 78, 84, 90, 96, 108, 120
MADIX 36, 42, 48, 54, 60, 66, 72, 78, 85, 90, 96
4. Long Lead Times for Issues
Stock displays don’t necessarily mean that their an inventory of parts sitting in a warehouse.
As with most displays and fixtures, gondolas are typically made to order. And these lead times of typically 4 – 6 weeks are ideal for the initial production run. However, if there is an issue with a part (although rare), these replacements parts are subject to the same lead time. It doesn’t happen often, but understand that it is a possibility.
Explore the Possibilities
The stock gondola has it’s place along a series of rows. Falling into the backdrop to let brands compete for attention.
It’s the perfect opportunity to optimize the available space to connect with potential customers in an meaningful way.
Add a strong header with a eye-catching color. Place signage and lifestyle graphics all the shelf edge and sides to create a 360 view of your brand. Easily recognizable and attention grabbing.
Step it up even further by incorporating structural elements. The additional height and is a great opportunities for not only graphic messaging but also masks the stock look and feel. Elevating the overall impression.
Taking advantage of the existing structure, you can also build vignettes of interactive spaces. Allowing customers to feel, test and explore your products in real time.
Here are a few questions to help you determine
if a stock gondola is right for your next project.
- MODULAR SYSTEM – Will is modular system enhance your fixture program?
- SHORTER LEAD TIMES – Do you need to hit a in-store date quickly?
- HEAVY DUTY – Are you products heavy or do you need additional support for graphics or interactive elements?
- CUSTOMIZATION – Are you open to selecting finishes or colors from a stock selection?
If you’ve answered yes to the any of the questions above, then a stock gondola fixture might be the solution to your display needs. We can help you make the final selection and offer custom solution to help you take a stock item and brand it to your needs.
Have a project in mind, let’s customize it. CONTACT US
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