2019 was a tumultuous year for international trade. U.S.-China tensions ran high. Tariffs on many Chinese-made goods, including POP displays and store fixtures, escalated to 25%. Supply chains were disrupted, and both retailers and manufacturers struggled to figure out the best way to deal with the resulting uncertainty and economic shock. Welcome to a new year, a new decade, and the new normal in retail. We begin this year with a 3-part blog series on retail wood displays made in the USA.
We thought this topic was particularly timely and relevant for 3 reasons: (1) We expect that some level of tariffs on retail displays imported from China are likely to continue over the course of a reasonable planning horizon, thereby reducing the economic benefit of manufacturing in China; (2) Because the U.S. has a natural resource advantage over China in forest products, the cost of producing wood displays in the U.S. vs. China has been relatively close even prior to tariffs (which is not the case for metal displays since China produces 49% of the world’s steel); and (3) U.S. production times are shorter, which creates a significant advantage in an uncertain world, a world in which it is difficult to plan too far in the future.
With this as a backdrop, let’s focus on 25 recent examples of retail wood displays we made in our USA millwork shop. In today’s post we’ll share the first 9 examples, and then in Parts II and III of this series we will cover the balance of the examples. If you are interested in learning more about wood POP displays, you can find dozens of additional examples and get quick access to 21 of our best blogs on wood displays by checking out: The Best of Our Wood Display Blogs- All in One Place.
The examples we will share in this series are meant to show a range of practical and affordable wood displays that are made of a variety of solid wood and wood composite materials. Many of them include accent materials such as acrylic or metal, and all of them include some form of graphics. Let’s get started.
1) Teak Tea Mobile Merchandiser- We designed this highly versatile, well-branded 2-sided floor shelf merchandiser primarily out of unfinished China birch with a white washed finish. We added interchangeable PVC header and side signs as well as direct-printed shelf graphics.
2) Wish Farms Floor Shelf Display- Like the Teak Tea display, the 2-sided floor display we made for Wish Farms features a white washed finish. We built this display out of solid pine and pine plywood and included a framed interchangeable PVC header graphic, vinyl shelf/base graphics, and decorative bolts.
3) The Dessy Group Dress Display- We created the 4-sided dress display shown below to merchandise The Dessy Group’s new Loop Dress in department stores. We used MDF with a white melamine finish and added full-length direct-printed graphics. The display was designed to showcase several hanging dresses while also accommodating packaged dresses on shelves.
4) Coola Poolside Cart- Coola asked us to design a cart to help them sell their sun protection products at poolside in high-end hotels and resorts. We chose solid carbonized bamboo as the core material since its eco-friendly properties were a good fit with Coola’s brand image. We added heavy-duty wheels, a locking cabinet with inside storage, laser-cut 3D acrylic letters, a digitally printed PVC front graphic, and an acrylic divider system on the top.
5) Essentiel by Adele Countertop Display- We also chose solid bamboo for the simple tabletop merchandiser we designed for Essentiel by Adele, a new skincare line developed by the world’s top hand model. The objective of this display was to create a simple and cost-effective way to create visibility and help establish the brand in specialty stores. We screen printed the logo on the base and designed the PVC back panel graphic to be removable for shipping.
7) Sticker Floor Display- The 4-sided sticker display shown below is a super basic, no-frills wood merchandiser. Our customer requested a raw wood look with a bit of character and no finish. The display includes 28 bins to hold stickers, each of which has a clear acrylic front. We made another version of this display in which we torched the wood to create a rustic, burned look.
8) Slatwall/Cabinet Merchandiser- We made the slatwall merchandiser shown below for 24 Hour Fitness. We fabricated this display out of pre-finished China Birch. It included two locking bottom pull-out drawers for storage as well as metal hooks, perforated sheet metal shelves, and a hanging locking acrylic case.
9). Buddy Fruits Shelf Displays- Our final example today is the low-profile shelf merchandisers shown below that we made for Buddy Fruits. Again, there’s nothing fancy here- just basic blocking and tackling. We used solid pine with plywood shelf bottoms and added oak and cherry finishes. These displays had to meet strict height requirements so we opted for PVC side signs and screen-printed shelf graphics.
Be sure not to miss Part II of this blog series in which we will share another 8 examples of recent Made in the USA wood displays.