10 Things to Consider Before Buying a Stock Retail Display- Part II

Welcome to Part II of our 2-part series on the 10 things to consider before buying a stock retail display for merchandising. In Part I, we pointed out that more companies are opting for stock retail display programs since lead times are getting shorter and forecasting in the current environment continues to be difficult.  In the first part of our series we covered the first 5 factors to consider: product fit, capacity, foot print, customization options, and configurability. Today we’ll cover the remaining 5 factors.  If you missed Part I, you can check it out here.

  1. Shipping Economics– An important component of retail display program economics is shipping cost. It’s important because for some displays shipping costs can be as much as one third of the overall cost of the display. Be sure to look into the shipping cost of a stock display before you buy.

As a general rule, knock-down displays are cheaper to ship than assembled displays; however, knock-down displays do require assembly at retail. As an example, we offer two different stock t-shirt cubby displays that look virtually identical. Each has its own advantages. One of them ships assembled on a pallet, and the other ships knock-down in boxes. The shipping economics are very different between these two displays.

T-shirt cubby stock retail display

2. Assembly Time– Although it is typically more expensive to ship a retail display that is assembled, the benefit of doing so is there is no assembly required at the store level. However, because of shipping cost considerations, many displays are shipped knock-down so assembly time becomes an important factor to consider with the majority of stock displays.

Make sure your display manufacturer includes assembly instructions as well as the tools required to assemble the display and have a good understanding of the assembly time required. Once assembly time exceeds 15 or 20 minutes, you may need to consider an alternative display.

There is a clear benefit to stock displays that are quick to assemble such as our stock 2-sided slatwall display that assembles with just 4 screws in less than 5 minutes.

2-sided slaywall stock retail display

3. Durability– Durability is an important element of display program economics. The longer your display can last, the higher your return on investment will be for your display program. Some customers gravitate toward corrugated displays because they are often less expensive than a permanent display, but they may not be thinking about the fact that a corrugated display may only last for 6 weeks before it starts to fail or before it gets tossed by the retailer when the product sells through. A permanent stock display that is built to last for several years is likely to be a good bet. We offer a heavy-duty metal shelf display that could easily last for more than 10 years in a tough retail environment.

Metal shelf stock retail display

4. Ease of Maintenance– In selecting the right stock retail display, it is important to anticipate how easy it will be to maintain the fixture. Your display will almost always look great on day one when it is loaded with product, but how will it look when it is half empty or after a couple months of enduring a high traffic retail environment?

Make sure your display includes a good way to keep your product organized since nobody will care about your product and how your display looks as much as you do, not even a conscientious store employee. And, when selecting materials and finishes, think about what is easy to clean and does the best job of hiding dirt. For example, a display with a black base might look great until it starts collecting dust. Our UMF-24 shown below is a good example of a display that is easy to maintain. One of the benefits is that it is on casters so it is easy for store maintenance personnel to move it when cleaning the floors.

UMF-24 stock retail display

5. Cost– Finally, there is the cost of the display. This factor is often the most important consideration in any type of retail program because the cost of the display is a key determinant of the overall retail program economics and return on investment. Stock displays can often be more cost effective than custom displays because there is no custom design time that needs to be incorporated in the unit cost and because stock displays are often purchased in relatively higher volumes compared to some custom programs.

In evaluating the cost of a stock display, it is important to have a broad perspective rather than just trying to find the cheapest display. The ultimate goal of any display is to generate sales so striking the right balance between display cost and revenue generating potential of the display should be a key consideration in the purchase decision.

Before you embark on your next stock retail display program, we would encourage you to consider the 10 key factors we have identified in this 2-part blog series.

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