The pace of change in the retail industry is starting to accelerate. Amazon is flexing its muscles with the recently announced acquisition of Whole Foods. Retailers are scrambling to respond to Amazon’s disruptive moves not only in the grocery sector but across the entire spectrum of retail. Amazon’s deep pockets and ability to leverage technology are changing the rules of the game in retail. The days of retailers and brand manufacturers being able to operate in a world with long planning horizons and overseas production lead times are coming to a close, and the on-demand economy is taking hold. This phenomenon has worked its way down the food chain and has increased the need for on-demand custom store fixtures that offer differentiation but can also be made quickly.
Against this backdrop, we thought it would be useful to provide a handful of examples of custom store fixtures that we’ve been making in out millwork shop to respond to the changing retail environment. There are many more examples to be shared, but the fixtures below are illustrative of what is recent and real and possible.
Our first example is for Andes Gifts. Retailers playing in the apparel industry are well aware of the enormous pressure that Amazon is placing on that part of the industry. The headwear and accessories display shown below is made of solid wood with a golden oak stain. It communicates the outdoor vibe and can be easily customized for different product sets or promotional opportunities.
Winning business in the grocery channel will become increasingly challenging so having custom store fixtures that provide secondary placement and offer alternatives to inline merchandising can have a big impact on sell-through if executed well. The example below is a 3-shelf fixture we created to help merchandise Buddy Fruits’ product line in grocery stores. It’s a knock-down mobile display constructed of solid pine wood and pine plywood with a stained finish, screen printed branding, plastic tag molding, and removable PVC side signs.
Acrylic is another material that lends itself to on-demand production. The example below is a simple counter display we made for EZVIZ in our shop for Best Buy Mexico stores. It is constructed of white acrylic with vinyl back panel and front shelf lip graphics. We mounted the products on removable plates so the products could be easily changed out. This display is a good example of an attractive and cost-effective merchandiser that can be made quickly and with no tooling to meet tight deadlines.
Adapting an existing design to fit your product is a great way to create custom store fixtures in a fraction of the time that it might take to design a custom display from scratch. Below are a few examples of how we took a wood shelf display from our stock line and altered the dimensions to make it work for our customer Sunfood. We developed a number of variations of the same fixture to meet different needs but kept the header branding consistent across all versions.
As the on-demand economy continues to unfold, being nimble while also staying true to your brand will become more important.