Save Time and Money on Custom Retail Displays by Understanding Retailer Requirements for Vendor-Provided Fixtures

Based on our experience in designing thousands of custom retail displays over the last 28 years, we have participated in projects that have been highly efficient from a design process perspective. We’ve also been part of design projects that seem to endlessly spin out of control, resulting in lost time, unnecessary costs, and suboptimal outcomes. While there are lots of factors that can contribute to an efficient POP display design process, in today’s blog we’ll focus on understanding retailer requirements for vendor-provided fixtures.  Knowing the requirements up front can make a huge difference in the efficiency of the design process.

Custom retail displays _LED LIGHTING

In many cases our customers ask us to design a POP display program to work for a broad range of retailers, some of which are not even known at the time. In those cases, we generally rely on our experience to design fixtures that have efficient footprints and are likely to be in compliance with the line of sight police (i.e., making sure the fixture is not too tall). In other cases, however, our customers ask us to help them develop a merchandising program for a specific retailer.

For example, we are currently working on designing an end cap fixture for a customer who got approval to sell their product in REI. Our customer went to great lengths to understand REI’s fixture requirements, which will ultimately save a lot of time in the design process.

To illustrate the kinds of requirements that we’re talking about, let’s look at REI’s requirements:

OVERALL Aesthetic

Materials should be in their natural state and easy-to-find. Impression is that fixtures could be built by a skilled craftsman using common materials purchased at a local Home Depot.


•    ACX Plywood w/clear-coat finish, low sheen
•    Pine, white oak, clear-coat finish, low sheen
•    NAUF MDF w/ clear UV finish – to be approved by REI

*All Finishes must be LEED certifiable, and wood/finish samples must be submitted to REI for approval.

Custom Retail DIsplays - Retail Sporting Goods Store


•    Cold-rolled steel with low gloss clear powder coat finish
•    Blackened Steel w/wax finish
•    Aluminum or wire may be acceptable with a flat finish (Chrome is not acceptable.)


•    Freestanding fixtures not to exceed 48” wide x 36” deep x 57.25” high
•    End cap presentations not to exceed 36” wide x 18” deep x 57.25” high

* REI prefers fixtures that can attach to their own gondolas and end caps.

Custom Retail DIsplays Shoe  Table


•    UPC Compliance:  If vendor is not adhering pricing to the product, then vendor must provide pegs that  can accept REI’s UPC Tag Holders.

•    REI has two hardware packages:  Slatwall and U-Bar.  Vendors need to accommodate both when  providing attachment hardware and/or pegs.  Vendor my consider utilizing REI’s existing hardware in  stores.

•    It may be determined that Loss Prevention options are needed; i.e., securing pegs to fixtures or               providing peg locks to secure product.

Most retailers have a similar set of requirements for vendor-provided fixtures. Be sure to ask for a clear description of the requirements prior to starting any POP display project and share these requirements with your POP display vendor to ensure that the design process is as efficient as possible.

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