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Strategic Keys to Custom Gondola Solutions

Retailers continually search for competitive advantages. Every detail matters. Take gondolas and fixtures. Not fancy, right? But in retail’s ultra-competitive environment, they need to be more than just functional.

Thinking strategically about their creation, customization, deployment and adaptability can make all the difference in-store for both shoppers and associates, as well as your brand recognition and bottom line.

So here are four key strategies to consider.

Embrace flexibility and adaptability 

Like many retailers with stores nationwide, you may have a standard system made by a longtime gondola vendor, which is fine. But what if you could install a new system or augment your present one with gondolas and fixtures that not only are fully adaptable or even interchangeable with these systems but also offer more merchandising versatility?

A modular system of fixtures and gondolas that can be easily customized and adapted to various product displays and store layouts is superior to systems that provide only static layouts.

Different configurations can offer versatility for different types of merchandise. You can adjust product placement, create seasonal displays or personalize sections for specific categories. This flexibility ensures your stores stay fresh and cater to evolving customer preferences.

"Key point: Promises and marketing language in a catalog are on thing. Real-world use is another."

A flexible system also provides opportunities to better engage your shoppers with dedicated sections for hot-selling items, pop-up areas for special promotions and curated product collections. This not only enhances product visibility but also creates a sense of discovery and excitement for customers.

Key point: Promises and marketing language in a catalog are one thing. Real-world use is another. Ask for a demonstration or store prototyping to verify not just looks and system compatibility but also durability and functionality.

A Miller Zell client recently came to us wanting gondolas that worked with their existing systems but also offered more flexibility for shelf placement. Our designers and engineers created a system that could stand alone or retrofit existing store fixtures and gondolas, thereby providing more value and flexibility. We developed an aesthetically pleasing exoskeleton that was adaptable to existing in-store gondolas or could create distinctive new promotional areas.

Oh, and it was less expensive and easier to install at scale, which seemed to make them very happy.


Customize for branding, visual appeal, product presentation

Your brand has a distinctive look, and your logo and colors are identifiable by your customers. So, instead of going with the basic white or chrome, why not paint your gondolas in a brand-specific color or use textured laminates to support a specific visual identity?

Branding always matters, and paying attention to details that upgrade visual appeal supports your brand’s identity with customers, even when the cues are subtle.

Custom gondola in a beauty store
Cosmetic products displayed at Kiehl's store in local shopping mall.

As for visual appeal and product presentation, such upgrades are often about avoiding redundancy. Can your fixtures support specialized signage, whether digital or static?

Seasons change and so should stores. Dynamic elements can attract attention and present products that are more relevant and in demand than they were a few weeks ago. Fixtures that can be quickly modified by associates to storytell around products can help customers find what they want and boost impulse purchases and basket size.


Consider upgraded technology and elevated merchandising

Omnichannel integration touches everything, including in-store shelving and displays. Digital elements seamlessly incorporated into your gondolas and fixtures can showcase product information and unique and engaging content. Further, it allows for easy, real-time updates.

If you’re adding digital price tags, you want them to be neatly integrated into your fixtures and shelving. These can add to personalization and improve inventory management.

technology retail store with QR codes and omnichannel design
Micro Center located in Tustin, California. The integration of the Micro Center app and store design allowed for a strong omnichannel experience for customers and associates.

It’s also worth considering how RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags and smart shelves might be integrated into your gondola system. These allow for customer interaction and sync real-time data on inventory availability, enabling efficient restocking and personalized product recommendations on digital displays.

The next step is incorporating interactive elements like touchscreens or augmented reality displays that allow customers to explore product features or visualize them in a home setting. Or even gamification elements like quizzes or product challenges can further engage customers and encourage exploration.


Aspire toward sustainability

Sustainability efforts can both save you money and boost your brand image. Communicate to your vendor partners that you want gondolas and fixtures produced from recycled or sustainable materials to make clear your brand’s commitment to eco-friendly policies. Then share this effort with your customers. Yes, they care.

One easy investment is LED lighting systems. They not only reduce energy consumption but also provide a brighter, clearer light source that highlights your products effectively.

strategic keys to customized gondolas sustainability

Ultimately, all of this is about upgrading your stores and their customer experience, which helps you outshine your competitors and foster brand loyalty.

Retailers can transform their gondolas and fixtures from utilitarian structures into powerful sales tools. A customized and optimized in-store environment creates a more engaging atmosphere, promotes brand storytelling and drives customer satisfaction and sales.