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Do This, Not That, With Your Retail Store Gondolas | Gondola Shelving |®

Do This, Not That, With Your Retail Store Gondolas

Published on July 23, 2013

Gondolas are freestanding shelving fixtures and a favorite among retailers due to their versatility and ease of use. With a myriad of display options and the ability to hold a lot of weight, they’re perfect for stores that sell small items, such as craft supplies or pet products, or heavy items, like electronics and books.

These accommodating fixtures are available in three styles. Freestanding gondolas have two sides and are typically used in the center of a store to create aisles. Wall gondolas have one side and are placed around a store’s perimeter. And end cap gondolas are used at the end of an aisle, allowing you to create special displays.

While they can be a large investment for your wallet and your shop floor plan, gondolas will give you a big return. Here are a few do’s and don’t’s to consider when using this all-purpose fixture.

Consider Your Space

Do map out your floor space before you select the size and shape of your units. Take measurements and consider any other fixtures you’ll be using as well. Gondolas can be big, bulky and hard to rearrange. If you plan out where they’ll live in your store ahead of time, you won’t have to relocate them later.

Don’t create aisles that are too wide or too narrow. Gondolas are the perfect fixtures for creating a shopping aisle within your store, but when a store has wide aisles, customers tend to walk past merchandise. Narrower aisles encourage browsing, but if they’re too narrow, you run the risk of creating a traffic jam. Find the right fit for your floor space, and remember that your retail store aisles need to be at least 36 inches wide to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Stock Them Well

Do stock gondolas with merchandise you display in large quantities. Due to their size, gondolas are capable of displaying a lot of stock at once. Take advantage of it — it’ll help you cut back on restocking and will encourage customer self-service. Additionally, make sure you’re taking full advantage of their stocking potential. According to Herb Sorensen, PhD and author of Inside the Mind of the Shopper, studies show that shoppers respond best to shelving heights of 66 inches or lower and lengths of 15 to 20 feet. You can make your gondolas fit those dimensions perfectly.

Don’t overstock these fixtures. Though typically each gondola shelf can hold approximately 500 pounds of merchandise, you don’t need to load it to capacity. Overstocking can lead to bowed or broken shelves, which can discourage your customers. You also lose visual merchandising appeal if items are overcrowded and indistinguishable.

Make the Most of Merchandising

Do make sure your merchandise is visible and within reach. Though gondolas are typically used as shelving units, you can take advantage of their back panel as well. Typically gondolas have a pegboard or slat wall panel, and retailers can choose shelves, hooks or other display accessories to hold and showcase their products. If you are taking advantage of their shelves, simple rows are the best way to show off your merchandise.

Don’t let your bottom shelves sit in darkness — customers will overlook the products stocked there. Light can help to focus customers’ attention. Try using different shelf depths with shallower shelves at the top to help you make the most of existing overhead lighting, or affix clip-on lighting accessories to the bottom shelves to help illuminate those products.

When used properly, gondolas can be the foundation of an inviting and engaging store. Make the most out of these fixtures, and they’ll help serve you and your customers for years to come.

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