Australian retail is looking healthy. With annual turnover for retail in the country increasing by almost $1 billion to $27 billion in September 2018, it can be seen that people still love to get out and shop. This makes it ever more important for retailers to give consideration to getting their store layout right in order to attract punters. Slatwall fittings are a great choice in terms of retail shelving layout as they can be accommodated into any design plan for shops of all sizes and give store-holders plenty of flexibility when it comes to both what is displayed and how.
What are slatwall fittings?
Slatwall is a contemporary type of retail fitting that consists of MDF or metal panels containing spaced horizontal grooves fitted with inserts. These grooves can hold shelving or a range of accessories to create varied and attractive shop displays. Slatwall shop fittings can be broadly broken down into three areas:
Slatwall panels – these are the vertical display boards that form the basis of any slatwall display. They generally come is two forms. The first is as fixed wall panels that attach to shop walls, usually either 1200mm x 1200mm or 2400mm (w) x 1200mm (h) in size. The second is as free-standing gondola units which can be placed anywhere on the shop floor. These units can be single or double-sided and are available in an assortment of sizes and styles.
Slatwall shelves – these are the traditional shelves that can be fitted into the slatwall panel grooves, either directly or using brackets. There are different types of shelving available for slatwall units, including metal, glass, melamine and acrylic. Shelves can be flat or angled towards the customer, which can be beneficial for certain products such as books and magazines. One benefit of slatwall is that shelves can be moved around with ease as they simply slide in and out of place, no screws or nails needed.
Slatwall accessories – as well as traditional shelving, there are also many other metal, acrylic and wire accessories that can be inserted into the panel grooves enabling retailers to display all kinds of products that are better showcased in ways other than stacked on shelves. This can be anything from clothing to mobile phones.
Where can slatwall be used?
The great thing about slat panel display fittings is that they look great in any retail environment. Whether you have a small independent family-owned store or a large department store, an upmarket boutique or a discount store, a store that opts for spacious minimalist design or one that aims to utilise every available square inch, you can use slatwall displays to good effect.
Slat systems are a great solution whatever layout you might want to go for. The four most commonly used store layouts are:
- the grid – where shelving is arranged into parallel aisles
- the herringbone – so-called because the shape resembles a herringbone when viewed from above, with one long, narrow aisle and with turnings on each side
- the loop – also called the racetrack, this is where customer flow is directed along a circular path with displays on each side
- the free-flow – this doesn’t follow any defined pattern but consists of shelving units or displays dotted around the store.
Both fixed-wall panels and free-standing units can be employed in all of these systems to maximise browsing space. If you want something a bit more spacious, simply kit the store out in the fixed-wall panels and keep the floor space free of shop fittings.
Examples of types of stores where slat displays can be found:
- Newsagents – can display books and magazines using angled shelving, as well as a range of other products using hangsell.
- Clothing stores – garments can be folded on traditional shelving or hung using several of the available accessories.
- Shoe stores – slatwall is great for providing space for individual glass or acrylic shoe stands that can be used to create a wall display of shoes and trainers.
- Jewellery stores – can use hangsell displays or place decorative items on individual stands.
- Arts & craft stores – can bring ornamental goods to life with well-lit glass shelving.
- Sports stores – accessories can be used to showcase some of the bulkier or more difficult to display items, while clothing and other goods can be displayed on hangsell.
- Electronic stores – specially designed shelving is available for the display of laptops, mobile phones and tablets.
- Chemists and hardware stores – can create aisle displays of both traditional shelving and hangsell to maximise retail space and get as much merchandise on the shop floor as possible.
How to customise your display with slatwall accessories
It is the range of accessories that make slatwall such a suitable solution for any retailer. If you don’t want to stack products on shelves in the traditional way, these additional fittings can be easily used to create innovative or eye-catching displays for all kinds of products large and small. These attachments can be added or removed in seconds as they slip in and out of place.
Slatwall accessories include:
- Metal hooks and prongs – can be used for hangsell purposes to showcase a wide range of goods from jewellery to packaged items.
- Hangrails – can be easily inserted into the panel grooves to create easily-browsable rows of clothing.
- Faceouts and waterfalls – for more tailored and organised clothing displays.
- Picture hooks – clip into the panels enabling you to display pictures, frames, mirrors and clocks.
- Acrylic stands – these come in various different sizes to suit a range of products including footwear, iPads, mobile phones and other electronic gadgets. These can be flat or angled towards the customer.
- Acrylic bins – stores such as stationers, discount stores and hardware stores can make great use of dump bins to store loose oddly-shaped goods that are difficult to display effectively.
- Slatwall brochure holders – great for displaying promotional or informational store notices.
- Mesh wire baskets – another option for showcasing those awkwardly-shaped items.
The main benefits of slatwall
Slatwall is an incredibly popular shop fitting and it’s not hard to see why. Here are some of the main advantages:
It looks good – whether you opt for MDF or metal panel fittings, you will find that slatwall gives your store a clean, well-organised and eye-catching look. This is why slatwall fittings in Australia have proved popular with high-end and boutique stores, where appearance is a key factor, as well as in regular high-street stores.
It’s easy to use – the easy of assembly and slot-in slot-out practicality is great for busy retailers for whom regularly changing over merchandise displays can become a headache or a chore. Displays go down well with customers, too, as the units save space and allow for extra browsing space.
It’s versatile – you can’t go wrong with slatwall as it suits every environment and type of store layout, regardless of what is being sold. With the abundance of accessories on offer, there is pretty much no small or medium-sized product that can’t be accommodated.
It’s long-lasting – slatwall systems can cope with heavier loads than other systems such as pegboard or wire mesh. The materials used are tough, resistant to scuffs and scratches, and are easy to maintain.
It’s not too expensive – products are made with fairly low-cost materials so it won’t break the bank for retailers looking to shop on a budget or who need to buy large quantities of retail fixtures.
Fitting your store out with slatwall displays
If you’re looking to fit your store out with some slat panel units, you can find many shelving and shop fittings outlets with a good range of modern products. You’ll need to decide what type of layout you want to opt for and then work out how many fixed-wall panels or free-standing units you will need after measuring up, as well as what additional fittings and accessories you want to purchase. Many of the smaller metal and acrylic accessories are very inexpensive so it’s worth buying more than you need so that you can easily replace them if they get damaged or stolen.
Here are a few rough product prices to give you an idea of likely costs:
- Fixed-wall panels – between $80-165
- Free-standing gondola units – between $105-670
- Individual shelves – between $5-20 per shelf
- Metal accessories – mostly under $10
- Acrylic stands – around $10 per stand
- Wire accessories – between $10-20 per item
Total costs vary greatly depending on factors such as store size, what you’re buying and whether or not you intend to do the work yourself or employ a professional shop fitter (note – it’s advisable to get a pro to do it unless you’re skilled in this area or very confident that you can do the job well!). You can fit a small unit out for only a few thousand dollars or less. Bigger, more expensive shop fits can cost tens of thousands. But the most important thing is to get the job done well as if your appearance generates sales, you’ll soon make any money you spend back.
If you’re looking to fit out a shop premises or are interested in purchasing slatwall or shop fitting products, call us on (02) 9608 5122 or email [email protected]. We’re a professional Sydney-based business that supplies a wide range of products including slatwall fittings to Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and beyond.
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