How to Choose the Right Gondola Shelving for Your Retail Store

Gondola shelving is one of the most popular modern shelving systems around, due to its superior flexibility and practicality when compared to many other shelving types. It is suitable for all kinds of retail store, from convenience stores to high-end boutiques.

However, you’ll need to think carefully before investing in gondola units as there are many different types and sizes of product on the market to suit different store needs. Make sure you choose shelving that fits your requirements and can help you to maximise your profits. Gondola shelving gives you great scope for getting creative and driving customers to your shop but get it wrong and you could end up driving them away!

Whether you’re opening up a new store or revamping an existing one, here are a few handy pointers on choosing the right shelving. 

Types of gondola shelving products

Before we start, it’s useful to offer a brief overview of what kind of store fixtures you can choose from. Gondola shelving units are free-standing vertical units that you can place anywhere in your store. They come in three broad types:

  • Slatwall units – these consist of a series of horizontal slat panels that are separated by small aluminium-lined grooves into which you can slide shelving and accessories.
  • Pegboard units – these are covered in multiple evenly-spaced holes into which you can insert a range of accessories. They are also flanked by vertical bracket strips for traditional shelving use.
  • Grid mesh units – formed of criss-crossing wires to create a mesh design onto which you can fit shelving and accessories.

This shelving is available as both single-sided and double-sided units in various different sizes. You can also find 3-way and 4-way units or purchase supplementary products such as end bay and corner bay units to create different types of display. Many units are fitted with base panels onto which you can place additional merchandise. 

Consider the type of products you sell 

Your shelving display choices will depend to a large extent on what type of merchandise you sell. Which type of unit is the most practical for your products? This often comes down to the size and weight of your merchandise. If you retail a lot of heavier, bulky goods, then slatwall panels are a great option as they have a heavier load-bearing capacity. Pegboard and grid mesh are more suitable for smaller and medium-sized products.

Another consideration is how you want to display the merchandise. Do you want to maximise your space and get as much produce out onto the shop floor as possible or do you want to space items out on individual display stands so that customers are drawn towards looking at individual pieces? Pegboard units are probably the best in terms of versatility and getting the largest quantity of goods on display, especially when it comes to hangsell.

Grid mesh units offer a similar scope at a cheaper price. Slatwall can also accommodate large quantities but is definitely the better option if you’re looking for something a bit more minimalist or not as packed out. Slatwall units are perfect for smaller shelves and individual display stands that feature single items. 

Which shelving best fits your store style?

Style and décor is an important consideration, especially if you are the kind of business looking to attract a particular type of customer. Do you want to go for a modern look or something a bit more vintage? A typically mainstream design that will appeal to the masses or something a bit more edgy? Perhaps you need your gondola shelving to fit in with a particular colour scheme – gothic black, futuristic silver, reassuringly bright and clean white, or maybe a striking and bold colour if your customer base is children.

Gondola units come in an assortment of styles to suit both niche and mainstream business needs, ranging from oak and maple slatwall panel designs for a more rustic vibe through to jet black metal units that look great in urban clothing or electronic gadget stores. 

Don’t forget about store layout

You want your customer experience in your store to be comfortable and stress-free, and one of the best ways to ensure this is to make sure that the layout makes it easy for people to navigate through the store, find items quickly and have enough room to browse in comfort.

If your shop is small, it’s best to stick with a few single-sided gondolas against the walls and maybe one or two small aisles if space allows. Grid mesh units can be useful here as they are typically slightly smaller and lighter. For bigger stores, the main consideration is improving the flow of customers around the store. This is where you can start thinking about additional unit types such as end bays, H bays and 3-way or 4-way units to help utilise your space or direct people around the store. 

Choosing the right accessories

Gondola shelving systems are compatible with a range of shelving accessories. These include:

  • Standard shelving in various styles and sizes, including metal, wood and glass shelving
  • Metal hooks and prongs which can be used for hangsell displays
  • Metal clothing accessories including clothing rails, faceouts and waterfalls
  • Acrylic stands and shelves for items such as shoes, electronic goods and magazines
  • Acrylic dump bins and wire baskets for smaller, loose items

Making the most out of the right accessories is key to making your store displays a success. Do you want to stack your products on shelves or arrange them in a hangsell formation? These days, many stores use a combination of traditional shelving and hangsell, as well as using bins or baskets for smaller, inexpensive items. This is where you can have fun and get creative determining which system works best for you and your customers. 

Contact Shopfittings Direct if you want to know more about gondola shelving or if you would like to purchase any type of shop shelving or accessories. We can advise you on your purchase and ship products to all Australia-based businesses. Call us on 02 9608 5122, email sales@shopfittingsdirect.com.au or visit us at our showroom in Sydney.