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What to Increase Your Profits? How Choosing the Right Presentation is can Increase Your Cash Flow.
Ask leading retailers about purchasing store fixtures, and they invariably point to three important criteria: cost, quality, and service. Although price of the fixtures is always of concern, the real priority seems to be cost effectiveness. Cost, quality, and service will vary in priority from retailer to retailer. Balancing all three criteria poses the greatest challenge for store planners. To accomplish this, planners must understand the purchasing process and ask their clients the right questions.
The Five Fs of Fixturing
The first question concerns the type of fixturing required. In Retail Store Planning & Design Manual, author Michael Lopez identifies the “five Fs” of fixturing: form, fit, function, finish, and fabrication. Each of these must be considered when investing in a fixture that will be both functional and visually appealing.
The form of fixturing historically had been limited to about six basic shapes. Nowadays, fixture design is restrained only by the designer’s imagination. Fixtures come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They can be constructed of one or more material types, including wood, wire grid, slat wall, metal tubing, plastic, and glass. When determining the shape that fixtures will take, consider the quantity requirements of each fixture type and the costs associated with each new design.
The emphasis on obtaining the proper fit has increased in recent years. “Fixtures with numerous assembled parts may answer the call for flexibility, but units that are moved frequently must also be broken down quickly,” says Lopez. “A rack that has many assembled parts might not be ideal in cases where the fixture is subjected to heavy usage and must be moved frequently. Retailers can minimize the number of parts in a fixture by welding or permanently connecting as many pieces as possible, thus minimizing the number of parts that can be lost or broken and lessening the chance that fixtures will loosen over time.”
With store fixtures, function follows form. The per-square-foot merchandise capacity of a fixture directly affects the amount of merchandise a retailer can display. Just because a rack is full does not necessarily mean the retailer has maximized merchandising capacity. The rack may be surrounded by available floor space. Don’t let this precious real estate lie untapped.
Replacing the fixture with one that is larger or configured to maximize available floor space helps the retailer display more merchandise. This non-merchandised space around a single fixture may not seem significant in and of itself. Multiplied by the total number of fixtures throughout the store, however, the space gained by using more efficient displays can be surprisingly significant.
The choice of finishing is crucial for those retailers looking to make their mark. Factors such as color, texture, graphics, and brand identity allow retailers to combine materials to create displays unique to their store. Without durable, distinctive finishing, much of the marketing message is lost and the fixture will likely lose its effectiveness.
About the Author: Barnes Newton is a professional retail display specialist and teaches store owners how to gain profits from proper Store Fixtures and displays.