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Retail Supremacy: What Are Slatwall Systems And Why Do They Work So Well?

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When it comes to displaying merchandise, organization and layout are critical. Shoppers want to be able to browse quickly and easily, and retailers want a clean way to showcase new inventory. That's why so many stores use slatwall fixtures. Here's why these display fixtures are a favorite with retailers of all sizes.

What Is Slatwall?

Slatwall is actually a type of building material that gained popularity as a store fixture. This material sometimes goes by different names, including slat board, bracket board, slot wall, and groove wall. Retailers in every industry imaginable rely on slatwall systems to help display their merchandise.

Instead of cubbies or cabinets, this material has horizontal grooves, also called slats. Store owners can attach different accessories to the slats, including hooks, bins, shelves, brackets, and pegs. Since the boards are entirely customizable, store owners can easily change displays as new inventory arrives. It only takes a few minutes to remove existing attachments and install new ones, and retailers don't need any special tools to create an eye-catching display. These innovative display fixtures save stores both time and money.


The History of Slatwall

Slatwall fixtures have been around for nearly 60 years, but before they entered the market, retailers only had access to large, bulky fixtures that adhered to store walls. Harold Graham had a novel idea for a non-permanent, movable display fixture. His prototype featured a grooved wall that was adaptable and easy to move. In 1964, he obtained a patent.

Graham's invention, which he called slatwall, gained momentum, and other companies began copying his design. These companies made subtle changes to the design, making it difficult for Graham to enforce his patent. It's also the reason why slatwall goes by so many different names. By the 1970s, this new type of display fixture made its way into stores across the country. Today, slatwall remains one of the most popular display options for retailers everywhere.


Primary Types of Slatwall Displays

There are two primary types of slatwall displays. Store owners can choose between wall panels or freestanding fixtures. These displays all serve the same purpose, but they do so in different manners. The type that's right for one store may not work well in another. Many retailers even end up mixing and matching a combination of both styles.

Wall panels are an excellent choice for stores with limited floor space. These units attach to the wall. This design lets retailers play merchandise at eye level, and it also creates more visibility in tight corners. Although the initial installation requires a few tools, rearranging merchandise displays is still easy. Wall panels come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and retailers can install both vertical or horizontal boards to create a more effective display.

Freestanding slatwall fixtures let retailers take advantage of available floor space. These units can be arranged to fit any layout, and some stores utilize freestanding fixtures to create aisles or pathways. Other stores may set these fixtures near queue lines or near doorways. Some of the most popular styles include gondolas, cubes, pinwheels, and towers.

Regardless of the style, retailers can still design their slatwall displays to suit the needs of their store. Both wall panels and freestanding fixtures let retailers maximize their merchandising space. For instance, freestanding displays often have two, three, or four sides, creating more room to display inventory.


The Benefits of Slatwall Fixtures

Since Graham first introduced slatwall to the retail community, it has remained a merchandising staple. This seemingly simple design offers store owners countless benefits. It pretty much eliminated the need for bulky, unmovable fixtures and gave retailers a more flexible merchandising option.

Unlike other fixtures on the market, slatwall is highly durable. A single fixture can survive years of wear and tear in the busiest retail environments. The most robust slatwall displays are made from medium-density fiberboard (MDF). MDF is resistant to chipping and cracking. It can also hold heavier merchandise without fail.

Slatwall displays tend to be more affordable than other stores fixtures. The most basic models come with a low price tag. Even higher-rated boards with custom finishes won't break a store's budget. Some retailers choose to pass these savings onto customers. Best of all, store owners can reuse these boards for years.

Slatwall also lets retailers create custom displays. As previously stated, it's easy to attach different accessories to the grooves. The material comes in various finishes, including melamine, wood veneer, high-pressure laminate, and unfinished. A quick coat of paint can transform a blank slatwall into something that fits a brand's image and creates visual appeal. These fixtures come in multiple sizes, making them ideal for both small mom-and-pop shops and large big-box retailers.

Versatility is paramount when setting up retail displays. All stores carry different types of merchandise, and they need a way to showcase them that looks both attractive and organized. Slatwall boards are ideal for retailers in all industries. Whether a store wants to display clothing, toys, pamphlets, or heavy merchandise, these boards are strong enough to support them.

Creating a slatwall display is extremely easy. All retailers need are a few attachments. All slatwall attachments slide into the grooves, and they secure tightly into place. There's no need for drills, hammers, nails, or screwdrivers. It only takes some light elbow grease and a few spare minutes to transform an empty slatwall board into a merchandising masterpiece.


From a Customer's Perspective

Customers prefer to shop in uncluttered, easy-to-navigate stores. They don't want to search high and low for items, and they are more likely to make a purchase if they can find what they need quickly. Slatwall fixtures can transform an empty storefront into a memorable shopping experience. Retailers can use the boards to create eye-catching displays and introduce customers to new merchandise. They are also great for promoting sales and keeping a store clean and tidy. Slatwall displays improve the customer experience tenfold.


An Ideal Display Choice for All Stores

While there are lots of display fixtures available, there's a reason why slatwall still reigns supreme. These durable, highly versatile fixtures make it possible to showcase merchandise in an organized fashion. It's impressive how a few slatwall boards can completely transform the retail experience for shop owners and customers alike.







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