Merchandising Glossary

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Merchandising Glossary

“You'll want to place some casework here and a pilaster there to take advantage of your classifications sight-lines before we roll-out a turnkey program,” says your newly contracted store designer. “That ok with you?” she asks.
Well, you say to yourself, it might be if I knew what the heck she's talking about. Don't worry, be informed. Here are a few good terms to know:

Casework: Usually cube or box shaped fixtures, most having a door, drawer, and/or countertop.

Cash/wrap: (Also known as checkout counter, service desk, return counter) A fixture designed to assist in sales transactions, often with special compartments to organize sales forms, customer packaging, and a point of sale system.

Classifications: A retail term designating a particular type of merchandise. Ex: footwear, tents, bags, skis


Commercial Buildout: A term used to designate the state of a project on which the contractor has completed all construction and finishing and on which the designer is then responsible for providing all elements of interior design.

End Cap: A freestanding or attached merchandise presentation unit at one or both ends of a display unit.

Gondola: Fixture approachable from all sides, used in retail stores to display a variety of merchandise classifications.

Pilaster: Vertical mechanical merchandising system applied to a fixture or wall for the adjustment of hardware, shelving, or brackets.


Sight Lines: The triangular space that represents an individual's visual perspective from any given spot within a store. Used in store design as a determination of where to position displays for maximum visibility, and as a means of helping customers focus on a particular classification of product from a distance.

Tower: A vertical unit composed of various materials used in the center of the department to highlight product. Ex: day packs, tent footprints, underwear, bagged and header-carded products.

Up Lighting: Lighting fixtures that direct light up rather than down. These include be lighting fixtures placed on the floor to illuminate walls behind merchandise or to add a dramatic touch to a display. Up lighting fixtures can also be placed above merchandise on the walls to highlight interesting ceiling details.

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