If you read the previous MerchandisingHUB article, "Merchandising Know-How: Going Global, As In GlobalShop," you know that I'm reviewing fixtures, props and good ideas I found at this year's GlobalShop trade show in Las Vegas. GlobalShop is a resource for visual merchandisers, retail and graphic designers, and large and small storeowners and operators including department stores, theme parks and store chains from a variety of markets. Exhibitors included flooring, lighting, large format graphics, props, custom fixtures, wall finishes, chairs, carts, industrial shelving and electronics of all sorts from plasma screens to miniature spy cameras.
Not everything I find at the show is appropriate for outdoor retailers, but there are a few things that I thought you could file away in your "Future Needs" files. Here are a few fixture suppliers worth noting:
Smart Furniture is a custom shelving system that can be easily changed or expanded, eliminating the need for permanent fixtures. It packs easily and stores flat. Its assembly is accomplished without a single tool, screw, nail or hinge. So what is this "smart" system? Remember Lincoln Logs? Smart Furniture is a series of basic components that look like shelves with notches. They come in different lengths and widths and in horizontal and vertical configurations. You can put them together to create a bookshelf, a binning system or a countertop display. Available finishes include black, white, cherry and maple. There's no limit to what you can construct. Check it out at www.smartfurniture.com or contact the company at 1-888-GO-SMART.
34, a division of Fleetwood Fixtures
Tired of slatwall? Want something different? This company has a system called "Betty" (don't ask me why) that consists of thermofoil circle boxes 12 inches wide x 3 inches deep x 12 inches high that can be attached to a wall singly, in a pattern, or all over. I think the best use of this system is to highlight an accessory area by using a limited number of circles.
The circles are available in white and black and can be ordered with an all-in-one bracket that serves as a face-out, shelf bracket and hang bar bracket all in one. A 28-inch wide hang bar is available as are plugs you can put in empty circle boxes. You've got to see this system to really understand it so call 610-779-7700 or go online to www.fleetwoodfixtures.com.
The Fixture Liquidators
Since we've been talking about fixtures, I want to mention this company that specializes in new and used store fixtures. Sure, you can sometimes find used fixtures where you live, but in case you can't, try calling this company to check out prices. It specializes in retail store shelving, showcases, slatwall and accessories and more. It's available at 888-985-4488 or www.tfl4u.com.
Customer Minded Associates
If you've ever folded a stack of T-shirts, you know how difficult it is to get them all the same size. This company offers a folding device that is a must-have if you fold T-shirts, sweaters and shirts and table them in stacks. The device is called the Mobilefold and it is simply a table on casters that has folding panels on the sides. A garment is placed in the middle of the Mobilefold, the side panels are flipped up and -- presto! -- the shirt is folded the same way every time. It's adjustable to various size widths.
If you don't want a floor model, there is a tabletop model that folds widths between 7 inches and 12 inches and even a junior Mobilefold that folds infants, toddler and children's sized garments between 4 inches and 7 inches. You can add accessories to your Mobilefold like a caddy to hold pricing materials and a garment bag for transferring garments from one place to another. Check this product out at 800-682-5840 or on the web at www.customerminded.com.
I still have great things to tell you about so read the next GlobalShop article for where to find cool fabric shapes that you can use in your window displays and wonderful wall coverings that can add excitement to your store.
Sharon Leicham is the creator of The MerchandisingHUB, the author of "Merchandising Your Way to Success" and "How to Sell to Women" and is a regular columnist for SNEWS® writing on merchandising and marketing topics. You can access all of her columns by going to www.snewsnet.com/merchandising, where you will find tons of information targeted at the needs of the independent specialty retailer. You can email us with questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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