How Retail Shelving Solutions Have Changed the Shopping Experience

Although fewer South Africans are able to remember it as the years go by, there was a time when the shopping experience was very different. In the days before supermarkets had even been dreamed of, buying a tin of baked beans or a bottle of jam entailed placing a request with the shopkeeper who would then retrieve the desired item from shelves located behind or beneath the counter. In practice, it was the introduction of various retail shelving solutions that was mainly responsible for the transition to the vastly different experience we enjoy today. While there are still a few corner cafés that now prefer to describe themselves as convenience stores, even these have undergone a similar metamorphosis.

While the former approach had its limitations, most people shopped more frequently and bought only those few items that were needed in the short-term. It was during the ‘50s, when the grocery industry began to produce a wider range of products, that a more effective merchandising solution became necessary. This led to the development of more effective retail shelving solutions and, eventually, to the advent of the self-service stores of today. That solution was not only destined to transform the shopping experience, but also to popularise the idea of the weekly and monthly shopping expeditions that have since become the norm for most families.

The key requirement for merchandisers was a facility that could display products of varying shapes and sizes, while also enabling the customers to access them with relative ease. This was made possible through the use of innovative retail display solutions, such as gondola shelving. One of the most widely used systems for this purpose, it offers owners a number of significant benefits.

For a start, it is quick and easy to assemble and dismantle and requires no special tools. This means it is a simple matter to change the layout of a store should this prove necessary. It is also highly flexible, so it can be adjusted to accommodate items of different sizes. When assembled back to back, a gondola-based retail shelving solution provides a freestanding, but stable platform. Single units may be secured to a wall, which enables the overall display area to be extended to include the side and back walls of a store, thus ensuring maximum use of the available space without compromising customer access.

Gondola systems are also compatible with a variety of useful accessories. These include wire baskets, which can be handy for holding loose and awkwardly shaped items, such as soft toys and pegboards, which can be fitted with rods from which to hang packaged items, such as sweets. Versatility is crucial to the design of effective retail shelving solutions, and the gondola is undoubtedly the most versatile of the available options, given that it can also be adapted to display newspapers and magazines.

While perhaps not the best option for a supermarket, in the case of a hardware store, where heavy items, such as tools, paint, and building materials must be stored and displayed, single rivet, high-density shelves offer a general-purpose option that is both highly durable and inexpensive. Shelves of both kinds are among the many types of world-class retail and warehouse shelving solutions manufactured in South Africa by Krost Shelving and Racking.