The Nature and Common Uses of Gondola Shelving

While wending our ways around the aisles of a hypermarket or the aisles of one of South Africa’s convenience stores, our attention is invariably too focused on the items we are seeking to purchase for us to pay much attention to the equipment that is used to display them. In most retail outlets, the latter will be of the design commonly known as gondola shelving. It is a display option that offers many advantages, most of which can be attributed directly to the flat structure of its shelves. It seems that the resemblance of these shelves to the hulls of the iconic flat-bottomed Venetian boats, coupled with the way that they seem to float, might account for the descriptive name.

It consists of a series of shelves supported by cantilever brackets that can be inserted at variable intervals into the rigid vertical supports mounted on a back panel. To a degree, the overall effect is one of floating shelves. More importantly, because no cross-bracing or dividers are required to provide stability, a gondola shelving system offers a means to combine ease of access with the high degree of visibility that, together, are so important for the average retail outlet.

Like warehouse operators, those who own supermarkets, liquor stores, pharmacies, hardware dealers, and corner cafés all need to make the best possible use of whatever space they have. For the ideal means to create an aisle layout, these units may be wall-mounted or assembled back-to-back when their base decks serve to create a stable, free-standing structure. In addition, because they are available in several widths, the length of an aisle can be tailored to the space available.

Although gondola shelving is commonly backed with solid board, it can also be supplied with a pegboard backing. This is the ideal option for outlets that sell goods such as sweets and other items that are typically supplied in small packets or blister packs. A series of rods inserted into the holes at suitable intervals provides a convenient means to suspend such items. This ensures that related, loose packets remain together and that they will be visible and accessible; this is far preferable to placing them directly on the shelves, where they will inevitably end up in disarray.

Size poses no obstacle for gondola shelving. In addition to the option of suspending the smaller items from the pegboard, the shelf supports can be repositioned to increase the distance between them to accommodate bulkier items with ease. The owner of a hardware store, for example, would be able to adjust this type of system to accommodate just about anything from cartons of assorted washers and power tools to empty cylinders for a gas braai or a decent-sized lawnmower. This type of flexibility is one of the main reasons for the widespread popularity of this type of display solution.

However, while the flexibility of gondola shelving is an obvious asset, so too is a robust product that will stand up to repeated long-term abuse. Apart from the backing boards, steel components with a suitable thick powder coating to create a hard protective and visually appealing finish are essential for strength and longevity. In short, everything customers expect from Krost Shelving.

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