The back panel of gondola shelving is not only an important support part of the package, it’s also some prime real estate that many fail to use to their advantage. First, let’s talk about the logistics of the back panel. Gondola shelving is designed to hold a variety of merchandise – from grocery store non-perishables to dishes and small appliances. Most retailers don’t leave the shelving open on both sides. Whether that’s because they think the back panel adds to the strength of the shelving or they simply want a closed look, most of the gondolas in general retail have a back panel built-in or installable. The back panel turns ordinary shelving into a design palette that has endless possibilities. Using it wisely can make a world of difference in your merchandising.
Most gondola shelving comes with either a solid back or a peg-board back. If you are using the shelving to both showcase product and store inventory, you’ll want the peg-board backing. With this strong metal board, you can create different displays using a variety of peg hooks. Straight hooks jut out from the back panel into the shelf space and usually accommodate a row of a single product. The straight hooks can add balls or stoppers for individual hanging items, they can be configured into shapes and sizes that complement your product. They can be close to the back panel or jut out into the shelf space. You might even try unveiling a peg-hook display gradually as product is moved from the shelving in front. The peg-hook display would not have the complete “look,” or effect, until all the product has moved off the retail shelves. A plan like this can serve as an incentive for both sales people and customers to move product.
Another common accessory for the gondola shelving back panel or peg board is the hanging basket. These pieces come in all different shapes and sizes, and they are hung with peg hooks in the peg board. Baskets are great for smaller items that are not packaged to hang, such as individual snack bags. The baskets are usually an open-weave metal that is attractive and sturdy. Depending on the packaging of your product, you can combine hooks and baskets to create an original display that welcomes customer engagement.
Floating shelves are a unique and effective way to give the display a higher level of interest. It’s a nice surprise to the customer when a product is touchable on a shelf at eye level (think small, handheld electronics devices.) The shelves themselves are really the driving force in the display, but they are unobtrusive and direct the customer’s eyes to the product.
Don’t waste your back panel on your gondola shelving – it’s waiting to help you merchandise your products!