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Secondary Retail Display

Temporary vs. Semi-Permanent

There is so much choice in retail merchandising these days. To determine the kind of retail display you need, ask yourself the following questions:

There is so much choice in retail merchandising these days. To determine the kind of retail display you need, ask yourself the following questions.

What is the objective?

  • Distribution gains
  • Reduced out of stocks
  • Promotional Pricing
  • Trial use
  • Incremental/multiple Purchase
  • Brand Positioning/awareness
  • New product launch

How long should the program last?

  • 4-6 weeks
  • 7-12 weeks
  • Longer

Even the fine distinctions between temporary vs. semi-permanent retail store displays need to be carefully considered before the perfect answer is reached. This is largely due to the growing range of available display options.  Just looking at materials for starters, there are displays made from almost every material known to man… including fish tanks, carved ice and Lego!

A retail display must communicate position, value, and image to a potential consumer to encourage trial use and/or multiple purchases. Examples include sample cosmetics, or ‘buy 2 get one free’ where the packaging makes the upsell decision easy.

Even the best product can fail in the market place due to poor or unattractive packaging. New products in particular are all about packaging, so it is no surprise to learn that packaging needs to be carefully considered to include the following:

Packaging Creative and Design

  • The primary goal to attract customers’ attention must be met by packaging that is visually interesting
  • The design must effectively position brand position and image by incorporating brand colours, shapes and logos
  • In order for a potential customer to purchase something unfamiliar, the item cannot simply inform the customers, it needs to be held, felt and even smelled before it passes all inspection criteria.
  • The shape and creative design must provoke feelings and communicate emotions like creating an immediate ‘need’ through positioning, relevance to the shopper and visual appeal.

Retail Display Creative and Design

  • With a retail display, the primary goal is to attract customers’ attention and so therefore the design needs to have a strong graphics and copy approach, along with a design that reflects the product positioning and price point
  • A successful display must be placed in store strategically to support the merchandising objective, whether in section, or out of section if cross merchandising is critical.
  • A successful display must involve the consumer by provoking feelings and communicating emotions.

Retail Store Display Types

Within the creative and design strategy, the longevity, position in store, engineering and materials specified must reflect the retail environment in which a display will sit and the size and weight of product to be displayed.

There are 3 kinds of retail displays:

1. Temporary or “in and out” displays designed for a display period of 4-8 weeks typically constructed from corrugate materials

  • Temporary displays are an effective way to drive distribution and inventory gains.
  • These are typically used for a 4-8 week in/out promotion, so they don’t generally have to be.
  • The display communicates a low cost/value brand position so they can be seen to be “cheap and cheerful”
  • They're usually difficult to pre-pack with heavier product, so inexpensive small and/or lightweight items are often used as a draw card to attract passers-by.

Construction of Temporary Retail Store Displays

  • They are typically constructed in corrugated material with screen, flood or litho print graphics
  • The norm is a tab/pin assembly, which allows for either a “flat” shipment and in store assembly, or pre-assembly with pre-packed product.
  • These displays are designed for one use only due to “soft” materials, and cannot be used anywhere that they can be environmentally compromised.

Pro’s and Con’s of Temporary Retail Displays

  • Pro’s
    • Up-front costs – Effective for distribution and inventory gains.
    • Look and feel
      • Typically involves a rectangular shape and a header
      • positions a low price point/value product well
    • Used for specific objective over short time frame.
    • Green initiatives – Can be re-cycled.
  • Con’s
    •  Assembly
      • Instructions often required
      • Poor implementation rate
    • Life cycle management – short with higher costs over multiple repeat  initiatives
    • Perceived value – Low!
    •  Store staff remove from floor quickly
    • Can take a beating from floor cleaners and movement

2. Semi-Permanent Retail Store Displays designed for a display period of 12-52 weeks with more durable construction engineering and “hard” materials including plastics like acrylic, styrene’s, and co-polyester materials, as well as metals, wood, and glass.

  • Semi-permanent displays are usually defined as a secondary/off shelf display that is constructed out of more durable materials and have a lifespan of 12-52 weeks or more.
  • The semi-permanent display can be specific to the same product or can survive multiple promotional cycles with the same or different product with change-out graphics.
  • The cost per display week is much lower than temporary displays as it does not have to be replaced.
  • With proper design, a semi-permanent display more effectively represents the brand position and image of premium or upscale products.
  • They have a higher perceived value by store staff and thus remain in place longer.
  • They are much more effective for encouraging trial use and incremental market share.

Construction of Semi-Permanent Retail Displays

  • Semi-permanent retail store displays have limitless potential in terms of design, materials, and functionality. Plastics, metal, wood, and glass are excellent and durable materials for construction including a mix of materials to capture the brand positioning and consumer awareness.
  • They can often be used over multiple (and completely different) initiatives if engineered and designed carefully with moveable shelving, change out graphics, and mobility.

Pro’s and Con’s of Semi-Permanent Retail Displays

  • Pro’s
    • Life cycle management – is considerably more cost-effective over life cycle
    •  Look and feel – completely flexible; it can be designed to essentially be anything that you want it to be
    • Simplicity of implementation –shipped pre-assembled “ready to go”
    • Can easily be pre-packed with product – better store implementation
    • Better reflects brand positioning, trial use, and increasing market share.
    • Flexibility of use – can be used over multiple initiatives
    •  Green initiatives – Last longer – re-cycle
  • Con’s
    • Up-front costs - typically more costly per unit, but display cost per week is lower due to longevity on floor.
    • Slightly longer planning time for proper engineering and prototyping.

3. Permanent Retail Store Displays designed for 1-3 year or more display periods and positioned as a product kiosk or “store within a store”

  • This display type represents a significant promotional investment for incremental market share and product positioning by the marketer. Floor space cost is generally negotiated with the retailer for time span and cost.
  • Permanent displays are very effective for “master brands” and new categories to build brand awareness through product demonstrations, and “touchy feely” strategies.
  • Permanent displays imply retailer recommendation and support of the brand and work well for premium upscale product and new innovations

Construction of Permanent Retail Displays

  • Materials demanding extreme durability, including metals, woods, glass, and plastics are used in a mix that best reflects the image and position of the brand.
  • Construction engineering takes into account the retail environment that the permanent display will sit in, including shopping carts, operational issues, and staff demands.

Pro’s and Con’s of Permanent Retail Displays

  • Pro’s
    • Engineered properly to meet both the merchandising objectives, retailer needs, and operational issues, permanent displays can offer excellent ROI, despite their higher investment costs
    • With proper prototyping and in store testing, can offer first class merchandising and sale opportunities
    • Can create incremental or new revenue opportunities to retailers investing in a new category
  • Con’s
    • Longer lead time for strategy planning, design, testing, and execution
    • Generally requires a higher cost of installation on site including lighting, power, etc

In Summary:

In considering any retail display strategy, there is much to consider in maximizing your return on Investment. A retail display is not just a second place to rest a product in a retail environment.

  1. The strategic objectives need to be well defined and confirmed.
  2. The time on display needs to be clearly identified.
  3. The type of display must meet all the objectives.
  4. The display must accurately reflect the brand image and positioning in the market.

After all, a secondary retail display is really a super large representation of the product itself; in effect a super package of the product.

And just think for a moment how much time, effort, and money we all invest in package design!