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The Smart Guide to Store Shelving

The Smart Guide to Store Shelving

When considering shelving for your retail store some basics you should consider include knowing the types of merchandise you want to display.  Accordingly, you should consider the weight of the merchandise.  How many of each item do you plan to display at once? Where do you want to position your shelves? Do you want customers to have easy access to the display? What type of look, or theme are you interested in achieving?

Among the most popular choices of shelving for retail store displays are Bullnose Shelving, Glass Shelving, Wood Shelving and Wire Shelving.  Each choice has its unique style and benefits to suit the décor and merchandise of any store.  Following is an overview of store fixture shelving basics to help you choose the right style for your retail display needs.

Acrylic Shelves – Great for lightweight items, acrylic shelving designed specifically for retail use offers a clean and modern look for a range of merchandise from folded apparel, collectibles, cell phones to shoes and more.Storekeepers like acrylic shelving because they don’t distract customers from really seeing the products that are for sale.  Acrylic shelves are clear, durable and versatile.  They come in a range of sizes and shapes and really complement Slatwall panel displays.

Bullnose Shelves – Retailers choose Bullnose shelves because they offer a sleek, contemporary look and are a very affordable option for displaying a wide range of light and medium weight merchandise. 

Made of injection molded plastic, these shelves feature attractive curved front edges and constructed to be strong and lightweight.  Retailers like the fact that they can instantly set up and reconfigure merchandise displays as needed. 

Bullnose shelves are often paired with Slatwall and Gridwall panel displays to create versatile eye-catching retail displays. They can als be used with Standards and brackets. The open bottom design of Bullnose shelves allow them to sit on top of standard knife-edged brackets or slotted brackets.   Available in a variety of sizes and finishes, the most popular colors for Bullnose shelving in retail stores are black and white.

Glass Shelves – Store owners who like their merchandise to really be seen often choose glass shelves.  For retail environments, glass shelves are most likely made of tempered glass.  Unlike normal glass, tempered glass has been processed thermally or chemically to balance internal stresses.  This means that tempered glass has the ability to handle high pressures and therefore are toughened and are stronger than normal glass.  Tempered glass is safer than normal glass because if broken, it will usually shatter into small fragments instead of sharp shards.  Tempered glass is used in many commercial applications such as for car windows, doors and glass tables as well as retail shelving. 

Tempered glass shelving for retail applications typically have polished edges for added safety.  They come in a variety of sizes including square, rectangular, radius corner and quarter circle.  Use glass cube metal connectors to combine glass shelves to create cubed units, stepped cubed units, bullet display units, square display units and oval display double sided units, for stunning unique store displays.

Wood (Melamine) Shelves – For a traditional look here at SFD we carry wood shelves made of melamine, a man-made wood manufactured from real woods and finished on all sides with wood veneer.  Melamine is significantly less expensive and lighter than all real wood shelving but offers the durability and strength capable to display moderately heavy items.  Store owners choose melamine wood shelves because of its timeless look, functionality and affordability.  The most popular color options for retail stores are white, black and maple. 

Wire Shelves – Wire shelving are popular in retail environments used to display merchandise for example in store windows, in-store on the selling floor, and also to hold inventory in stock rooms.

It is important to use wire shelves designed for commercial or industrial applications.  These wire shelves differ from those found typically in home stores in that the  welded wire is constructed to be  strong enough to hold medium weight (400 pounds per shelf) to heavyweight (800 pounds per shelf) items.  Also, certain commercial wire shelving are NSF approved making it safe to store or display food products on these wire shelves.   NSF approved wire shelving make great displays for the front of deli/produce cases.

Wire shelves come in units that can be set up in multiple tiers from single, double to four-tiers.  The open design of wire shelves allows air to circulate and helps to reduce dust build-up.


Find out why Store Fixtures Direct is the best store fixtures supplier online!