No matter what kind of retail space you’re occupying, storage may be a concern. Though closets and cabinets serve an important purpose, they’re expensive to install and they take up too much room. On the other hand, shelving works in a variety of applications. How can you choose the right type of shelving for a space? Answer these questions to find out.
Style vs. Storage: Which is More Important?
Decorative shelving units will have different structures, hardware, and materials than those specifically designed for storage. Though few restaurant owners would use Lozier shelving in the dining area, it’s great for storage in other areas. A stained, fine-grain floating shelf may look stylish in an art gallery, but it would be out of place in a janitor’s closet. By considering the way the shelves will be used, you can choose the right type of shelving for the application.
How Strong Should They Be?
While some types of shelving can be used for a range of purposes, knowing what you’ll be storing is helpful when choosing the right type for your retail space. For instance, a spice shelf in a café would barely need any support, while a bookcase may be under such a load that it has to become part of the wall’s support system. When buying new or used shelving from an online vendor, they’ll likely list how much weight each shelf will hold.
Will the Walls and Floor Provide Enough Support?
Apart from knowing whether the shelves will support the items you need to store, it’s important to determine whether the walls and flooring will hold them safely. In most cases, commercial floors won’t have an issue with standard shelving units. The shelves’ contents matter as well; for instance, large books and tool boxes are extremely heavy. If there’s any uncertainty, seek shelving advice from a professional.
Are They Useful and Convenient?
Some shelves are decorative in nature. Narrow glass shelving is great for displaying small figurines and jewelry, while rustic wooden shelves are a stylish way to display books. Most of today’s shelving is built for storage as well, and you’ll need to ensure that it fulfills that purpose. Depending on the nature of your retail space, shelves may reach from ceiling to floor or from one corner to another.
Are They Scalable?
As your business’ storage needs change with time, will your shelving still be as useful as it was on the day it was installed? The answer may determine the placement and height of the shelving. For example, a shelf designed to hold glassware won’t work as well to hold bigger and heavier boxes.
Will it Help Me Control Consumer Traffic?
As opposed to other options, gondola shelving will help structure a store’s layout in a way that encourages customers to shop while controlling traffic. Create a counterclockwise path through the store, and buyers will follow it without even knowing that they’re being guided. They’ll see every display and every section, and they’ll be tempted to browse longer.
The Bottom Line
Choosing the right shelves for a retail space requires you to think beyond appearances. At their core, shelves are about storing goods in a secure and convenient manner. Before measuring the walls or placing an order, ask and answer these questions to ensure that you’re making the right choice.