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Retail with a heart of metal

Retail with a heart of metal


Metal is one of the basic materials that all modern retailers work with.

Why? Because metal has all the potential to meet almost any challenge in realizing your store concept.

That's a bold statement, isn't it? And quite considered. So let's look into it! Specifically, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of black metal in a context of retail equipment. Hopefully, this will shed some light on the situation and help you make the right decision in choosing or designing your retail equipment.

Metal as the most useful retail material

First, let's recall the main headaches of retail. Competition on the market is too strong so that your store shouldn't look typical or tasteless. After all, the modern shopper is more likely to come to an online store for the best assortment and/or price offer. However, if he wants to look and "touch", if he needs to get some advice, emotions and impressions he will go to a traditional offline retail store or showroom.

The design concept and the equipment selection directly determines whether customers feel comfortable in the space and buy goods from your assortment. Therefore, the production of racks, islets and other structural elements is a vital process for your retail business. The material of retail structures is another important decision that will affect not only the appearance, but also the timing/quality of operation in general.

What is your customer's "comfort zone"? How can you make the retail space warm and cozy, functional and efficient, elegant and refined, fashionable and unusual? Can customers easily find what they are looking for, or notice something interesting and unexpected that they will want to explore closer?

Your racks aren't just "something to store merchandise." It's also something to present it attractively. To make your shelves sell successfully, they need to be part of the store planning process from the beginning. That's the perfect thing to do. Otherwise, the overall look of the store just won't work out 100%.

Choosing and arranging equipment is both an art and a science. It takes experience in designing a store's interior and experience in implementing a given design in the material. That's where metal comes in — the most flexible material that can help you provide the atmosphere and experience that will keep customers coming, staying, coming back, and, of course, shopping!

The advantages of metal for retail equipment


What makes metal so valuable and useful for retail purposes? It is the combination of its performance characteristics, which give a number of significant advantages over other materials such as wood, plastic, glass, concrete, stone, textiles, etc. We will just remind you the most important ones.

Excellent strength and durability

Steel provides industry-leading durability. In simple terms, the material is strong, holds its shape. It is very resistant to any structural damage, and steel stiffness is maintained over a wide temperature range. Metal is very "forgiving" to staff and customers, and tolerant even of vandals.

If you buy metal shop equipment, you can expect that it will serve for a very long time. Especially if it is installed by specialists of the same team that manufactured it. You won't need to buy some new equipment in case you provide some proper maintenance. The only possible exception is the situation when some additional functionality is needed.

Corrosion resistance

The surface we apply to steel makes it resistant to rust and other types of corrosion. So steel is great for a wide range of environments, which is more than enough for any situation throughout your retail space.

Reliable performance

Unlike other popular materials such as wood, corrugated plastic and even stone, steel easily maintains a smooth and flat surface. If you care for the material properly, it develops very few hollows, crevices and grooves. This not only impacts the life of the material, but also makes it much easier to keep it clean.

The chances of dirt, oil and dust buildup are greatly reduced. In addition, bacteria won't have the ability to grow and thrive in these hidden areas. This quality is especially valuable in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Also, metal is recyclable, which fully fits into the concept of smart consumption and sustainable development. By the way, we discussed this trend quite closely here.

Disadvantages of metal in retail


Since we are talking about the advantages of the material, it is fair to mention its weaknesses as well. In retail equipment, generally speaking, there are only two disadvantages, such as the following:

  1. The cost is rather high. These include high initial creation costs and the possible high cost of secondary operations, such as finishing or painting. However, in the long run, this disadvantage is almost offset by the above-mentioned factors; long life span, comfortable and easy operation, high resale value, modernization options.

  2. Not every style (spirit, brand authenticity) can be expressed in metal. There are stores made entirely of wood: Eco, Provence, etc. Therefore, the choice of metal as the basis for retail equipment is a decision that needs to be made by specialists working on the concept and design.

The most valuable metal characteristic [for retailers]

It's not even its strength or durability, but its flexibility! And we are not talking about a physical characteristic at all. Flexibility includes the universal application of metal structures in the concept design сof various stores. There are many possible solutions that metal can help you to implement reliably and effectively:

  1. Metal perfectly combines and looks appropriate in conjunction with other materials such as all kinds of wood and materials made of wood, as well as glass, plastic, concrete, stone, natural and synthetic fabrics. Quite anything! No matter what your concept is, what you sell and in which niche: Children, Sports, DIY, FMCG, Hi-tech, Fashion, Pet, Luxury, Beauty and Health...

  2. We can implement almost any shape, including curved and asymmetrical solutions. It is also possible to achieve a certain variety of textures through painting techniques. In addition to the flexibility of visual solutions, these racks can bear a sufficiently heavy load, are stable and have a long service life.

  3. Metal can be thin and inconspicuous in the overall design, or it can be massive and eye-catching. It can be the heart of floor, wall, suspended or even movable structures in order to make efficient use of the entire sales area. And finally, modularity offers another way to make metal especially useful.

Basic equipment for non-standard solutions

Ustor's modular metal shop equipment has proven itself so well for a reason. The LINE, RAF and FRAME modular series have formed the basis for the design of a wide variety of stores. It is a cross-niche solution that is suitable for almost any product group.

Thanks to different types of special designs, fasteners and perforations, the configuration of such equipment can be easily and quickly changed just based on the situation, such as:

  1. Promotion. If you need to free up space for an event, or allocate a certain group of products for more effective impulse sales;

  2. Modernization with additional accessories. If you want to present non-standard products, or originally present some ordinary ones to the customer;

  3. Retail space reorganization. When you need to expand/reduce the assortment, change the display or collection, or just quickly redesign the hall.

If we speak not in general terms, but with reference to the specific situation, here's what will be beneficial to the metal structures in the design of a clothing store.

They allow you to organize your inventory

Retail shelving is an effective way to display and separate merchandise so that shoppers and retailers can easily find the products. Variety of shapes helps to organize and display product groups according to your merchandiser's requirements. Basic constructions can be supplemented with accessories such as hooks, shelves, and so on. And the height of shelves or basic structures can be adjusted. As a result, goods can be arranged according to size, color, branding, etc.

They effectively use the entire retail space

Due to their size, vertical clothing racks can hold a lot of items, so they will be a great space saver in your store. Even a small store can usually accommodate at least half a dozen good-sized racks, which allows you to effectively display merchandise, even in the smallest spaces. Metal racks are strong and designed to withstand a lot of weight over a long period of time.

They are portable

Racks can be reinstalled both inside the store and in case of relocation. In other words, it is a viable solution for those retailers who change the store layout on a regular basis. The racks are easily adjustable, so they can be used to display different product groups without having to make new ones if the assortment changes. They can also be assembled and disassembled, stored and transported.

Metal clothing racks are cost-effective

Metal is not a material that breaks, loosens or bends easily. Therefore, it can cope with quite a lot of customer traffic and can serve the retailer for many years. Thus, such racks prove to be quite a good investment in the long term perspective.


Instead of a summary

Of course, the material you choose depends on the created brand book and the concept of the retail point. Not always metal racks are suitable in terms of visual design as well as the functional task. But metal is a functional and reliable base for retail equipment that can serve the company for many years and, contrary to prejudice, stores "in metal" can look aesthetically pleasing and neat.

In each photo in this article, the retail spaces are equipped with Ustor metal constructions: both completely individual and based on the series. However, the spaces in the same material look very different, depending on the concept of the retail store and its brand book.