In many of today’s optical retail environments there is a debate on whether the frames should be displayed on shelves or on rods? Well the answer to that is different for everyone, but we hope this post helps you decide for yourself which side of the debate you are on!
Shelves can be glass or wood, they can be long or short, they can be tight or spacious, there are so many different configurations but they all have the same main attributes. The allure of shelves is that they are the new “in thing” in the optical industry. It seems that no matter where you go shelves have made their way into the frame displays around the world!
Optimizing your horizontal frame space! Having shelves allows you to utilize space to the right or left of the frame, creating the perfect opportunity to show marketing materials for a specific frame. Place a plaque with the price or the frame manufacturer’s logo next to the exact frame you are trying to sell.
Flexibility in your design from day to day. With shelves you can change up the way you present the frames at any given moment. If you sell a frame and don’t have inventory to take its place, no problem!
Be the latest and greatest! As mentioned it seems like ALL optical stores these days have shelves as their main point of sale displays. They create a very modern, clean, and sleek look for your dispensary.
They are a perfectionist’s nightmare! You will have to line the frames up on the shelves just right, and if even one is slightly off kilter you will notice from a mile away. One way to get around this is to do more spacious shelves and use countertop displays to showcase the frames.
If you love cleaning and cleaning often, shelves are the displays for you! Since there is so much horizontal surface area you will need to dust more often than you would with rods. Ways to get around dusting each week is to get frosted glass shelves or if you are doing wood shelves do a lighter color so that the dust is less noticeable.
Rods seem to be the “old faithful” in the display industry and aren’t on their way out any time soon. Just as with shelves there are many different styles and configurations, so it is easy to find the style that fit your needs.
Set it and forget it! With rods, once you spend the initial time to put the frames up your done. They do not require you to “change the display” and they do a great job of keeping the frames in the exact spot you placed them. This has the potential to also be a con…
More time with your patients. Not only do rods require FAR LESS cleaning, they also create a selling opportunity for the optician (I’ll explain this more in the next point).
Lock ‘em up! Rods give you the ability to lock the frames. This is great for expensive frames or if you have theft in your area. Although it may seem that locked rods will deter patients from trying on or viewing the frames, on the contrary it creates the perfect opportunity for the optician to make a sale when they unlock the frame for the patient.
More inventory for less money! With rods you can showcase more frames in the same amount of space, and for less money. As an example, see the two combinations below. The Mirage shelf system holds 40 frames and is about $30/frame, whereas the Mino rod system holds 64 frames and is only $14/frame.
Less versatility can be boring. Although for some it may be a pro, with rods you have less flexibility for the presentation you create. The frames will be displayed vertically and for the most part will not change locations. One way to get around the monotony is by accessorizing, adding a mirror or a sign can break up the frames and create the perfect stage for marketing materials.
Density of frames can be overwhelming. When rods are installed one right next to the other, the number of frames your patient can choose from could be a lot to take in. Having small groupings of rods, splitting panels up with mirrors, or adding signage can help your patients organize their thoughts and shopping patterns.
Was I able to sway you one way or the other?
After reading some pros and cons, I hope you were able to decide which style of display is right for you! Perhaps the best suggestion is to do some of both! Often in the optical space designs we put together for our clients we blend both styles to create a cohesive layout that has unique design elements and gives the client the ability to customize their space to suit them! Either way you lean, let us help you create the perfect displays for your practice.