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What is Slat wall?

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What is Slat wall?

slat wall for retail stores

Slat wall is a building material characterized by horizontal grooves – also known as slats – that come in a variety of forms, ranging from wall panels to freestanding fixtures. They are used to help connect bins and in conjunction with attachments like shelves that hook snugly into the slats. That means you can adjust your slat wall displays in minutes without any tools.

If you’re a retail store that sells products such as doggy costumes,  collars, leashes,  then it may be in your best interest to add slat walls in order to be able to display your products.  The idea of slat walls is for you to easily hang your products using the hook method.  This helps keep your products organized and displayed very nicely.

So why is slat wall one of the most popular store fixtures and displays used by retailers worldwide?

  • Durable – This building material has an impressive life expectancy, is difficult to damage, and can hold heavier merchandise than other fixtures, especially when metal accessory rails are inserted into the channels.
  • Affordable – With its variety of uses and versatility, slat wall is a great bang for your buck. The basic, no frills slat wall panels are priced fairly low. Higher rated boards with custom finishes will fetch a higher price tag, however.
  • Custom Looks – Between the assortment of finishes, sizes, shapes, and types of attachments, you can create a retail display unique to your business and its needs.
  • Versatile – There is no single right way to use stat wall. They can be used to display clothing, candy, brochures, body care products, and much more.
  • User-Friendly – You won’t need your toolbox with stat wall displays. Once you’ve assembled your fixtures and panels, all you have to do is hook on your attachments to start merchandising.

Choosing Your Slat wall

With only a handful of exceptions, there are two things that all stat wall boards have in common: they are made of fiberboard and they have grooved slats. From there, the stat wall family has an endless variety of characteristics and differences.

Material

Most stat wall is made of medium density fiberboard (MDF), known for its economical price and impressive strength to weight ratio. Some manufacturers create MDF hybrid boards or use other materials like PVC for their boards. Stick with MDF if you’re on a budget and/or don’t have any specific display needs, like waterproof panels or higher weight capacities.

Finishes

The available selection of finishes and laminates for stat wall has grown exponentially over the years, providing you with ample options to find a display that fits your store’s personality and budget.

  • Unfinished/Paint Grade: These raw, fiberboard panels can be displayed as is or painted to match your store’s decor. Price: low.
  • Melamine: Also known as low pressure laminate (LPL), this finish offers a high-end look for a lower price. No painting or finishing required. Available in solid colors or wood grain. Pricing: midpoint.
  • Real Wood Veneer: These boards can be sold unfinished or coated with varnish, lacquer, or a stain. The most common styles are birch, cherry, mahogany, and oak. Pricing: varies.
  • High Pressure Laminate: This finish is the heaviest duty and resilient available. Unlike other finishes, high pressure laminate (HPL) is produced in a large variety of colors and is recommended for those requiring a color-specific look. Pricing: high end.

Groove Spacing

A key characteristic of stat wall is its grooving. Groove spacing is measured from the center of one groove to center of the next groove. Smaller groove spacing allows for more usable grooves and display space while larger grooves offer more strength. Typically, the size of the groove themselves one standard size.

The standard slat spacing is 3 inches, commonly denoted as 3” OC. This spacing provides the greatest number of usable grooves without compromising strength. Other common spacing sizes are 6” OC and sometimes 12” OC, though some manufacturers offer more unique sizing for custom orders.

Wall Panels & Freestanding Fixtures

Stat wall units are primarily found in two different forms: wall panels and freestanding fixtures. They all help you create an effective display system, but choosing the right fixtures depends on your unique needs and space.

Wall Panels

Though they are a bit more labor intensive to install than their freestanding counterparts, wall panels are worth the time and energy. They help free up precious floor space and move products to eye level for easier browsing.

  • Available in varying sizes (ex. 4′ x 2′ and 4′ x 8′ panels are most common).
  • Can be mounted as a single unit or in multi-panel configurations (ex. vertical columns, horizontal strips, etc.)
  • Moves merchandise to eye level for easy browsing.
  • Allows you to display vertically, opening of floor space and creating a multi-level display.
  • Great for stores with limited floor space.
  • Utilize corners of retail store without inhibiting visibility.
  • More permanent fixture than freestanding.

You can hang your wall panel system on your own or hire a licensed professional. If you plan to use your wall panels to hold heavy and larger items, we recommend having a professional handle the installation.

Freestanding Fixtures

From full-size gondolas to petite countertop spinners, freestanding stat wall fixtures come in a huge variety of styles and sizes. Unlike wall panels, these fixtures offer more flexibility and creativity for designing your store’s layout. They can be placed in the center of the sales floor, near aisles, beside queue lines, or even nestled into tight corners.

Gondola – Also known as H-units, gondolas are a great workhorse and anchor for your retail stat wall display. The largest display in the stat wall fixture family, gondolas also offer the most bang for your buck in terms of display space. The standard-sized gondola takes up about 8 square feet of floor space but offers 48 square feet of display area.

  • 4 multi-directional panels
  • Available with casters
  • Great for larger merchandise or series showcase
  • Recommended accessories: shelves, hang rails, face outs

Cube – These spinning merchandisers offer a large amount of display space in proportion to their footprint. They range in height and width from countertop units to large, monolith-like floor displays, giving them a wide range of uses and functions.

  • 4 multi-directional panels
  • Commonly includes spinning base and casters
  • Great for smaller products or for showcasing one large piece
  • Recommended accessories: peg hooks, frame hooks, literature pockets, and other shallow attachments

Pinwheel This display is one of the most compact and functional stat wall fixtures. Its pinwheel design protects your attachments and merchandise when it’s being rotated.

  • 4 multi-directional panels
  • Commonly includes spinning base and casters
  • Great for stores with limited floor space
  • Recommended accessories: peg hooks, frame hooks, face outs, bins, and shorter shelves

Tower– Also known as an I-unit, this merchandiser is a go-to space saver for many businesses. With just two sides, this unit is all about maximizing visibility and presence.

  • 2 back-to-back panels
  • Commonly includes spinning base and casters
  • Great for displaying small products and literature or showcasing an outfit
  • Recommended accessories: peg hooks, frame hooks, face outs, shelves, bins, and literature pockets