What are slotwall displays? While slatwall displays are sometimes referred to as “slotwall displays” and while the two types of displays share some of the same structural and functionality benefits, they are actually different types of displays. Slatwall displays are ubiquitous in retail stores. They are commonly used as wall panels and praised for their high utility and exceptional versatility. These same advantages make them an excellent choice for stand-alone floor displays like one of our stock 2-sided mobile slatwall merchandisers shown below.
While slatwall displays have enjoyed tremendous popularity in the world of retail merchandising, slotwall displays have been largely overlooked, underrepresented, and perhaps a bit underappreciated.
The main advantage that slatwall displays have over slotwall displays is that their continuous slatwall channels provide complete horizontal flexibility for hooks, shelves, and other accessories. In contrast, slotwall panels have channels that typically do not run the full width of a panel, which can limit the horizontal positioning of hooks or other accessories. More typically slotwall panels have channels or slots that are cut to fit a slatwall hook or slatwall shelf bracket. They can be elongated to provide somewhat greater horizontal range, but to preserve the strength and structural integrity of the panel, they are generally spaced so that there is at least an inch or two horizontally between the slots.
The two primary advantages of slotwall over slatwall are: (1) Slotwall is typically more affordable than slatwall, and (2) Slotwall is lighter and therefore is more affordable to ship. For example, a comparably-sized slotwall display might weigh approximately 40% less than its slatwall counterpart- a meaningful difference that can translate into real freight savings.
Let’s look at some examples of slotwall displays that we have manufactured. We made the 2-sided slotwall floor display shown below to merchandise Warmies microwavable heated slippers. We used a solid wood base and frame with slotted MDF panels on both sides.
Similarly, we designed and manufactured this 2-sided slotwall floor display to merchandise Puffin drinkware. As with the Warmies display, we use separate slotted panels on each side to avoid hook interference. In this case, we constructed the display out of unfinished birch plywood with a golden oak stained finish and added dimensional logos on the header.
We designed the Socksmith floor display shown below to merchandise socks. A key objective in this design was to minimize shipping weight. We reduced weight wherever we could by hollowing out the legs, using PVC for the header sign, and replacing heavy metal slatwall hooks with plastic hooks that contain fiberglass for added strength. We also make the slots longer than the previous two examples to provide more horizontal flexibility.
So far, we have seen how slotwall displays can be used to merchandise slippers, drinkware, and socks. Below is an example of a 4-sided spinning display we created for animal tracking bracelets. In addition to the fixed-location slots for the slatwall hooks, we added an acrylic sleeve for an interchangeable graphic, locking base storage, and a header with a laser-cut 3D acrylic logo on both sides.
We made the 3-sided spinning countertop display shown below to complement the floor display.
Slotwall displays have many applications in the jewelry industry. We made this family of 2-sided spinning jewelry displays for Cape Cod Chokers. To create these displays, we used solid pine wood with a white washed finish and cut the fixed hook slots on our CNC machine.
In addition to merchandising jewelry, slotwall displays can be a good choice for hanging eyewear. The 3- sided spinning Bookmates display below features 12 slatwall hooks and header/side graphics.
Our final example today is a pet toy display we made for a pet products company called P.L.A.Y. We constructed this 2-sided countertop display out of solid pine wood for the frame, pre-finished birch plywood for the panel, and PVC for the die-cut digitally printed header. The product assortment required no hook adjustability so the fixed slot locations proved to be an excellent solution.
As we have seen, slotwall displays can be an attractive and cost-effective substitute for slatwall displays and can be used to merchandise a wide range of products.
Jim Hollen is the owner and President of RICH LTD. (www.richltd.com), a 35+ year-old California-based point-of-purchase display, retail store fixture, and merchandising solutions firm which has been named among the Top 50 U.S. POP display companies for 9 consecutive years. A former management consultant with McKinsey & Co. and graduate of Stanford Business School, Jim has served more than 3000 brands and retailers over more than 20 years and has authored nearly 500 blogs and e-Books on a wide range of topics related to POP displays, store fixtures, and retail merchandising.
Jim has been to China more than 50 times and has worked directly with more than 30 factories in Asia across a broad range of material categories, including metal, wood, acrylic, injection molded and vacuum formed plastic, corrugated, glass, LED lighting, digital media player, and more. He also oversees RICH LTD.’s domestic manufacturing operation and has experience manufacturing, sourcing, and importing from numerous Asian countries as well as Vietnam and Mexico.
His experience working with brands and retailers spans more than 25 industries such as food and beverage, apparel, consumer electronics, cosmetics/beauty, sporting goods, automotive, pet, gifts and souvenirs, toys, wine and spirits, home improvement, jewelry, eyewear, footwear, consumer products, mass market retail, specialty retail, convenience stores, and numerous other product/retailer categories.