Econowall Blog

Overview of Flat Pack Kitchens

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There are many factors to consider when shopping for kitchen units, including whether you want a rigid kitchen or flat pack kitchen. While rigid kitchens come fully assembled, flat pack kitchens are purchases as components that need on-site assembly.

Every homeowner wants a kitchen design that optimises the available space, provides necessary storage, and offers room to admire the arrangement, all at a specified budget. With so many types of kitchen units and installation techniques to choose from, there are many factors to consider before settling on a specific design, including durability, space requirements, and manufacturing standards, among others. So, why would you choose to install a flat pack kitchen?

Mode of Assembly: Rigid vs. Flat Pack

Rigid kitchens are factory assembled using the cam and dowel method, whereby the unit components are placed inside a jig and squeezed together gently for several minutes, so that the glue dries in that position. This process may make rigid kitchen units more costly, but the fact that they come completely assembled with all necessary fittings, such as drawers and hinges in place, eliminates the risk of having a unit with missing components.

Flat pack kitchen units, on the other hand, come with knock down joints that are typically made of plastic and feature a bracket that is used to fix two pieces of wood together using a hammer or screw driver.  Like rigid systems, these units also have to be manufactured to a high standard. The use of Knock Down joints is aimed at providing a unit that can be built up or knocked down as required without any deterioration occurring on the construction. This implies that whenever the unit is re-assembled, the construction remains as good as it was the first time around.

Features of Flat Pack Kitchens

The design of these units is such that they can be assembled by anyone without necessarily having any prior experience with woodwork or joinery techniques. The tolerances for manufacturing these units are incredibly accurate, so you can build it from scratch and get a perfect fit every time. Most manufacturers provide a specific tolerance for cutting panels and drilling holes, which is + or – 0.5mm, an extremely small measurement that leaves no room for error during on-site assembly.

How to Assemble a Small Cabinet

A cabinet is perhaps the most flexible building block for flat pack units, as you can add a shelf, drawer, or door to convert it into a cupboard, or use multiple cabinets to form a unit that provides you with the storage space that you require. When assembling a cabinet, be sure to do the following:

1. Start by laying the panels on a flat surface so you can easily see all components.

2. Fix the legs underneath the base panel into the pre-drilled holes.

3. Turn the base over so it stands on the legs, and use a screwdriver to screw the cam studs.

4. Apply PVA wood adhesive on one end of the wooden dowels and slot them into the pre-drilled holes on the base panel.

5. Tap the dowels with a hammer gently to get a snug fit.

6. Put a locking cam into the larger holes of the side panel where it will attach to the base.

7. Put some adhesive on the protruding dowels and fit the side panel to the base.

8. Secure by tightening the locking cams with a screwdriver.

9. Fit the back and side panels using steps 6-8.

There are many advantages of flat pack kitchen units, including their affordability, easy size adjustment, easy assembly, and the ability to play around with the design.

Slatwall Panels: An Ideal Solution

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One ideal option for store displays is slatwall panels. These panels are not only easy to install, they are easy on the eye and easy on the wallet. They are a great solution for a small space because they can accommodate a large amount of product and display it in a highly organised fashion.

What Sizes of Slatwall Panels are Available?

Slatwall panels are available in 4 feet by 4 feet (1200 x 1200) and 8 feet by 4 feet (2400 x 1200). The latter size panel is perfect to cover large areas with a small amount of panels. In fact, the size is quite deceiving because you think that there is no possible way that it will cover the area, but only a small amount of panels are required. It is quite surprising how few panels are required to cover off a wall in a shop when you have access to the right products.  These panels can display a wide range of products easily and with class.

Since every shop set up is different, slatwall panels do not suit everyone. However, custom range sizes are also available on request. The custom sizes that are available are 50 mm, 75 mm, 100 mm or 200 mm spaces between the slots that are located on the panels. There are different inserts that can be placed into the spacings of the slots, which can make the entire slatwall set up to be personalised for use in your specific shop space. And, if you are seeking an economical solution for a shelving unit set up in your home, slatwall panels are definitely what you should be considering.

How Should You Choose Your Panels?

All you will need to be concerned about is choosing the panels that you need along with the slot spacing you require. The next decision you will need to make is the colour of panel and then place your order. The European MDF is 18mm thick and provides an extremely durable and strong product. Front finishes for the panels are generally available in matte, wood grain or plain, depending upon what you want as a background.  These melamine finishes are hard wearing which means that they will last a long time and are easy to wipe clean. They will also look nice for a long time in your shop without losing their finish or acquiring a dingy appearance.

Slatwall panels are delivered on pallets, since this is the best way to have them delivered nationwide in an economical way. The 1200 x 2400 panels are packaged together in lots on large pallets and ordered in pallets. If you own a shop and have been looking at a variety of shelving and other display options, then you probably already know just how expensive most of the options that are available are. These panels are a very affordable option because the materials that they are manufactured with are quite economical.  All you need to do is contact a company that sells these panels to decide how much of the product you will need to order for your shop.

Set up shop with slatwall displays

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Whether you’re opening a new store or have been in business for a while, revamping your shop displays is a great way to get customers talking. After all, they’re the first thing customers see in your window, and the first impression they get of your shop when they enter to browse. Attractive displays can make all the difference, but you don’t necessarily need to hire a professional visual merchandiser for great results. Slatwall gondola stands are ideal to create eye-catching displays and lift clutter away from ground level.

Using your new displays

You’ll find slatwall gondola stands and displays are available to buy in a range of finishes, and for the most stylish look, you should match the colour and finish to other furnishings in your store. Of course, a different colour could be a good idea for a display you really want to stand out, such as your sale corner, but on the whole, choosing the same or co-ordinating colours will help to create a professional finish.

The benefits of slatwall displays

Slatwall gondola stands and displays make it easy for anyone to create beautiful displays. They can be custom-built to suit your needs, with a range of coloured finishes and edgings to suit every retail environment. Free-standing H or T-shaped slatwall gondola stands are ideal for central displays, whilst tower gondolas make a statement. For extra storage, slatwall units with base cupboards allow you to display items with drawers underneath. This is ideal to store stock, making customer purchases quicker and easier.

Budget friendly

You’ll find slatwall display stands come in a huge variety of sizes, so whether you’re an individual retail store on a budget or a multi-national chain with more to spend on display materials, these types of display stands are affordable for most people. You’ll find a range of accessories to match your gondola stands and slatwall displays too, so you can mix and match to display books, clothes, shoes, accessories and more.

You can customise your slatwall display with shelves and other accessories to suit the individual needs of your store, whatever you want to display. So next time your store needs a revamp, or you open a new business, consider slatwall gondola stands and displays for all your visual merchandising needs – they create a contemporary, stylish look that customers will love and they’re sure to attract plenty of attention.

Top Tips for Organising your Shop Shelving

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Whatever type of retail store you are, customers will be put off parting with their money if they cannot A. See the products they are buying or B. Cannot navigate their way easily through your store.

Consumers shop with their eyes first of all. If they cannot find what they are looking for or cannot clearly make out your products on your shop shelving then they are highly likely to look elsewhere. Though popular retailers, such as Argos, have made a brand out of keeping their stock solely in a warehouse, it is very uncommon that this model will work with an unrecognised brand. There are only so many times a potential customer is willing to ask ‘Have you got ____?’, so it is your job as a store owner to make your store layout as easy to navigate as possible.

There are a variety of different types of shop and/or supermarket shelving available, it’s up to you to decide what type is best for your store.

First, remember that customers are automatically drawn to anything at their eye line. Make sure that any key products or stock that you really want to push is on this level. Depending on the type of shop shelving you use, this may need to differentiate this from unit to unit. Another important element in product display is to always have your stock pushed to the front of the shelf, or have the shelf tilted slightly in order to fully display the items you wish to sell.

If you have a lot of products that can hang then it is best to do away with shelving completely and instead use Slat wall panels to better display your products. Slat walls also have the added bonus of being easily movable, with ‘lines’ of products easy to rearrange as needed. It can be a good decision to combine slatwall panels with your shop shelving to avoid making your store appear too uniform.

There are two main types of shelving that you can choose from: wire or slatwall. As I have stated above, slat wall is always a good choice if you are the type of stall which is regularly updating and alternating your stock. If you get free standing slatwall gondolas then you can use slatwall shelving to display stock. Slatwall comes is all sorts of finishes and colours so is very useful to personalise to the colour scheme of your store.

Alternatively, wire or basket shelving can be used to stock particular products or can be used around the till area to create further interest from your customers and inspire impulse buys.  Make sure that you only use Chrome wire shelving to ensure a high quality finish, an attractive appearance and (most importantly) a high strength and endurance.

Finding the correct shop shelving for your store is very important so do not be afraid to experiment with different types before deciding on the ‘final’ look of your store. However, always keep in mind that it is best that you do not overwhelm your potential customers with too many styles.

Slatwall Displays offer an Affordable Solution for Business Displays

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For those who want to set up displays with a limited amount of space, slatwall displays are a good option. Be cautious and choose slatwall panels that are manufactured in the UK using a European grade 18 mm MDF. It is a good idea to avoid any low quality products that contain low quality products like Chinese MDF. While low quality products are a lot less costly they are not in the long run. The main reason is that the panels will not last as long as expected and will need to be replaced with better quality panels in the future.

Displays can be easily set up by mounting slatwall panels to existing walls. There are plenty of accessories for these panels that can be added to ensure that they are suitable for the products that you wish to display. The fronts of the panels are generally available in wood grain style finishes or in plain colours.

There are two main sizes of slatwall panels. The most common size of panel is 1200mm x 1200 mm which is four feet by four feet. There are twelve slots in each panel and these slots are 100 mm or four inches apart from one another. It is easier and less costly for the delivery of this particular size of panel and simple to install if you plan to do the installation on your own. Each panel weighs approximately 18kg and requires inserts to install the panel properly.

You will need to decide whether you wish to order 1200 mm x 1200 mm panels or 2400 x 1200 mm panels. A larger size of panel is perfect if you have a larger area to cover because you will get the most coverage using a smaller number of panels. Another choice that you will need to make is whether you want your panels in portrait or landscape configuration. The portrait configuration generally provides 23 slots each spaced about 100 mm away from the other. Landscape panels provide 12 slots that are 2400 mm long. Each panel would weigh approximately 38kg.

When you order slatwall panels they generally are delivered on a large pallet and you can remove them from the pallet for installation as needed. Any accessories would also be included on the pallet with the rest of the items that are ordered. This is one way for a company to save on delivery costs while ensuring that all of the required parts have been included in the delivery.

Slatwall displays provide an affordable option for many business owners as a way to display a large amount of items in a small area. Each panel is durable, smart looking and easy to install. Once decisions have been make about the orientation and size of the panel, the only thing left to do is order the panels and have them delivered to your business. Start by measuring the wall space to be filled with panels and then calculate the number of panels that will be required to fill the space for your display. Slatwall displays are durable and look great once installed.

Chrome Wire Shelving: The Versatile Solution

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Chrome wire shelving offers a versatile and affordable storage solution for a host of domestic, office, commercial and retail uses.

Built to last, classic in design and easy to assemble, our range of chrome wire shelving units and chrome wire accessories come in a variety of heights and sizes, up to just over 2m. The shelving system is fully modular and can be added to and redesigned as necessary for your changing needs, so you can start small and add to your shelving facilities as your business grows or your personal needs change.

Features of chrome wire shelving include excellent ventilation for products through and around the shelf, a lightweight structure, good stability and high capacity of up to 300kgs per shelf.

So whether you’re looking to add extra shelves to your stockroom, install an affordable and modular retail display, build practical storage for computers and electronic goods, or just about anything in-between, chrome wire shelving is the perfect solution.

Just some of the advantages of chrome wire shelving include:

  • A modular and flexible system that can be modified and added to.
  • Wide range of accessories to customize your display. Choose from hooks, shelves, dividers, baskets and side bars to accommodate any storage or display needs.
  • Lightweight, easy to assemble and easy to move, especially if castors are fitted to the legs. This ease of assembly and portability makes chrome wire shelving the ideal choice for temporary exhibition stands, store areas that need to be moved frequently and shelving that has to be reorganized on a regular basis, such as in a garage or workshop.
  • Chrome wire shelving is non-corrosive and very quick and easy to wipe clean. This means it creates the perfect storage solution for exterior displays or for shelving that might get dirty, for example in a garden centre or DIY store.
  • Offers excellent ventilation through the shelves, making chrome wire shelving the ideal choice for electrical equipment as well as dry food or fabrics.
  • Very affordable, plus the system can be added to in time, so there’s no need for a large outlay, rather just add to the shelves when you can afford.
  • The chrome wire shelving units come in a versatile range of heights.

So it’s easy to see why our range of chrome wire shelving is so popular. In fact, a growing number of customers are choosing to use the shelving in their spare room, shed or garage to save or more efficiently organize space.

Many retail businesses are also choosing to capitalize on the sleek and minimal look of chrome wire shelving, displaying everything from pots and pans to shoes and clothing. The design will fit in just about anywhere and won’t call for a costly rebrand of the store either.

Chrome wire shelving really is the hero product of the storage world, in that it is highly cost effective and can be applied to just about any situation.

Visual Merchandising Using Slatwall Gondolas

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The retail industry is incredibly competitive.  Even if the product that you are selling is relatively unique, chances are you will still have some competition.

There are many ways in which you can gain customer loyalty, however the way in which you present your product offering, has been proven to make a difference.  With the majority of customers having a limited disposable income, yet an infinite choice of places to spend it in, you need to make sure that you entice them into your store.

Research has shown that consumers on the whole are becoming more sophisticated.  Not only do they prefer a store which has a more pleasing environment, they are attracted to ones that have fun and creative atmospheres.  In order to maximise profitability, your store should be aesthetically pleasing, consumer-friendly and functional.

Many retail stores choose to enlist the services of a professional visual merchandiser.  The purpose of visual merchandising is to attract, engage, and motivate customers towards making a purchase.  Lighting, space, product information and sensory inputs are just some of the elements, used to create effective displays.

Before arranging your displays you will however need to decide upon, and order some suitable shop display equipment.  There are a vast number of different products available on the market, however Slatwall is well regarded in the retail industry.  Manufactured in the UK, from high quality MDF their products are thick, strong and built to last.

If you are looking to display products on the existing walls, then Slatwall Panels are your best option, as these can be mounted directly onto the wall.  Available in two different sizes, and two different orientations, you can choose from both plain colours and wood grain finishes.  You then simply select from their range of accessories, choosing the right add-ons for the products you wish to display.

In addition to their panels, they also offer a large range of Slatwall Gondola Stands.  Again there are a choice of finishes available to select from.  You can also choose your insert colour and edging colour, to match the colours in your shop.  Alternatively, you can be a little bolder and opt for a bright contrasting colour.

With the Slatwall Gondola Stands you also have the option of three different types of shelve.  Wooden shelves are made from the same high quality MDF, and come in the same colours as the Slatwall panels.  Depending on what you are looking to display, you may however prefer to order their Glass or Acrylic shelves.

How to Make Clever Use of Display Mannequin

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If you are a clothing or accessories retailer, your shop window should be your best face, with which to stand out ahead of your competition. With so many retailers in the market today, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to capture the attention of consumers. They have so many choices and there is also so much mediocrity to confuse/bore the eye that an artistic, clever and unique window display is bound to score you points and raise footfalls to your store, if not sales.

Here are some ideas for clever use of retail mannequins to get you thinking about your own new window display.

From Retail Mannequins to Eye-catching Window Art

You don’t need Japanese technology to create state of the art, hanger-signalled virtual mannequins, when there are plenty of ways to make your windows look extra special with props.

1. Rotating Displays: Lots of retailers are thinking out of the box and using technology to turn their mannequins into robots that move. The Topshop Oxford Square store, for instance, recently had a rotating wheel with neon-dressed mannequins spinning away in vibrant colours. You could make a simpler version of it with easily available items.

Take 3 oscillating fans, preferably on stands. You can dress them up with props to look like faces. Hats, sunglasses, handlebar moustache or whatever you like. Turn the oscillators on low, and the heads will rotate back and forth. Put on clothes, signage and other props to create a complete scene.

2. Mannequins Don’t Always Have To Stand: You can lie your mannequins down, hoist them up against the walls, make them float in mid-air, make them climb up stairs or sit on them, and even fix them to walls or ceilings to give viewers a new perspective or make a humorous statement. Simple prop materials like Styrofoam, balloons, branches and flowers, even packing cases can be re-used to give your mannequins a backdrop that makes them stand out. Visual merchandiser Ton Van der Veer has created plenty of excellent displays, some of them for Harvey Nichols stores, that you can learn from.

3. Doll Displays With Wigs: You can simply use a single striking wig as a prop on many versions of the same made-up mannequin to create a doll-like long display window. Put the mannequins up in different poses and emphasise one feature they have in common, such as the wig. Dress them up in different outfits and accessories. First, the common factor will draw the eye, and then the clothing. Vogue Italia’s series of displays and photos titled “Mannequin Thriller”, designed by Miles Aldridge, is a good example of the doll-like displays.

For an edgy approach to displays with retail mannequin torsos and limbs, get inspired by Sorin Bechira’s disembodied mannequin abstracts designed for international non-profit SlashTHREE, which are eye-catching at the very least.

Of course great lighting, props and other elements that you add to your retail mannequins should complement the theme or concept of what you’re trying to achieve with your display. You may have a very small area to work with, but if you get a little creative, you can always come up with a sure-shot way to catch the eyes of passersby.

Buying kitchen units? Flat pack versus Rigid

shutterstock_119843548 One of the most important things, you need to consider when looking to purchase a new kitchen, is whether you want a flat pack kitchen or a rigid kitchen?  Flat pack kitchens are delivered as components, and require assembling on site, whereas rigid kitchens are delivered fully assembled.

The methods of assembly are different for both.  Flat pack kitchens use the cam and dowel method.  Flat pack kitchen units are held together, using a combination of metal cams and wooden dowels.  Rigid kitchen units on the other hand, are factory assembled using the glue and dowel method.  This involves the components being placed inside a jig.  The jig is used to gently squeeze the components together, and hold them in place until the glue cures.

As with all proven methods of construction, there are advantages and disadvantages for both types:

Advantages of flat pack kitchens

  1. Cost of flat pack kitchen units is typically 10-15% less than rigid units
  2. You can save on assembly costs by building the kitchen yourself
  3. It can be cut down/modified on site if necessary
  4. Equally as solid as a rigid kitchen
  5. Well suited to properties with access restrictions e.g. flats with stairs
  6. You can often make arrangements to collect your kitchen in person

Disadvantages of flat pack kitchens

  1. Metal cams under the wall units are visible
  2. Often have lots of visible holes in the sides of the kitchen units
  3. Viewed by some people as being a “cheap” option
  4. Overall fit time generally increased due to the need for self-assembly

Advantages of rigid kitchens

  1. No visible metal cams on show
  2. Less visible holes in the sides of the kitchen units
  3. No need to assemble meaning quicker overall to fit

Disadvantages of rigid kitchens

  1. More expensive than flat pack kitchens
  2. Unable to cut down/modify on site
  3. Not well suited to properties that have access restrictions
  4. No better quality than flat pack kitchens

Both types of kitchen are equally fit for purpose, and it is often a case of personal preference.  Deciding which one best suits you though will depend largely on two factors – What your budget is, and how much time you have available to put into your new kitchen.

If you have the skills to fit your own kitchen, or know someone that can help, a flat pack kitchen however could be ideal.

Popular Types of Supermarket Shelving and Garden Display Units

shutterstock_108585317 If you are the owner or manager of a supermarket or other retail store, you already know that the shelving is one of the most critical aspects of your store. Naturally, this is where all your merchandize is kept. So, you just don’t need any shelving, but sturdy shelving that optimizes storage space and enhances the ability of customers to view products on display.

But shelving is not all cut and dry. Business owners or managers need specialized shelving based on the items being displayed, organization and flow of the products, and budget limitations. Finding shelving that is durable, installs easily, and offers a significant level of flexibility should not be a frustrating process. There are many different designs, styles, and makes to choose from, depending on the nature of your business.

Garden centre shelving, for instance, requires a display and merchandizing solution with an off-set tiered system that allows all plant products to be clearly visible without being shaded or obstructed by products above. The mesh shelving should also allow easy watering of products while enabling quick drainage, as well. A garden product shelving solution should also be made from durable material or with a galvanized finish to allow for exterior use and keep it from wearing when the plants are watered.

Supermarket shelving, on the other hand, offers a broader range of products, which requires the manager or store owner to take their time to assess all offerings. It would be ideal to have custom made shelving that suits your store’s requirements, but it would be more cost effective to select from the numerous types of shelves that supermarket shelving suppliers have to offer.

There are several popular types of retail shelving available today, including:

Steel Shelving 

This is the most common type of shelving for retail because of its robust durability, inexpensive material, and the ability to be purchased new or used for whatever purpose without warping or collapsing. These shelving systems are ideal for small products, because they are adjustable and very versatile for organizing merchandize in either normal floor units or high-rise shelving systems.

Slatwall Shelving 

Slatwall panels offer exceptional visual merchandizing because they allow you to come up with creative displays that can be noticed immediately. Whether your products are designer gowns or garden hoses, slatwalls offer great organization and orderly presentation, to increase your sales. These panels come in a wide range of colours and finishes, like mirrored and wood grains finishes.

Rack Shelving 

These are durable, boltless, light-duty shelving systems that fit well in small spaces. They are easy to assemble and disassemble, and even go mobile for models equipped with casters. Racking systems are popular for garden centre displays due to their flexibility, which allows the modular components to be re-arranged in a variety of configurations, including curves and circles. Some units have fixtures that are fitted with variable glides that make them applicable on sloping or uneven surfaces.

Wire Shelving Systems 

These are ideal where greater visibility and optimum air circulation are the key requirements. Their popularity can also be attributed to the fact that they do not collect a lot of dust like other units, and are very easy to assemble. While they are not as strong or durable as steel shelving, wire shelving can withstand a lot without becoming unusable fast.

Besides knowing the types of shelving systems, it is important to find a reliable supplier, since they can help you to determine the type of shelves you require, the number of units, and how much weight they can stand.