Okay, I just got back from Vegas where Globalshop 2014 was held at Mandalay Bay. It was a good show and a decent crowd. Going out for just a day or two essentially, was not enough time. I spent most of Wednesday meeting with retailers, talking about their business and providing my retail design thoughts and ideas.
I did sneak in some time to view all the displays up for “awards” at the show, as well as walked the show floor. I’ll cover my thoughts on the awards displays in another post. For this post though let me touch and a handful of suppliers that I found interesting enough to stop and talk to. I’m not formally endorsing these companies, and certainly not being paid by them (although if they want to pay me, who am I to argue…just kidding. Everything you read here is strictly my opinion and not an endorsement). As a designer, I will keep them in mind the next time we’re working on a project that could benefit from their goods and services.
Richlite – Solid Surface – I was high tailing it through the show, with only an hour left to see everything before the end of the day, but I just had to stop at the Richlite booth. I was attracted by what looked like a solid surface material, which it is but it’s made out of paper! When we were building our house I did a lot of research into solid surfacing materials, and ultimately landed on quartz. I’m not sure I would have changed my mind had I known, but the paper based material intrigues me no less. I could definitely see using it for commercial or retail areas, especially in a desk area. I love that you can get up to three inches thick, creating really stunning scale and proportion. The mottled color palette is sweet earthy goodness too. There are even core options, to get a stripe or bamboo look. And the material’s environmental sustainability qualities are wonderful too. The material can be machined with regular woodworking equipment and is FSC & GREENGUARD certified. Check out their informative website to learn more.
Secto Design – Lighting – These simple Scandinavian lights caught my eye as was rushing to get lunch. The were well worth the trek back towards the end of the show when I actually had time to stop. The lattice like shades are made from slats of wood, in Finland and can use energy saving bulbs.
B+N Industries, Inc. – Wall System – “System 1224”, so named because the panels are 12″ x 24″, is pretty cool. Like most modular systems it’s fairly simple to spec and execute at retail. You have simple 8′ rails that you mount to the wall, 24″ on center, then plug-in your choice of panels. The end result is a contemporary slat wall system with a seemingly infinite array of accessories including shelves and drawers. You can spec the panels in a variety of finishes including powder coat, printed images, to even light boxes and leather! I can’t wait to get my hands on a project where we can try out the system. The creative possibilities are endless.
Toppan Fortina – Printed Metal Extrusion – The B+N rep also took a second to show me Fortina printed aluminum extrusion. The come in a myriad of profiles and wood finishes. They are a nice, stable and recyclable alternative to real wood architectural trim; perfect for adding visual warmth to contemporary retail spaces. The profiles can be used to great effect vertically, horizontally, in a line or staggered, among other ways.
Visual Magnetics – Magnetic Paint & Substrates – I think I had seen their ad somewhere and made a point of stopping by their booth. Visual Magnetics make paint infused iron so that magnets adhere to the paint. The idea being that you can then put a sign anywhere without messing up the wall. And installation is as simple as putting your old jeans on and grabbing a roller. They even sell magnetic material that your printer can print your graphics onto. As a retail designer, I love, love, love the flexibility this gives retailers. It’s a great idea for pop-up stores.
GLV Company – Decorative Slatwall – Slatwall is the bane of every retail designer. Merchants and bean counters love it because it’s a flexible and economical way to merchandise product. The problem is nothing screams “cheap” or “I need a makeover” like a store filled with slatwall. Well I couldn’t help but stop when I saw the slatwall GLV Company had on display. The solid MDF panels are machined and painted to look like brick, metal or other finishes that are decidedly not traditional slatwall looking. In fact I really like the corrugated metal version because I couldn’t really see the slats anymore. The also manufacture some nice accessories as well. If you must use slatwall, please consider using something other than the usual 3″ on center almond stuff that your grandfather spec’d.
WAC Lighting – Lighting – I get a lot of questions on lighting so I made sure I stopped by a few lighting booths before the show closed on Wednesday. One of them was WAD Lighting out of Port Washington, NY. They offer a variety of nice lighting fixtures for all kinds of applications, including some very nice down lights. As with most lighting suppliers, LED’s have become prevalent. When specifying lighting for your store, make sure you’re using LED’s whenever possible to save money and electricity in the long run.
Amerlux, LLC – Lighting – Next door I scampered over to the Amerilux lighting booth as well. They too offer a variety of LED lighting solutions for your retail store. As with any reputable lighting supplier, the folks over at Amerlux will be able to work directly with your retail designer, architect and you to specify and supply a lighting package that is perfect for your store.
SupplyOne Retail Store Services – Store Operations Supplies – A home town shout-out to these guys and gals who were manning the booth adjacent to where I was giving design consolations. Based in nearby Cleveland, Ohio, SupplyOne provided packaging, cleaning supplies and even displays for retailers. They’re about as nice of people as you’ll meet and they can make running a retail business easier for you.
Superior Display – Custom Caseware – These wood and glass jewelry, and display cases are hand-made by craftsmen in Bend, Oregon. They can make cases to your specifications and ship out fully assembled. Their catalog includes over a hundred standard items as well. When you’re ready to outfit your new store, check them out.
Alright, that’s my review of some of the suppliers I had the pleasure of talking to at GlobalShop this year. I’ll cover some of the other things I saw in subsequent posts so stay tuned.
Did you goto GlobalShop and see any exhibitors that you’d like to give a shout-out to? Do so in the comments below. Happy retailing peeps!
President, Chris Weigand Design, LLC
We are a retail design consultancy specializing in helping independent retailers and product brands create really awesome retail experiences that make people smile, and excited to be shopping. We also focus on environmentally sustainable solutions, as well as stay on top of the latest retail and design trends. Visit us at www.chrisweiganddesign.com to learn more and contact us today. Thanks.