What Is a Gondola in Merchandising?

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A gondola is a shelving unit used in retail spaces.
A gondola is a shelving unit used in retail spaces. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

A gondola is a type of shelving unit used in retail spaces like stores and supermarkets. It's free standing; unlike fixed wall shelving, it can be taken apart and moved to suit changing floor plans

Shape Varieties

Gondolas come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The standard unit consists of a base shelf with vertical tracks. Other fixtures, like separate shelving, latch into the tracks, so that the space can be customized. The shape of a gondola will be dictated by the product being sold and its eventual placement space. Clothing requires different fixtures than packaged goods. Perishable food requires a separate style of gondola that provides refrigeration.

Product Arrangement

Once it's put together, a gondola needs to be organized neatly. If a promotion consists of only one product, shelves or hooks should be loaded neatly. Messy displays turn customers off, which will leave the merchandise unsold.

Organize

When using a gondola as a special feature, and not a standard store shelf, organize by theme. Group similar merchandise together. It makes no sense to pair a car seat cover display with a gondola of toys intended young children. For example, a customer who comes to a store looking for power tools will not likely buy exotic cat toys on impulse.

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