Permanent vs. Temporary Retail Displays

Once you decide to invest in point-of-purchase (POP) marketing for your product, you need to strategize. How long will your in-store promotions last? How many promotions will you execute each year? What is the best way to ensure your products stand out from the crowd?

Your answers to these questions will determine whether to focus on permanent or temporary displays. Your strategy might combine long-term and short-term POP promotions or straddle the line with semi-permanent merchandisers. Let’s weigh the benefits of temporary versus permanent POP displays to help you decide.

Table of Contents:

Permanent Retail Displays

Permanent displays last years, not months. They feature sturdy construction and materials that make them seem like part of the store rather than disposable signage. They can be made from wood, metal, wire or plastic and feature innovative designs and graphics. Permanent displays can also incorporate videos, sounds and lights.

Because these fixtures may stay up for two years or longer, they generally feature more classic designs. They don’t usually play on seasons, holidays or the brand’s current TV commercials. Instead, they highlight the brand and the product in a more timeless way.

Permanent display execution requires some upfront planning. The initial designs, engineering, prototyping, approvals and logistics can take months. Then, tack on another up to three or four months for manufacturing and distribution, depending if you are sourcing from the US or overseas. Because of the additional time and cost, a permanent display period is longer to make it a worthwhile investment.

Why Are Permanent Displays Important?

All POP displays have proven abilities to boost sales and generate sales lift. A permanent option, in particular, distinguishes itself from the regularly stocked shelves. It also breaks through the noise of temporary signage and displays. While these solutions cost more, they last longer. They’ll hold up against bumps and nicks from employees, customers, shopping carts and other activity throughout the store.

Though permanent displays cost more, the right execution offers an excellent return on investment (ROI). Brand managers say a typical POP permanent display increases sales by 19%. Because they last longer, they consume less of your overall POP budget. Brand managers typically allocate 39.7% of their display spend to permanent retail fixtures. The other 60.3% goes toward temporary POP promotions.

When retailer compliance is a concern, permanent displays are also more reliable. While only 40% of in-store merchandisers comply with the brand’s specifications, compliance is higher for permanent fixtures. A permanent display can sometimes require more complex assembly, but it only needs to be put together once. Pre-assembled options may require no extra setup on the retailer’s end. Tool-less assembly can be achieved by clever designs. Temporary structures may arrive flat for in-store assembly, move around the store or become torn or damaged.

Since permanent displays can impact long-term sales, retailers are more motivated to set them up correctly. Product brand managers say 86.5% of the permanent displays they send out actually get placed in stores.

What Products Are Best Suited for Permanent Displays?

Because permanent displays will last in a store for one or two years or more, it’s essential to consider the products that go in them. If you’re not sure how successful a permanent display will be, it might be better to start with a temporary version. After you land on a visually striking design through a trial run, you can invest in a permanent arrangement. But you need to consider carefully what products you put in a permanent display, with smart options including:

  • Established products: While it is a harsh reality, consider that 95% of all new products fail. Among grocery store products, the failure rate is 70%-80%. The best items for permanent displays are ones that have been in the market for years and have earned customers’ trust. Your brand’s mainstay will keep selling well in stores, so there’s no risk the display will overstay its welcome.
  • Products by established brands: If your brand is already a household name, you can consider permanent display solutions for a new product launch. Otherwise, stick to the items your customers will instantly recognize.

Another option for a permanent display is a setup that allows you to change out the products. A timeless design, where the brand itself is the headline, can accommodate various products throughout its lifetime. A great example of this is a shoe merchandiser. A household-name shoe company could create a display with shelves for different shoes in their current collection. Since all shoes are roughly the same size, retailers can swap them out with the brand’s latest styles as the seasons and trends change.  This is a way to highlight new innovations on a permanent display while maintaining a strong long-term ROI.

Temporary Retail Displays

temporary displays feature corrugated cardboard

Temporary retail displays usually feature corrugated cardboard construction. Cardboard is a flexible, lightweight, low-cost and recyclable material. These features make it easy for brands to switch up their promotions often. Short-term displays last up to three months and let you execute weekly sales or seasonal campaigns. Merchandisers can ship these arrangements flat, making logistics more manageable and affordable.

Because temporary store displays are short-term, they often feature exciting visuals. When a new solution replaces the existing one, it needs to offer a fresh look to grab shoppers’ attention. Cardboard can be cut into many shapes and printed to feature many colors. The design flexibility makes it well-suited for trial runs and out-of-the-box promotion ideas.

Why Are Temporary Displays Important?

Shoppers visit their favorite grocery, drug and club stores at least once a month, and often more. They’re used to the layout and are usually there to restock on the exact products they bought last time. Even the most innovative and eye-catching permanent displays can fade into the background. Temporary POP structures add intrigue and novelty to a familiar environment. Bright colors and attractive designs lure them in.

They can also play on shoppers’ shifting needs. Maybe a customer on a budget would choose a different brand if it went on sale. A temporary display can draw attention to a limited-time deal. Shoppers also need different items during certain times of the year. Leading up to major holidays, temporary displays can showcase a product as a stocking-stuffer or the perfect gift. In the summer, a beverage brand can leverage its offerings as a way to refresh and cool down on a hot day.

Temporary displays are crucial in the retail environment. And they have the ROI to prove it. A typical temporary display increases sales by 23.8%. Product marketers typically dedicate most of their POP display spending to temporary structures.

Another reason to use temporary displays is their light weight and portability. Movable displays are useful for stores and brands alike. Retailers often need to rearrange their displays. Likewise, brands may want to adjust their displays to achieve more sales. Short-term arrangements, which aren’t permanently attached to the floor or difficult to move, are ideal for this.

What Products Are Best Suited for Temporary Displays?

Temporary displays are particularly effective for generating short-term sales lift. They’re well-suited for brands conducting trial runs with new items or retailers. If a product is tied to any limited-time offers, it’s a good candidate for a temporary display. New product launches are also a good fit. Seasonal items, or items that change their branding with the holidays, like candy, should also concentrate on temporary arrangements. Limited editions, such as a pink version of a product for breast cancer awareness month, are another great option for short-term solutions.

Because temporary displays are flexible and easy to brand, they’re excellent for almost any product. They’re popular with product categories including:

  • Snacks, food and beverages
  • Nutritional supplements and vitamins
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Consumer electronics
  • Hardware and home improvement supplies
  • Pet supplies
  • Toys
  • Office supplies
  • Health and beauty supplies

Discover Great Possibilities With Great Northern Instore

Great Northern Instore is a full-service in-store display provider. Since we can do both under the same roof, you don’t have to decide between temporary versus permanent displays. Whether you’re looking for innovative short-term solutions for your next promotion or a long-term activation, we can whip up a design that will make your products shine.

After our award-winning design team finds something you love, we’ll take care of your entire project. We’ll engineer, manufacture, print, assemble, pack and distribute your permanent or temporary displays all over the country. Once they’re on your retailers’ sales floors, we’ll even empower you to track real-time performance with our Instore Vision app. Whether you choose a temporary or permanent display, you can ensure you’re achieving maximum sales lift and retailer compliance.

If you’d like to chat more about what type of display is best for your products and upcoming promotions, reach out to us online or give us a call today.

Contact GNC Instore

Great Expectations

Great Expectations is more than a tagline, it is an attitude. At Great Northern, customer challenges are met by an undying spirit to doing what others can’t or won’t. It’s in our DNA. And it is what our customers have come to expect with Great Northern.

How can we exceed your expectations?