Retail metalwork from HEC Showman
Manufacturing Retail Metalwork in Nottinghamshire, Great Britain.
Retail metalwork plays a vital role in the way all merchandise is presented to potential purchasers. No matter how merchandise is displayed, retail metalwork will play a part in that process. Whether the retail displays are manufactured using timber or any other form of display material, retail metalwork will form a part. The amount retail metalwork plays will vary from display to display. It may just form part of the hidden fixings or the support structure but retail metalwork will have a presence somewhere.
Retail Metalwork and Point Of Sale (POS)
The displaying of any type of merchandise to the customer has always played an important part in the retail process. One of the early retail displays can be seen in the Victorian sweet shop, where the window was the draw for the potential customer.
Just as the “old sweet shop” style of display has changed; the way retail metalwork is produced and the displays are manufactured has changed too.
Over the past forty years’ retail display and with it retail metal work has seen a definite rise and fall. Its peak, it could be said was around the turn of this century. The end of the eighties and into the nineties, with the consumer boom and increase in retail sales, retail metalwork saw a significant rise in its sales too. Around these times large department stores were still popular, regularly refitting their stores to keep pace with their competitors.
The advent of the internet and with it the gradual increase in online shopping gave a short-term boost to the industry. Shops were trying to improve the way they presented their goods to the customer to compete with web sales and so, for a time spent money on their own shop displays. However, over the past fifteen years there has been a steady and marked decline in the number of high street shops, particularly the type retailing goods heavy in display equipment use. This together with the decline in number of large department stores and their bigger budgets for retail displays, seriously affected the retail metal work industry.
Retail Metal Work Competition from Over Seas
UK retail metalwork companies have for many years seen competition with imports of retail metal work from countries like of Spain and Italy. These though have mainly been for mass produced items which were generally used in supermarket environments. Imports in the eighties from these countries did not have a too much of a significant effect on the bespoke retail metalwork industry, however it did serve to drive down prices. In subsequent years, the influx of Chinese imports has significantly changed the perceived price customers place on their purchased goods. This therefor has placed serious downward pressure on UK retail metal work manufacturing.
This together with the reduced demand for this service and the large number of retail display equipment manufacturers inevitably saw some retail metalworkers going out of business. Retail metalwork manufacturers and suppliers who survived, diversified into other markets to continue their business. Consequently, over the past decade we have seen a marked reduction not only in the number of high street shops and their refitting but also in the number of retail metal work suppliers.