Gondola Shelving - What is Gondola Shop Shelving?

Double Sided Shop Shelving

Gondola Supermarket Shelving

Sometimes the term “gondola shelving” is used as a generic term for any type of supermarket shelving but, normally it refers to double sided, shop shelving designed for use in the centre aisles of the store.

Gondola shelving is the most significant piece of shop equipment, not because most products are displayed on the gondola shelves, but because it is used to create the overall store layout by forming the shelving aisles. Shelving aisles should be positioned strategically to direct customer flow. Routing customer flow around the store is an essential method to ensure exposure to all the products on display.

Things to consider when planning the store layout.

Place fruit and Veg near the entrance, there are a few reasons for this, fruit and vegetables look better and fresher in natural light which will be best near the entrance. The bright colours and fresh smells will make the customer feel more positive and probably most importantly, after placing “healthy food” in their basket or trolley early on in their shop they are more likely to indulge in sweets, snacks and other “junk food” towards the end of the shop.

If you sell flowers, place these at the entrance too, they will look better and make the customer feel that they are in a local store and spend longer shopping.

Try and make the customers feel hungry! The smell of fresh baked bread for example will not only make the customer spend more on bread, if they feel hungry they will impulse buy many other tasty foods.

Spread essential products such as bread, eggs and milk around the store to ensure the customer walks around the entire shop. Dairy products are often placed along the back wall for this purpose.

In larger stores it might be worth having smaller flooring tiles in the higher price aisles to make the trolley wheels click faster, which will slow the shopper down making them more likely to spend on high end products.

Place the most expensive items at eye level which is approximately 1.6m high, place products that appeal to children at a lower level and the cheapest items on the bottom shelves.

The end of aisles normally have a gondola end bay where shoppers often look for bargains, place the higher price items here, even if they are discounted, rather than the cheapest items.

Suggest product pairings, for example placing crackers next to cheese or dog food next to dog toys etc.

Research shows that for example if French music is played in the wine department, more French wines will sell, or German music for German wine etc.

Use large Trolleys or trolley baskets, customers will tend to fill them whatever the size so larger trolleys and baskets will increase customer spend.

Place everyday items such as batteries, socks or shampoo near the tills to encourage impulse buys.

Finally place chocolate or other treats next to the shop counter or checkout as a reward for completing the shopping!

The suggestions made above can be adapted to other types of stores, not only supermarkets, for example placing white spirit or sandpaper near the tills in a paint shop, why not sell some treats too? Dog toys next to the counter at the vets to reward the pet for the trauma or expensive plant pots next to house plants, the possibilities are endless.

How do I assemble gondola shop shelving?

The video below from South West Shopfittings shows how easy it is to assemble a gondola shelving bay.

Which height of gondola should I choose?

1.4m – 1.6m height is commonly chosen for the following reasons:

These heights provide a more open feel to the store, enabling both the retailer and the customer to see over the top of the shelving. In smaller stores this low gondola shelving is much less overpowering than tall aisles of gondola. It also provides enhanced security throughout the store with potential shoplifters being more visible.

1.8m – 2.1m height gondolas tend to be more popular in larger shops, where it is more in proportion to the store size. A clear benefit is the increased amount of products that can be displayed.

What depth of gondola shelves should I choose?

The choice of gondola shelf depth is sometimes dictated by the shop size, narrower gondolas may make it possible to increase the number of shelving aisles and therefore the range of products on display. If space is not an issue the shelf depth is normally chosen by the quantity of stock that is required to be on display. Deeper shelves can hold more stock, which will increase the cost of fully stocking the shelves, but decrease the likelihood of running out of stock on display and the frequency of shelf stacking. Smaller shelves will need regular restocking to prevent the shelving appearing empty which is not attractive to customers, but does decrease the amount of stock required.

What is a gondola end bay?

Gondola end bays are sometimes called promo end bays because they are often used for promotions. End bays are normally located at the end of the gondola run to provide a neat end. End bays are normally the same height as the gondola and have plain back panels on the rear to give a neat appearance as the back of the unit is visible. These rear panels also prevent items from falling off the gondola shelves down into the end bay unit.

The end bays should be selected in the correct width to match the overall width of the gondola base.

Gondola base shelf depth End bay width
300mm 665mm
370mm 800mm
470mm 1000mm
570mm 1250mm

The end bays can be shelved in the same depths as the gondolas or, can have perforated pegboard or slatted back panels, should there be hanging items to be displayed.

How do I measure my shop to work out the best size and length of gondola shop shelving I need?

Measure the width of the shop and work out the width that will remain in the central area once you have allowed for wall shelving, chillers and other shop equipment that will be along each wall. Be sure to allow adequate space for the aisles in your shop, approximately 900 - 1000 mm is normally the minimum size but local rules may apply.

Then decide if you want to maximise the number of runs of gondola shelving, rather than have wider aisles and gondola.  To maximise the number of gondolas  it may be that by simply selecting a shallower gondola you may be able to fit an extra run in.

The formula is as follows:

Minimum width required to have one run and two aisles of 900mm Additional minimum width required to add one more run plus one more aisle
Extra shallow (300mm base) 665 overall width 2465mm 1565mm
Shallow (370mm base)

800mm overall width

2600mm 1700mm
Medium (470mm base)

1000mm overall width

2800mm 1900mm
Deep (570mm base)

1250mm overall width

3050mm 2150mm

Research suggests that shoppers can feel uncomfortable when shopping aisles are too long and narrow, giving a feeling of claustrophobia. If space allows, it is best to break long shelving runs in the centre and add more end bays to provide a more open feel and provide more display for promotions and seasonal offers.