They say if you wait long enough, a style you liked in almost any genre will come back. This is as true for retail store fixtures as it is for clothing or styles of music. The look of the 1960s came back strong in the early 90s and now it appears as if the 1970s are enjoying a renaissance. This rule of thumb applies not only to the style and type of merchandise being sold, but also to the look and feel of the retail establishments selling them. A good way for a new retail business to save money on start up expenses is to do some research and find vintage store fixtures which can often be purchased for a fraction of their original cost. You may find yourself in a bidding war, however, as vintage store fixtures maintained in good condition are few and far between.
At one time or another in the last 100 years or so, a certain look was popular in retail stores. There was an era when wood was all the rage and in another era the look of choice was brushed metal. When plastics became big business in the 1950s, everybody jumped on the bandwagon and you couldn’t turn around in a store without touching some form of display made out of plastic. Later, it was metal strands coated in rubbery plastic materials with outrageously loud colors such as bright orange spinning book racks or yellow and red clothes hangers made out of steel and coated with colored plastic.
In the retail industry as a whole, 28% of existing establishments close each year and over time almost 80% of stores close up or get bought out by competitors. Though it’s not always good news for the retailer closing shop, it can be good for the new retailer because the old fixtures most likely get sold as scrap or auctioned off. If you are planning on opening your own retail store, start checking the local auctions in the city where you live. If there aren’t enough, check the newspapers in the cities near you and be ready to travel. If all else fails, go online and check out the auction sites. Attractive, vintage store fixtures sometimes go unnoticed and can be purchased for pennies on the dollar if they happen to be just what you’re looking for.