How to Identify Used Store Fixtures

Part 3 of 4: How to Identify Used Store Fixtures

The New Verses Used Steel Shelving Challenge

In part 2 of this series we discussed the importance of fixture dimensions when looking at purchasing used store fixtures from a going-out-of-business store.   In summary these were – Shelf Depth and Shelving Height and the impact on merchandising for profit and maximizing sales.   Part 3 examines how to identify fixture brands and how that may impact your used fixture purchase decision.

For years we have helped hundreds of retail store owners who bought used fixtures of an unknown brand.

A ‘shelf’ maybe a ‘shelf’ but most are not interchangeable.  Manufacturers make sure shelves and parts are different on purpose. Some shelves will fit different shelving brands but not perfectly.  There are dozens of fixture manufactures, but like the store that went-out-of-business, some manufacturers and suppliers have closed their doors.  This will make getting spare parts, or more matching fixtures, almost impossible if you cannot identify the manufacturer brand in the first place.

Because identifying a brand of fixture has many elements (types of parts, differences in size, and old and new styles for the same brand, etc) we suggest that you call a shelving expert to help you with identification.  Often it is a matter of terminology and knowing what a certain part is called or how to describe it.  Here is an exploded view of a common store fixture where you can get an idea of what parts are called.

The fixture parts that help the most to identify are:

  • Part B-basic upright or post
  • Part I-base bracket or base arm
  • Parts C,E,G-spanners, rails or cross ties

Shown below,

  • Shelves and shelf brackets

Have a tape measure on-hand to take measurements of some of these parts.

And, if possible, prepare to photograph parts to email.


Other HINTS:

  • Photograph where the parts fit into another part.
  • Base bottom arms or base shoe brackets usually have a size stamped on it.
    • The size represents the base shelf size that goes with it.
    • It does not represent the size of the bracket itself.
    • Sizes can be even and odd numbered.

Shelves and shelf bracket images to the right are significant ways to identify fixture brands.

The age of shelving too can make the identifying process difficult. Engineering upgrades, which modify parts for better performance, create newer versions of the same brand.  This is another reason to contact a shelving expert.

Your Bottom Line: purchasing used fixtures from closed stores is a gamble with winners and losers. Careful research and comparing real cost short term and long term will provide your best decision to purchase new display fixtures or used.

Last, Part 4 will look at new verses used store fixtures and determining impact on store image, function and long-term value.

Be sure to visit us at Midwest Retail Services and call our experts that will help you in this process. Remember, knowledge is the power that brings value to your decisions.  Please email us at, or call us today at 800-576-7577.



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About Midwest Retail Services

Midwest Retail Services provides all the store fixtures needed to start, expand, or update your retail store. We serve a wide variety of businesses including pharmacy, grocery, pet supply, party supply, book, C-Store, discount, and many other retailers. We also support POP design and fulfillment, retail designers, architects, contractors, installers, and store fixture resellers.