If you are not in the retail store fixture industry, you may not be able to answer that question. But, if I had a quarter for every time I said “It’s a retail paneling system with grooves cut into it that goes on the perimeter walls of retail stores and you display from the grooves,”…well, I’d be a rich woman!
Slatwall got its start in the late 1970’s, when Hugh Johnson, the originator, woke up one night with a vision. He crafted a rough sample of a wall product using plywood, typical woodworking equipment to cut the slats, glue and staples to create the panels. He then left for a meeting in New York City with Federated Department Stores; and Spacewall slatwall paneling was born. Back in the day, it was made by hand, gluing one slat at a time to a back panel; and was the hottest product in the retail store fixture industry for the next 15 years or so.
So what is slatwall? It is mostly wood, but can also be plastic or metal. You see it everywhere, once you know what to look for. I see it on TV all the time. Slatwall is used in every type of retail store imaginable. It can be used for component parts, slatwall fixtures, and display panels. Wood panels, which are the most common, can be made in custom sheet sizes and slot spacings; and a wide variety of finish options are available as well. Plastic channel and metal inserts create an enduring, classic wall system that is the most adaptable and flexible system available anywhere.
Here are some typical, as well as non-typical applications for slatwall paneling:
- Traditional retailers use it for hanging apparel, gift items, trinkets, sporting goods, home goods, and food items.
- Casinos, museums, hospitals use it in gift stores and lobby areas. Some of these include Angels of the Wind Casino; Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Los Angeles Natural History Museum, Kaiser Permanente and Providence Medical Center.
- Companies use it for kiosks, both temporary and permanent.
- Exhibit companies use it for trade show booths, because it is accommodating to countless products to display.
- Funeral homes use it to display urns; real estate agencies display pictures of homes for sale; it can be used in lobbies, corridors and entrance ways to convey important information about services rendered.
- Industrial showrooms, from electrical and plumbing, to lawn sprinklers and lighting products, as well as car dealerships use it for displaying a wide myriad of products.
- Corporate headquarters use it to showcase their products-including the Boeing Dreamliner Showroom; Fender Corporation and Nike.
- Libraries use it for end cap displays and wall panels featuring their book and magazine selections. Some of these include The Nixon Library; the Ronald Reagan Library; the King County Library Systems in the Pacific Northwest; the Rocklin, CA library.
- State and National Parks use it in Visitor Centers, including the USS Arizona Gift store and Yellowstone National Park.
As you can see, slatwall paneling…aka… Slotwall, slatted wall systems, slat board slotted board, is one of the most enduring retail merchandising system ever created.
To learn more about our slatwall please browse the Spacewall West website.
Sue Waller loves to share her extensive experience in the retail store fixture industry, primarily with slatwall paneling, with marketing managers and business owners.