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Why “Made in the USA” Matters for Your Retail Store Fixtures and Displays

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As retailers navigate the new normal, many are reformatting or remodeling their current space to accommodate for new shopping trends such as click-and-collect, buy-online-pickup-instore (BOPIS) and curbside pickup, as well as new security needs. The success of these projects will be dependent on the retailer’s ability to procure the needed displays, fixtures and equipment – and that’s why “made in the USA” matters now more than ever before.

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Speed to Market

With so much uncertainty in overseas supply chains, retailers and brands are more willing than ever to explore domestic manufacturing because it results much shorter lead times. During these changing times across retail, speed and quality are of the essence. Waiting 12+ weeks for new fixtures and displays is no longer acceptable. Instead, to remain competitive, retailers need much faster manufacturing and shipping.

LA Darling is the domestic vendor of choice for many retailers who are looking for design, production and delivery within a four- to eight-week timeframe. According to Rob Solete, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for LA Darling, “As retailers pivot to embrace new shopping trends, they need to get their store reformats up and running as quickly as possible. That means they’re looking to domestic suppliers for their retail display, shelving and fixture needs because the lead times are much shorter than going overseas.”

Flexibility in Customization

One size doesn’t fit all, which is why smart retailers are partnering with domestic fixture manufacturers who can quickly retrofit or design new solutions to meet their evolving needs – and those needs are evolving fast.

Click-and-collect models are forcing store reformats that essentially put a mini warehouse in space previously dedicated to sales. This store of the future requires custom capabilities to accommodate for a wide variety of products as well as maintain a strong visual appearance. Domestic manufacturers, like LA Darling, are well-positioned to embrace this trend because of their deep customization capabilities.

“Whatever a customer needs, we can make it exactly to their specifications. We can also work with them to design a fully-functional prototype,” said Solete. “This is a big benefit as retailers look for ways to quickly redesign parts of their stores.”

Because shrink is a top concern for retailers in industries such as convenience and consumer electronics right now, many want to retrofit or remodel their existing display cases or shelving units with a custom cage or other security solution. LA Darling can retrofit existing display cases to accommodate security cages and locks, as well as design new custom solutions.

Quality Matters

Even before COVID struck, retail was moving in an e-commerce direction with more click-and-collect, buy-online-pickup-instore (BOPIS) and curbside pickup. In grocery alone,  e-commerce penetration has risen from 2-3% before COVID to 8-10%. This level is expected to settle at twice the previous “normal,” landing in the 5-7% range by the end of the year.1 And retail analysts, like those at Edge by Ascential, predict the store of the future will have dedicated permanent infrastructure to maximize click-and-collect and e-commerce demand. In short, analysts don’t see this trend going away, so stores that commit to a reformat will need fixtures that last for the long haul.

Because domestic, in-house manufacturing often drives superior product quality and durability, finding a strong design and manufacturing partner will be key for retailers as they redesign and reformat their stores. LA Darling commits to the highest quality standards with fixtures that have an industry reputation for lasting longer and being more stable, more durable and more visually appealing than the competition.  LA Darling fixtures are also made using locally produced steel for a truly “made in the USA” finished product.

While many may associate USA-made quality with higher prices, that’s not always the case according to Solete. “Domestic manufacturing is often associated with premium pricing.   However, at LA Darling, our prices are very competitive.  And, we do not sacrifice quality, client satisfaction, lead times, and on-time delivery for our competitive pricing,” said Solete.

“Domestic manufacturing is often associated with premium pricing.   However, at LA Darling, our prices are very competitive.  And, we do not sacrifice quality, client satisfaction, lead times, and on-time delivery for our competitive pricing.”

Made in the USA =  Speed, Flexibility and Quality

As retailers move toward new business models amidst the pandemic and beyond, adapting their physical space will be key to their success. Three factors will play a major role in that success – speed, flexibility and quality. By choosing a domestic manufacturing partner with a reputation for fast lead times, custom design capabilities and quality construction – like LA Darling – retailers and brands will be well-positioned for success now and in the next new normal.

1Source: McKinsey & Company: Adapting to the Next Normal in Retail

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About LA Darling Company

LA Darling is owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway under Marmon Holdings, Inc., a $9B global, diversified organization of manufacturing and service businesses.

When you’re moving at the speed of retail, you need a partner who understands your organization, your processes and your preferences. At LA Darling we’ve built our business and our reputation on relationships. We take the time to understand you and your business so that we can respond quickly, accurately and efficiently to provide unmatched customer service. LA Darling partners with retailers and brands to develop and deploy innovative custom solutions that drive success across every part of the complex retail environment. From entrances to engaging in-store destinations, dynamic displays that are lighted and secure, to efficient, added-value checkouts, we collaborate with our partners to develop strategic solutions that increase shopper engagement, enhance the shopping experience and protect valuable assets to maximize profitability and drive continuous improvement. Learn more at