For operators, there was nothing fair about 2020. The playing field offered erratic terrain. Success was defined by survival, the ability to pivot and a company’s access to capital. Product mix was important and really, just a matter of luck. While OCS and pantry service struggled, vending and micro markets fared slightly better. At Fixturelite, 2020 was all about moving forward and doing the best job possible for operators.
Looking back, we found several areas of accomplishment amid a challenging landscape.
Fixturelite remained open
“Unlike many companies, we did not run out of inventory,” said Troy Geis, an experienced operator of ten years who co-founded Fixturelite, the leading supplier of micro market retail displays, equipment and design tools. “We remained open and serviced our clients in a safe manner with as much of the normal process and turnaround time as we have done in the past.”
As soon as Geis caught a glimpse of the impact the pandemic could have on the micro market industry, he bought the raw material that they needed for the next six months in order to continue manufacturing Fixturelite products for their customers.
“We watch what’s going on in the world and we try to be proactive about how we handle it,” said Geis.
Bringing the best of retail to micro markets
Fixturelite has made positive, impactful inroads into bringing the best of the retail shopping experience and the customer journey into the micro market space.
“We made the exterior trim and color packages easily interchangeable, within minutes, for a micro market,” said Steve Orlando, co-founder of Fixturelite. “We incorporated the retail concepts and components into the Executive Series as a standard offering. We’re bringing the retail experience into the micro market where it didn’t exist before.”
Lighting and merchandising systems are a standard offering with Fixturelite’s Executive Collection and Performance Collection fixtures.
“We also introduced a budget-friendly product with the Essentials Series collection, consisting of two pieces that quickly and easily assemble - allowing a micro market to be placed for a smaller location without a tremendous investment,” said Orlando.
“We are helping our customers control traffic flow within their markets better than ever before,” said Geis. “Obviously, traffic flow is a bigger issue than ever.”
Strengthening Strategic Partnerships
In another win for operators and their clients, Fixturelite strengthened its partnerships in 2020.
It is rare to see a strategic partnership work as effectively as the one that has emerged between Fixturelite, 365 Retail Markets, Minus Forty and Translucent. For operators who choose this micro market “dream team,” success is just about guaranteed.
“In many cases, operators are coming to us and looking to use all four companies to ensure that their project is a success. Operators recognize that as a group, our four-company team is the best choice – for operators large and small,” said Geis.
Branding became a key concept
Fixturelite also witnessed their clients adopt the concept of branding, committing to it, then utilizing the tools, the partnerships and the experience that Fixturelite provides to help them succeed.
An immediate benefit of a branded micro market is credibility. “When your micro market has the same streamlined look from one location to another, clients are immediately assured that the operator is focused on delivering a consistent level of quality,” said Orlando. “By combining some custom features, such as a Parson’s table, attractive signage, enhanced lighting and phone charging stations, with one of our many successful micro market collections, an operator can offer clients a market with some unique defining characteristics.”
Fixturelite’s Design Tool strengthened operators
Fixturelite’s clients gained customers this year with the Fixturelite Design Tool, which allowed them to virtually showcase the possibilities of micro markets in video meetings, which became the normal course of doing business this year.
For savvy micro market operators, it is no secret that using the Fixturelite Design Tool is a powerful way to captivate clients during sales presentations. When operators combined the impact of the Design Tool with Fixturelite’s highly successful, solution-oriented Collections – the combination was unbeatable in 2020.
Beyond our three main collections – serious innovation
Fixturelite introduced the Dispenser Collection, a line of single-touch dispensers of coffee cups, coffee sleeves, flatware and lids that allow operators to safely provide coffee to their customers while minimizing touch. Fixturelite also released its Off the Wall collection, which brings fixtures into the middle of the micro market and promotes social distancing.
Whether it’s replacing a cafeteria with unattended retail or adding an attended coffeehouse component to a micro market retail space, Fixturelite has enhanced locations and built a better consumer journey at several locations across the country in 2020.
Operators STILL Wanted
On multiple occasions in 2020, Fixturelite brought in operators to fill a void when end users directly came to them for a micro market design or support.
Orlando said that Fixturelite’s reputation as a thought leader in micro market design has resulted in direct contact from potential clients who are seeking not only design guidance, but assistance in finding operators who can best serve their needs.
“We truly enjoy being a micro market matchmaker of sorts,” said Orlando. “There is plenty of high-volume opportunity out there for operators who are committed to quality products, great service and a willingness to deliver not only a wonderful micro market, but a fantastic employee experience.”
Move forward with Fixturelite in 2021 – Learn More