Some perplexing answers from an operator (a future customer?)

July 28, 2021

Last month, Fixturelite had an opportunity to speak with an operator, a nice individual, no doubt, who is just getting started in the micro market business as part of a "pandemic adjustment." 

Our question was simple: "Given that you have this golden opportunity to do things right from the beginning, why are you considering products from somewhere other than Fixturelite?"

His answer: "Because I can get fixtures for less money from another source."

To Fixturelite, the answer was perplexing, especially since the operator admitted that the competing product might not stand up to customer abuse or the test of time and “don’t look as nice”.

Fixtures are not the most expensive component by any means

The fixtures in a micro market are by no means the most expensive part of the market, but they are the core centerpiece of the market. Almost every other key component is far more costly. Does it make sense to save a few hundred bucks (and that is what we are talking about here) for an alternative solution that leaves your competition happier than your customers?

"There's a perception that we're expensive," said Steve Orlando, president and CBDO of Fixturelite, the industry's leading supplier of micro market retail displays, equipment and design tools.

"We never positioned ourselves to be the discount micro market supplier, as we don't solely rely on wire racks, or slatwall nor do we encourage the use of bottling company coolers (especially for food). We are, however, 100% committed to offering a micro market solution for every budget within our four different product collections," he added.

Did you just buy a 'one and done' market?

Did the operator ever consider the possibility that at some point, the micro market may have to be moved? 

"The number one thing I hear from operators who are using inexpensive fixtures is that when they have to take something apart to move it, they can't put it back together," said Geis-Hernandez.

"In many cases, alternative products are designed for one-time use, and that information comes directly from our customers. When they ultimately come to us, they are searching for an investment that has longevity and looks more professional in the space. It leads them to better accounts and better capture rates on their sales prospecting efforts," said Steve Orlando, cofounder of Fixturelite.

Design is rather essential today.

How valuable is the Fixturelite Design Tool? Consider the view of James Jones of Crave Fresh Markets, whose company is featured in this newsletter. Jones said he enjoys using the Fixturelite Design Tool, especially when working directly with a client. "Clients appreciate being so involved with the design process. The Fixturelite Design Tool is powerful."

Fixturelite Advantage – Retail Mindset

"Everything about our markets, our fixtures, the coolers, is designed following retail-science best practices, not simply taking stuff out of a vending machine, and offering a different way to display it," said Geis-Hernandez. "That is huge, because many of our competitors are simply offering a vehicle to move the products out of a vending machine and into a basket. As an industry, from the beginning, we've intended for micro markets to be 'another level' above vending machines."

Take an honest look at your micro markets.

"When operators cut corners with materials or work with an absence of qualified design support, it's obvious to us, and it's obvious to a location decision-maker who might be interviewing other vending or micro-market operators, that they've missed the mark," said Orlando. "Where it's not obvious, because they're too close to it, is with the operator themselves. They think what they offer is good enough. What retailers do matters, and vending operators need to embrace that because when they go up against operators who are aligned with us, it shows."

View Fixturelite product collections and equipment at

Or contact Fixturelite at


[Credit: Crave Fresh Markets]
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