7 Reasons to Avoid Local Fabricators for Display Racks/Shelves for Your Retail Store

Retail is the fastest growing segment in India and entrepreneurs are keen to setup their stores to be part of this growth wave. Despite being a high growth segment, it is highly competitive. It is imperative and thus, a need of the hour for you- retail store owners, to spruce up your game to deliver the best shopping experience to customers in this competitive market.

That means, modernise your new store or re-design/ revamp your existing store with modern display racks and shelves for a much better, loyal and more engaging customer interaction. Challenge lies when the store owners select local fabricators for display racks and fixtures for their stores because of perceived convenience and the false sense of savings that they feel they get when they select  fabricators.

Studies have shown that, choosing to have stores done by local fabricators ends up costing you more and break your bank balance in years to come. Though, fabricators may work out cheaper for you to begin with, but there are many future “invisible” costs that you end up paying that you don’t realise at first. Here are some common myths on why store-owners prefer to work with fabricators and 7 reasons why you must avoid selecting them for getting racks, shelves and fixtures done for your retail store (This information comes from retail store- owners across the country whose stores have been upgraded by Instor).

Most common myths on why store owners select local fabricators for display racks

Today, like many business owners when you plan to open a new store, the first thought that comes to mind while selecting fixtures for your store is that you want to go with a local fabricator. Most of the reasons for selecting local fabricators are actually myths and could cost you a lot more than you anticipate and you may end up losing sales.

Myth 1 – Purchasing from local fabricators will be cheaper than manufacturers
Myth 2 – Local fabricators will give material faster than manufacturers
Myth 3 – They will give similar quality material as large manufacturers
Myth 4 – You will not have to pay for transportation
Myth 5 – They will always be available for any problems after installation as they are local
Myth 6 – Local fabricator is known to a friend and who will guarantee their work

Now you may ask- what could typically go wrong with local fabricators?

You may wonder as to what makes you select local fabricators and why do they end up being so wrong for you? Local Fabricators’ promises to the store owners sounds like a guarantee, whereas in reality, they fail you big time. Let’s look at this detailed comparative study between a local fabricator and a “state-of-the-art” manufacturer like Instor, and see below these 7 ways in which a local fabricator fails you and your business:

1. Inferior quality material than what was promised

Beware of false promise #1 – “Sir hum aapko best quality material dengey” (Sir, we will give you the best quality material possible)- Local Fabricators.

I am sure you have either heard this or will hear this in future. But be careful, for it is a common occurrence with Local Fabricators where they often promise you 0.6 mm thickness of the sheet for display racks but end up using 0.4 mm to save the cost.

Generally, you are not able to tell the difference when it is installed but due to improper specifications and inferior quality material, you do not get the desired level of load bearing capacity. As a result, the display racks start bending or sagging either immediately or after a few months and you end up incurring additional costs for replacement or repairs.

Example of bent shelves immediately after installation with improper load bearing capacity in Bangalore(Example of bent shelves immediately after installation with improper load bearing capacity in Bangalore)

(Example of bent shelves 6 months after installation with improper load bearing capacity in Delhi)

The cost for repairs or replacement could be 30% to 70% of the initial price.

2. Old style designs and poor quality of finishing

Beware of false promise #2 – “Sir hum aapko ekdam latest design banake denge aur work finish ki guarantee detey hain” (Sir, we will give you latest design and we guarantee you quality of the finished work)- Local Fabricators.

Local fabricators who build racks are typically small operations unit with 5-20 employees and will  typically make what you want them to make by copying other stores.

Retail sector is changing very fast and your competitors are coming up with very attractive and new concept stores. Design and aesthetics of your store matter a lot and fabricators are often not aware of new trends, designs and innovations.

  • Fabricators typically have a small workshop with a few machines.
  • Most of the racks and shelves work they do is custom and through manual tools.
  • Local fabricators often lack modern machinery and are not able to invest crores in sophisticated and robotics manufacturing.

As 80% of the making of racks is done manually, it is impossible to achieve consistent and flawless finishing for fixtures needed in your store. Imperfections are seen clearly and do not give a good look to your store.

Some examples often seen with these inferior finishing are: Inconsistent look

  • Rough edges
  • Uneven bends
  • Unfinished welding joints with bumps
  • Uneven cuts
  • Visible screws and bolts that do not match
  • Misalignment of racks

Visible screws do not give good aesthetics feel - Store done by a fabricator in Ahmedabad(Visible screws do not give good aesthetics feel – Store done by a fabricator in Ahmedabad)

Rough and unfinished edges turn shoppers away - Store done by a fabricator in Surat(Rough and unfinished edges turn shoppers away – Store done by a fabricator in Surat)

Visible paint imperfections when done manually - Store done by a local fabricator in Hyderabad(Visible paint imperfections when done manually – Store done by a local fabricator in Hyderabad)

Paint peeling and shelves bending - Store done by a local supplier in Chennai(Paint peeling and shelves bending – Store done by a local supplier in Chennai)

Such issues often turn-off for your customers when they get closer to touch or pick-up products from your shelves. You end up  losing your valued customer to other retailers who have attractive and well-designed stores.

3. Poor quality of powder coating finishing

Beware of false promise #3 “Hum wahi paint or process karte hein jo badi companies karti hein. Humara paint aur finish kabhi chip nahi hoga. Aap befikar raho.” (We use the same paint and process used by big companies. Our paints will not chip neither will our work deteriorate over time. You don’t worry.)- Local Fabricators.

Shelves and racks used in stores  have heavy wear and tear, and require a special process of powder coating to maintain the finishing for years. Here are common issues seen with powder coating/ paint done by fabricators.

  • Powder coating done by fabricators is often manual.
  • Despite promising high-quality paints and finishing, their paint job has visible imperfections.
  • Though it looks new on day 1, the paint starts peeling and chipping from within 3 months to 2 years due to improper adhesion.
  • Many retailers have complained of powder coating dullness within a years time, making stores’ shelves appear dull and old.
  • Within just 2 years of installation, you would have to re-do powder coating to maintain aesthetics of your store as you are in competition with spacious, clean and well maintained retail stores in your area.

Improper paint application when done manually - Store done by a local fabricator in Hyderabad(Improper paint application when done manually – Store done by a local fabricator in Hyderabad)

Paint start chipping with daily use within 7 months of installation - Store done by local fabricator in Mumbai(Paint start chipping with daily use within 7 months of installation – Store done by local fabricator in Mumbai)

Improper paint application and visible imperfections - Store done by local fabricator in Pune(Improper paint application and visible imperfections – Store done by local fabricator in Pune)

Paint dullness and peeling within 6 months of installation - Store done by local fabricator in Ahmedabad(Paint dullness and peeling within 6 months of installation – Store done by local fabricator in Ahmedabad)

Paint peeling after 4 months of installation by a local fabricator - Store done by local fabricator in Mumbai(Paint peeling after 4 months of installation by a local fabricator – Store done by local fabricator in Mumbai)

4. No product durability testing, certification or warranty

Beware of false promise #4 “Sir hum aapko puri guarantee dengey kaam ki. Humare racks and fixtures saalon saal chaltey hain.” (Sir, we give you (verbal) guarantee for our work. Our racks and shelves are durable and last for years)- Local Fabricators.

  • With low investments in their own small workshop and with lack of modern machinery, fabricators are not quality conscious.
  • Racks, accessories and fixtures made by fabricators and small suppliers  don’t undergo testing or certification to ensure its long lasting durability.
  • There is no warranty offered by fabricators. Instead, what they just may offer is a verbal assurance for their work saying “we are always here, just call and we will take care of your problems,” which rarely happens.

Infact, these following tests must be done to ensure proper load bearing capacity and durability of paint: (display racks and retail fixtures provided by fabricators do not typically pass these test, whereas a manufacturer like Instor passes all these regulations for their racking and shelving products)

  1. Load optimising test – Thermal sensor load bearing capacity confirmation
  2. Bend Test (ISO1519): No paint peel off
  3. Cupping (ISO 1520) & Cross Cut Test (ISOI 2409): Ensure perfect paint adhesion
  4. Impact Test (ISO 6272): No impact on the paint against weight drop
  5. Nugget Test For Welding Measures: Ensure perfect bonding of shelf and omega
  6. Salt Test (ASTM B117): 1000 hours of salt test against blistering, corrosion and rusting

At Instor, our products not only pass through above tests but are certified in independent lab to ensure durability and quality.

5. Fixtures are not easy to change

Beware of false promise #5 Aap jaisa bolengey hum waisa aapka racks bana dengey. Jab bhi change karna ho, bahut aasaan hein.” (we will give you racks and fixture to suit your requirements and it will be very easy to change layout whenever you want to)- Local Fabricators.

New products are coming to the market daily and consumer shopping patterns are also changing. It is important for retail store owners to modify store layout or make some changes to best utilise floor and wall space with fast moving items and offer the best shopping experience to their customers. You need to have fixtures that can be changed easily to modify layout of certain parts of your store.

  • Fixtures made by fabricators are not modular in design and not easy to change.
  • Their designs don’t offer much flexibility.
  • Whenever you try to make any changes, you may see  a lot of alignment issues while changing the old racks with new or interchanging the existing ones.
  • It requires fabricators to sometimes unweld certain parts to take fixtures apart for making the layout change.
  • One of the biggest problems many retailers have faced is that fabricators are not even available to come and help make the changes.

As a result, you are forced to keep things the way they are or invest in another set of fixtures that often doesn’t match with what you already have in your store. This has a direct impact on your sales going down.

6. Poor Customer Service and Not Available when you need them

Beware of false promise # 6 – “Sir aapko koi problem nahin hogi, aur agar hogi toh hum baithe hein hum kahin nahi jaane wale. Jab bhi jarurat hogi, hum solve kar ke dengey immediately” (Sir you will not face any problems, and even if you do we will resolve for you quickly. We are here only)- Local Fabricators

But, here is what actually happens:

  • In reality, there is no dedicated team for post sales service in case of working with local fabricators.
  • The only point of contact for any issues is the owner himself and most days after the installation is done, you may not be able to even reach him.

  • When you do end up talking to him, their approach to servicing you is very laid back and you end up waiting for days and weeks.
  • With limited resources, their people may or may not be available to meet your needs on an immediate basis as they would be occupied with other projects.
  • You often face a lot of delays in their service timelines, costing you time and money (sometimes retailers have mentioned that fabricators from whom they got racks from have closed shop or moved location and not able to service them).

7. High recurring costs to replace or repair

Beware of false Promise # 7 – “Sir aapko ek baar bhi racks aur shelves replace ya repair karaney ki naubat nahin aayegi” (Sir you won’t have to ever replace or repair our racks)- Local Fabricators.

There is a high repair and/ or replacement cost of racks and fixtures by local fabricators.

  • Racks often bend due to improper load bearing and require constant repairs and eventually you have no option but replace racks and fixtures.
  • With paint chipping and peeling, the store looks bad causing you to get it re-painted and throw additional money and time – as a result of which your sales go down.
  • To compete with large and small retailers in the area, fixing or re-doing the store becomes must for retail store owners.

Having updated hundreds of stores originally done by fabricators, we have seen that store owners end up spending 2 to 3 times more to repair racks and shelves made by local fabricators.

What would be the true cost of fixtures from local fabricators?

Many store owners often make a mistake of thinking that getting racks and shelves from local fabricators would work out to be cheaper. Not really! See below.

  • Say, you have a 1000 sq ft size store.
  • Initial investment for fixtures from fabricators would be around Rs. 3,00,000 (this often attracts store owners to choose to work with fabricators).
  • 30-50% of fixtures need repair or replacement due to poor quality and finishing.
  • Repair or replacement cost of fixtures for 1000 sq. ft store would be around Rs. 90,000 to Rs. 1,50,000.
  • Annual loss of sales due to improper fixtures would be around Rs. 6,00,000 (5% of average Rs. 10,00,000 monthly sales).
  • If you add up all the numbers, the actual cost of selecting fixtures from fabricators would be around Rs. 9,90,000 to Rs. 10,50,000 in just the 1st two years. That is 3 times more than the price you paid up-front!

All these typically ends up in you spending more money over a period of time and sadly you can not even leverage the old fixture materials provided by the fabricators, as these will not give you more than a scraps price worth in money. This results in double the money spent by you in designing your store.

Why do retailers choose Instor over local fabricators for racks and shelves needs?

Instor is a number #1 choice of retailers to modernise stores and give exceptional customer experience. It is the largest manufacturer and exporter of modern retail fixtures and innovative display, storage and movement solutions in India. Businesses choose Instor solutions over other suppliers for unique designs, customer-friendly in-store flow, best utilisation of space and long-lasting durability.

There is more to Instor’s approach than just measuring your store and supplying fixtures. With a team of 400+ employees, Instor has been on the forefront of the transformative change in the retail and warehouse industry.

Having delivered products to more than 5000 stores, Instor understands your unique requirements and what it takes to set up a retail outlet for delivering a type of experience that gives you a competitive edge and higher profits. With “state-of-the-art” facility equipped with robotics, advanced and automated manufacturing, Instor has become the preferred choice of today’s retailers.

Here are some reasons why retailers prefer to go with Instor over local fabricators:

  • Highest load bearing capacity in the industry
  • Innovative, and functional designs with competitive pricing
  • Fixtures and solutions with best use of wall and floor space– Optimum space utilisation
  • High aesthetics value- store looks new even after 3000 days
  • Tested and certified to meet highest quality and durability standards
  • Quick and easy to modify layouts
  • Zero maintenance
  • 15+ years of life of fixtures
  • Worry-free warranty and backed by “we care” customer service
  • Pan-India presence with timely installations
  • Largest and state-of-the-art manufacturing facility spread over 9 acres
  • Best machinery for modern manufacturing and robotics manufacturing for ultimate precision
  • India’s most advanced powder coating unit


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