Store fixtures is certainly a niche market, but it is nevertheless important. What’s in store for fixture Companies as we move into 2017? Here are four things that every company should know regarding the commercial outlook for the industry.
- Production costs are going up and will continue to go up over the next two quarters.
The replacement costs for fixtures went up in December and will continue to rise throughout Q1 and Q2 of 2017. This is largely because of increases in the cost of labor and raw materials for factories in China, where many companies operate business.
With the continued growth of the Chinese economy, factories are now paying more for labor and because of increased commodity prices, the price of many raw materials has shot through the roof. The cost of steel, for example, has gone up by 50 percent. Meanwhile, packaging costs, including the cost of corrugated cardboard, have also increased.
- Transport costs are also on the rise.
Not only is it getting more expensive for Store Fixture Companies to produce their products, it is getting more expensive for them to get their products to market. Oil prices have been pretty low over the past few years, which means that ocean freight costs were also down.
However, as the price of oil starts to increase, it’s inevitable that many companies’ shipping contracts will be renewed at higher prices. Furthermore, because Hanjin, the world’s 7th largest container shipping company, went bankrupt earlier this year, it has created more demand for space on other shipping lines. This is also driving prices up.
- More buyers are buying online.
As with virtually every industry, more and more buyers are purchasing their store fixtures online. This has fundamentally changed the nature of the game, as no one is really looking to carry inventory, with the exception of distributors in major cities.
- It’s increasingly difficult for smaller companies to get noticed.
In part because of the aforementioned rise in online buying, it is becoming increasingly difficult for smaller store fixture companies to get noticed and achieve commercial success.
Even though many of these smaller, privately owned companies have lower overhead and subsequently lower prices, the mega superstore firms inevitably end up dominating the first few pages of search engine results pages on Google. This makes it hard for these smaller companies to compete.
How can a store fixture company succeed in light of these changing market conditions? To be successful, it is important for these companies to identify their strengths and play to them. You cannot be everything to everyone, but if you play to your strengths, your chance of achieving success increases as the market continues to evolve.