Comparing The Time & Labour Cost Of Installing Slat Wall Versus Ox Slatwall Gondolas

Blog title slide with slatwall gondolas in background

The availability of skilled labour for shop fitting in Australia is currently under pressure from a surge in inflation, high demand for building & construction services and the lowest unemployment levels since the 1970’s.  This difficulty in finding skilled tradespeople can make meeting time frames for fit-outs & retail store rollouts more challenging.

Delivering Faster Slat Wall Retail Fit Outs

On shop fits where slat wall is required the Australian-designed Ox gondola shelving system now provides an option to reduce the time and labour cost required to install slat wall.  The Ox Gondola system is around 75% faster to install than slat wall, which can assist to deliver projects substantially faster.  Ox Gondolas also don’t require skilled shop fitters for installation, as the easy set-up process allows any level of staff to be used for assembly. 

Merging The Appearance Of Slat Wall With The Convenience Of Gondolas

Ox Gondolas merge the aesthetic appearance of custom-colour slat wall with the modular construction of retail gondolas.  The back panel of each gondola can be tailored in any colour of slat wall, slot wall or virtually any other custom material.  Single-sided models look similar to standalone version of a traditional slat wall combined with concealed stripping, while double-sided versions are ideal for stand-alone retail display stands or aisle shop shelving. 

Avoid Paying After-Hours Labour Rates Via Tool-free, Dust-free & Drill-Free Installations

Many landlords require drilling and cutting to be done after hours which significantly increases the cost of labour.  In addition, the need to work nights can be a disincentive for experienced staff.  Ox Gondolas need no tools, drilling or cutting as part of the installation, meaning the assembly of the retail slatwall can be completed during normal business hours.  This results in significant savings on labour cost. 

Labour Cost Estimate Comparison Of Slat Wall Fit-Outs & Ox Slat Wall Gondola

We ran the numbers on three typical slat wall styles using 12 panels of standard retail slat wall (each panel 1200mm wide x 2400mm high), which creates approximately 14.4 metres of retail wall.  The options considered were:

  • 12 panels of standard retail slat wall (each panel 1200mm wide x 2400mm high)
  • 12 sections of slatwall with concealed-stripping in between each panel, which allows shelves and other fittings to directly mount into the stripping
  • 12 OX gondolas (1200mm wide) with slat wall back panels and the ability to mount shelving & fittings directly into the frame (providing similar look to concealed stripping with the added benefit of holding heavy duty shelving)

Below are our best estimates on the time and costs for each option:

Standard Slat Wall Installation

  • TIME TO INSTALL: 8hrs (1 day)
  • STAFF SKILLS: Skilled Shop Fitter
  • HOURLY CHARGE OUT: $120 / hr + GST
  • COST OF LABOUR (Charged at daytime rates) = $1920 + GST
  • COST OF LABOUR (Nighttime rates - ADD 25%) = $2400 + GST

Slat Wall & Concealed Stripping

  • TIME TO INSTALL: 12hrs (1.5 days)
  • STAFF SKILLS: Skilled Shop Fitter
  • HOURLY CHARGE OUT: $120 / hr + GST
  • COST OF LABOUR (Charged at daytime rates) = $2880 + GST
  • COST OF LABOUR (Nighttime rates - ADD 25%) = $3600 + GST

Ox Slat Wall Gondolas

  • TIME TO INSTALL: 2hrs (0.25 days)
  • STAFF SKILLS: Unskilled Labourer
  • HOURLY CHARGE OUT: $90 / hr + GST
  • COST OF LABOUR (Charged at daytime rates) = $360 + GST
  • COST OF LABOUR (Nighttime rates - ADD 25%): NOT REQUIRED

Extra Value For Retailers From Ox Gondolas Being A Reconfigurable, Repairable & Relocatable Asset

One benefit of Ox Gondolas is that the modular construction allows for easy reconfiguration if store layouts change, or easy relocation to new premises or pop-up stores.  Also, as slatwall back panels can be easily changed it makes re-branding or repair very easy.  For a more detailed comparison read our earlier article on the benefits and limitations of slat wall and slat wall gondolas.

Long-term Savings For Retailers On End-of-Lease ‘Make-Good’ Costs

Shorter-term leases and pop-up stores are becoming far more common with the advent of e-commerce.  Most retail leases contain obligations to remove the fitout & fittings at the end premises are often referred to as ‘make-good’ costs.  This can include recarpeting areas that are usually carpeted, demolishing and removing any special use areas, repainting the internal painted surfaces with two coats of premium quality paint or restoring the floor to a smooth level finish. The freestanding nature of Ox Gondolas means there is no damage to existing walls during installation.  This can reduce ‘make-good’ costs dramatically and deliver thousands of dollars in savings when moving out of retail premises.

Summary Of Time Savings & Labour Costs  

The conclusions we can draw from this analysis is that if you have a need for speed of installation, or your retail fit outs are being delayed by the availability of skilled tradespeople, then Ox slat wall gondolas may offer significant benefits to you.  With Ox allowing tool-free assembly it will provide added flexibility in allowing the job to be completed while shopping centres are open, which may further accelerate completion of projects. 

For more information on our Australian-made slatwall click here or to learn more about our Ox slat wall gondolas click here.

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