Slat Wall or Slat Wall Gondolas – Which To Choose For Your Retail Design?

Banner image with slat wall in background

Advanced Display Systems is one of the only slat wall and retail gondola manufacturers in Australia with the ability to incorporate custom-made slatwall into their Gondola Shelving systems.  This enables the functional versatility of slat wall to be achieved in a modular, free-standing system that does not need to be drilled and screwed into the retail wall structure.

Our Australian-made slat wall systems and slat wall gondolas are both excellent solutions for retail store fitouts.  Each of these slat wall systems are manufactured from sustainably-sourced timber that can be made in over 500 colours to match your brand.  So how do you decide?  Below are some of strengths and weaknesses of each solution so you can choose the best solution for your retail design and fitout.  

The Benefits Of Slat wall

Slat wall generally consists of mdf panels that have grooves cut along the length or width of the panel.  An aluminium or PVC extrusion is then inserted into the groove to add extra strength and the panels are screwed to the wall of the store.  The benefits include:

  • Versatility – Slat wall creates extremely versatile retail display walls via the ability to place a range of different slat wall fittings or shelving at any point along the slat wall extrusion
  • Virtually Seamless Look – Has a seamless appearance due to the ability to interlock panels and run extrusions in an overlapping manner across the slat wall panel joins
  • Cheaper – Slightly lower upfront cost compared to slat wall gondolas
  • Lower Design Profile – Creates a sleek, lower profile design against the wall as there is no need for a support structure at the base of the wall

Retail Slat Wall System With Bags & Implements

While slat wall creates a very versatile retail display system some of the limitations may include:

  • Difficult to repair – If the slatwall is damaged it can sometimes be extremely difficult to repair due to the panel extrusions being interlocked and screwed to the wall.  This makes the replacement of a single section very hard without removing other sections of the wall.
  • Holds less weight – The weight that a slatwall can hold is limited by the quality of the board, extrusions, and how it is attached to wall.
  • Hard to relocate – Relocating slatwall to another location incurs significant labour costs or and will almost always cause damage to the wall and extrusions.  It is also unlikely that the new location will match the same dimensions of the old slatwall.  It is often cheaper to simply pay for new slatwall.
  • Incurs Hidden Costs When Exiting A Retail Lease – A cost of slatwall many store owners neglect to consider upfront is that many retail leases required the walls to be restored to the original state the business moves out.  Due to the extensive drilling required to install slatwall these restoration costs can often run into thousands of dollars.  

The Benefits Of Slatwall gondolas

The Advanced Display Systems Ox slat wall gondola creates a hybrid, modular slat wall consisting of a section of slatwall held between welded steel supports.  Each section of the gondola interlocks with the next to create a continuous wall with a similar appearance and function to slat wall.  The benefits include:

  • Speed – Slatwall gondolas make retail store fitouts faster to install, which offers a significant benefit to fast-growing retail brands.
  • Can Support Heavier Products – Holds a greater weight limit than slatwall because shelving brackets can be inserted directly into the steel frame supports, making it ideal for business selling heavy products.
  • Becomes A Relocatable Asset – Reusable and can be easily moved to different locations.
  • Less labour required for installation – This may become especially relevant in the context of shortages in skilled tradespeople that are occurring with the current boom in the building industry in Australia.
  • Easy To Level On Uneven Floors – Allows for adjustment and leveling on uneven floor
  • Low Risk Of Damage To Walls When Installing – Reduces the costs of repairing walls when you move out of a leased retail space. 
  • Modular and Flexible – Creates a modular display wall that you can move from time to time to keep the store interesting for your customers.  If your mix of products change you can easily adapt your store layout too.
  • Section Off The Store Without Constructing New Walls – The free-standing nature of slatwall gondolas allow them to be used as a wall, such as creating a store room area at the back of the store without the cost of building a new wall.  This allows the freedom to adjust the size of the room at any time.
  • Easy to Repair – Easier to repair and replace single sections than slat wall
  • Fast Set-Up For Pop-Up Stores – Slat-wall gondolas are ideal for using in short-term lease, pop-up stores where you want the store to look like an authentic store rather than a bargain-basement liquidation outlet.  This can be great for ecommerce stores that want to test moving into a bricks and mortar location.  At the end of the lease they are easily packed and moved to a different location.
  • Create A Wall Over Windows – Slatwall gondolas can be positioned as a wall in front of a window without construction works to fill-in or cover the wall.  This reduces both upfront costs as well as future costs to restore the space back to original condition if you move out of a leased retail space.   
  • Ability to mix and match back panels –  The colours and materials of the back panels can be alternated to create feature sections or interior design effects, eg. Alternate colours of slat wall or feature materials such as Panespol faux panels.  The back panels can be swapped out in the future if design updates are required.


Some of the limitations of slat wall gondola may include:

  • Floor Space Required – Slatwall gondolas require 450mm of space where the base of support extends.  While this area provides additional shelf space it may not be practical in small spaces.
  • Aesthetic Limitations – The wall will not be a seamless, single colour due to each slat wall section being separated by a metal support and will appear more like a typical fit out that combines slat wall with concealed slotted stripping.
  • Less Flexibility With Dimensions – Slatwall gondolas are a fixed height which may not be high if a floor to ceiling design is required

To learn more about our slatwall products click here.

To learn more about our slatwall gondolas visit our Ox gondola shelving page.


The ultimate decision will be a balance of many factors specific to your store.  The Advanced Display Systems teams have specialist knowledge acquired via decades of experience.  Call our team to discuss your retail fitout needs on 07) 3861 8888, or send us an email to, and we will be happy to assist.


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