September 9, 2013

Trends in the Bollard Cover Market

Image: Ideal Shield
In my last post, I wondered about the 'what-ifs' of an Apple-inspired bollard. Alas, we continue to live in the real world, a world where store owners might be tempted to ask, "Yeah yeah yeah...but what do we do today to make these steel posts in the ground attractive...or at least supportive of our branding?"

Fair question. So, I asked Dennis Knittel, our friendly bollard cover expert (and National Director of Distribution at Detroit-based Ideal Shield LLC), to share some brief insights about trends in making bollards, well, look better. Here's what he had to say:

Because of the inherent risk of potential accidents in their parking lots, some stores are installing bollards as generally the most cost efficient way to protect customers and employees. Once a bollard is installed, there are a number of products and ways to enhance curb appeal — particularly by using maintenance-free plastic bollard covers. Here are a few of the trends we’re seeing.

Decorative Bollards
One of the popular ways storefronts maintain a fresh and unique look is by using a decorative bollard cover. They come in a variety of designs and can be customized to a color of the store’s choosing. Not only do these covers add a certain sophisticated look, they are manufactured in all of the popular bollard sizes.

Sign Systems
Once a store has covers on its bollards, what about sign systems — such as the stop sign, handicap or van accessible — that are exposed to the elements? Many retail outlets are incorporating a bollard cover and sign post cover onto their existing sign post to match the covers they are using and thereby achieve a consistent look.

Image: Ideal Shield
Because bollard covers can be manufactured to match any Pantone® or color swatch number, many retailers purchase the colors that match their current store color scheme. In addition, when remarketing a brand, it is extremely cost effective to order the sleeves at the changeover in order to save maintenance cost and maintain nationwide consistency.

Whether you are at a fast food restaurant, retail store or a nationally recognized bank, you will see retailers taking advantage of any available space to attach point-of-sale signage. To eliminate excessive or obnoxious signage, many retailers are now incorporating a nylon cover or AdShield to slide right over their bollard covers. The AdShield can very easily be changed out for short-term or long-term advertising.

My thanks to Dennis and his team for their observations. Now that we've talked about bollards a bit lately, I'll be turning my attention next to some alternative storefront safety strategies. Stay tuned.

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