Tusco Display blog
Tusco Display blog


The ghost of Christmas future may scare Ebenezer Scrooge, but retailers and brands fear something else—the Ghost of Fewer Shopping Days. About every six years, the Ghost of Fewer Shopping Days appears, and this is one of those years. With US Thanksgiving falling on November 28th, there will only be 27 days between then and Christmas. This compares unfavorably with 2018 when there were 32 days.

If it seems like you see holiday promotions appearing sooner and more pervasively than last year, you are not mistaken. We will also see more retailers offering Black Friday deals days, even weeks, before November 29th. We had fixtures going into Victoria’s Secret and May Department Stores i...

Read more

For over 70 years, Tusco Display has designed, engineered, and produced custom store fixtures for many of the world’s best-known brands. From American Greetings to Apple, Goodyear to GE, Michelin to M&M Mars, Owens Corning to Osram Sylvania, Newell Rubbermaid to Nike, Primo Water to Polaris, our work has been found in every retail format in North America. While we are proud to work with these giants, some of our best work has been for brands that aren’t household names. Big name or just big dreams, we have poured ourselves into the work of converting in-store browsers into buyers.

As you’d imagine, how we do this has changed since 1949. Our design, engineering, and manufactu...

Read more

Oct 1 every year represents the start of Major League Baseball’s second season: the playoffs. Though the Cleveland Indians failed to make it this year, I’m still a fan of the team and the sport.

Baseball offers useful metaphors for what we do. At Tusco, we help our clients make the team (retail placement), step up to the plate (get noticed by shoppers), and get on base (make a sale). Do they sell to every shopper? Nope. Babe Ruth didn’t hit every pitch either.

Baseball is a numbers game and so is in-store marketing. Not every shopper is a good prospect for any one client. And Tusco isn’t the right fit for every marketer either. We use the Tusco DARE Process:

  • Discover wha...
Read more

My daughter just started a college architecture class. This got me thinking about what architecture is. It usually refers to the practice of designing and constructing buildings. More broadly, the term may also reference the complex or carefully designed structure of something, like the architecture of an elaborate garden, the composition of a chemical structure or a spiderweb.

What companies like Tusco Display do may be likened to interior architecture. We carefully design structures to hold products, communicate messages, entice shopper engagement – all on a budget. We employ our understanding of a variety of materials, engineering precepts, assembly methods, and the design esthetic t...

Read more

Robots first began appearing in American manufacturing plants about 40 years ago but the pace has quickened considerably in the past 15 years. Today, it’s commonplace to see robotic positioning, vision systems, and automated machinery working alongside their human partners.

We are beginning to see the same thing happen in retail. Like the first manufacturing bots, retail robots are still relatively rare and sometimes clumsy, but they are coming for very similar reasons: ease of use, reliability, and lower cost. Retailers are investing an estimated $3.6B in artificial technology globally in 2019 and are expected to spend $12B by 2023, according to Juniper Research.

Kroger is building 20 r...

Read more

The first debates of the 2020 Presidential election cycle have just been aired. For the Democratic candidates, the challenge is to get noticed – in a positive way – swiftly and memorably. A few succeeded but most largely failed.

The imperative to get instantly noticed reminds me of what we do in support of brands seeking the “vote” of shoppers’
interest and dollars in stores. As shoppers walk the aisles, they speed date with thousands of products, each straining for attention, silently shouting with labels, scents, signs, and shapes to intrigue and entice us to notice them.

Let me illustrate the speedy science of displays in a few numbers:

Eight – On average, ...

Read more

At Tusco, we strive for excellence through continuous improvement in everything we do, including how we understand and meet expectations of our clients. It’s baked into our ISO9001:2015 with Design quality management system.

But, boy, we can also screw things up. We once produced a spinner for a client selling wallpaper borders. The design and prototype worked flawlessly. At the last minute, the client asked, “Can you add another half-inch to every hook so we can squeeze one more product on them?” Eager to please, we did just that but didn’t test the revised design. What happened next? Units made it into the field but, when the unit was spun, the weight on each hook ca...

Read more

Tusco Display has been at the display game for decades. The technology we employ, the people who work here, the materials we use, the clients we serve, have all changed over 70+ years.

What HASN’T changed gets at the heart of who we are. We do work that matters for people who care. Frankly, we have seen clients come and go. Companies get gobbled up by others. People move production off shore. Those that go tend to be transactional buyers, people looking to lower their perceived costs, willing to move the business when it saves them a dime. There’s nothing wrong with that time-honored approach. Pushing us to deliver the best possible value includes the lowest possible cost.

But thos...

Read more

Malls grew in importance during the 1960s as Americans became increasingly mobile, less urban, and more consumer-oriented and peaked in the 1980s.

Americans still spend most of their consumer dollars in physical stores. In 2018 Q4, online sales hit 10% of total consumer spending for the first time ever, leaving the bulk of purchases still conducted in stores. And when the shopper reaches the store, those retailers and brands better be ready to deliver.

We foresee several major trends impacting American shopping over the next five years:

  1. Shoppers will spend a growing proportion of their disposable income on experiences. Entertainment, dining, gaming, rock-climbing, etc will take precedence over ...
Read more

For 2018, US retail sales saw a 15% increase in online purchases and five percent growth for in-store sales, too. That’s good news for companies selling to consumers and a sign of a healthy economy. As population and average incomes grow, so does the consumer economy.

Study after study show that 80%+ of American shoppers pre-shop on their devices for significant purchases. They do their homework online to check prices, options and product availability and then plan their visit, e.g., “I’ll swing by the store on my way home from work.” If it’s a larger, bulkier product, they may need to plan even what vehicle to use to bring the product home. According to a recent...

Read more