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Cashwrap Improvements


Aredesign has allowed Hastings Entertainment to overcome several functional shortcomings with its existing interiors, including worn-down cashwrap countertops. The Amarillo, Texas-based retailer had noticed that its countertops, fabricated in plywood and surfaced with high-pressure laminate, were not holding up well.

“People slide things across the counters all day, and the countertops were wearing all the way through the printed pattern of the laminate,” said Ken Hamilton, supervisor of the in-house fixture shop at Hastings. The chain, which operates 154 stores, had sales of $548.3 million in 2006.

As part of the redesign, Hamilton evaluated surfacing materials that would be able to withstand heavy use without wear or fading. He consulted with David Romero, of Lumber Products, Tualatin, Ore., who recommended a three-dimensional laminate (Kydex), a damage-resistant thermoplastic alloy from Kleerdex Co., Bloomsburg, Pa.

“High-pressure laminates are limited in terms of the shapes that can be achieved, and are subject to cracking, chipping and delamination,” Romero said. “Components clad with Kydex sheets are not.”

The material, which is even used for aircraft interiors, is highly formable and extremely durable. It met or exceeded Hastings’ requirements for strength, flexibility and flame resistance. Plus, it was available in the desired thickness (.040 in.) and color that matched the new design palette (green with black-and-white granite cap).

“We liked the color, the way it looks and how it wears,” said Hamilton. His shop sent the designs for the counters to Lumber Products, which commissioned Lamination Technology Industries (LTI) to build and finish them using a vacuum-forming process. (Vacuum forming results in a cleaner edge with no visible seams.)

Types of Fixtures UsedUse these types of fixtures:Use fixtures that are: Source: Chain Store Age/Leo J. Shapiro & Associates Note: Totals of more than 100% are due to multiple responses.
 All stores 2007Drug store 2007Supermarket 2007Department store 2007Home center 2007Specialty apparel 2007Big-box store 2007Hard lines specialty 2007
  …Wood laminate17.725.013.644.48.38.725.016.7
  …Solid wood8.
  …Not reporting1.
Combination of materials87.575.090.988.991.7100.068.883.3
Other materials…
…Soft surface materials (e.g., vinyl, rubber, leather)
…Boards (e.g., cardboard, laminates, fiberboard, particle board, fiberglass)
…Stone/Tile (e.g., granite, ceramic tile, Corian, concrete)
…Metals (e.g., aluminum, copper, stainless steel)
Combination of both61.5100.086.466.750.034.862.533.3

The counters for each store are unique in size and shape. After the parts are formed and cooled, LTI inspects them for defects and ships the cleaned-up pieces to Hastings, where Hamilton’s crew assembles the parts and installs the fixtures in the field. In addition to the cashwrap counters, the retailer also selected Kydex thermoplastic sheets for the counter-tops of its in-store beverage-dispensing units and candy island.


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