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Efficient Investing in Permanent Retail Signs

April 17, 2020

Sustainability is an awareness-raising topic in the business world that isn’t going away. It reflects a conscious effort of reducing waste and costs that result in long-term efficiency. That’s why it’s advantageous for retailers to invest in permanent signs rather than replacing them periodically. Here are ways to ensure you get maximum use of your signs.

Permanent vs Short-term Signs

Your retail business depends on outdoor signs for foot traffic to find your store. It also needs indoor signage to promote your products and enhance the customer experience. Both outdoor and indoor signs can last years or even decades if they are made of durable materials such as:

  • Aluminum or other metals
  • Rigid plastic or polycarbonate
  • Acrylic
  • Plexiglass
  • Wood
  • Fiberboard

These materials will have the most longevity if mounted firmly to metal stands or on buildings and walls. Keeping them out of direct sunlight will protect them from fading. Outdoor signs can potentially be damaged by weather or vandalism, but usually metal with reflective coating provides the most longevity.

By contrast, temporary signs, such as hanging banners, are often made of more lightweight plastic, PVC or vinyl. These signs can last a long time as well, depending on how you manage them. Magnetic signs are particularly useful because they can be moved around to different locations and placed on company vehicles.

Retail In-Store Displays

Part of a sign’s longevity depends on how often it’s moved around. But even certain in-store signs designed for heavy use can last the lifetime of a business. Those long-term displays are commonly placed on floors, walls, counters, and shelves.

One of the keys to a long-lasting in-store display is to use the thickest and strongest material possible. A thickness of 3/16 inches should be sufficient to prevent cracks or other damage caused by people or objects bumping into signs. Keeping sign supports out of reach of customers is another good idea for preserving its quality. Durable sign holders are commonly made of plastic or metal.

Changing Local Requirements

Every local jurisdiction has its own requirements for sign permits, which are subject to change over time. Permit changes can force businesses to buy or modify signs to meet requirements. Some cities only allow certain sizes and placements, while others are more flexible.

The City of Scottsdale, Arizona, for example, has ordinances and regulations for specific permanent and temporary sign types and sizes. Some of these requirements include preventing building signs from extending above roof lines and keeping sign placement within 12 inches of the building. Laws are always subject to be updated or repealed and can vary from zone to zone.


Retailers can maximize branding and costs by selecting the most durable materials for signage. It may cost more upfront, but in the long-term, it’s a money saving investment. Cheaper signs that must be replaced periodically end up costing more over time. Contact Zumar at our Arizona, California or Washington location to learn more about taking care of permanent retail signs.

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