Plastics commonly used in retail displays

Multiple colors of plastic sheets

Custom displays have a range of colors, shapes, textures, patterns, lighting, and other elements tailored to the product or brand to bring a different sensory experience to potential customers. In the process of making retail displays, we will choose different production materials according to the different display purposes. The total number of material categories is also relatively large, mainly divided into 3 categories: plastic, wood, and metal.

This article focuses on the general category of plastic often used in retail displays.


Colorful acrylic
Acrylic cosmetic display in the store
Acrylic cosmetic display in the store2

Acrylic is the plastic sheet we use most in retail display production. It is strong, hard, transparent, and available in a wide range of colors and thicknesses. It has superior weathering properties compared to other plastic materials, is easy to fabricate, binds well to adhesives and solvents, is easy to thermoform, and is easy to clean during use. From durable signs to retail fixtures, displays, and shelving, acrylic excels at everything.

Acrylic is generally used for small, delicate countertop displays, which are not as strong as metal as well as wood panels but can be used as components in large display cases.

PETG(Polyethylene terephthalate glycol)

PETG sheets
PETG Price Bar
PETG price strips in stores

PETG has remarkable chemical properties, durability, and excellent molding properties, it has better toughness than acrylic and will not break and produce cracks after bending many times. PETG is low-temperature molding, so it is suitable for vacuum blistering and thermoforming, it is more widely used than acrylic, but the price is also higher. We use PETG for custom price strips on shelves or other special shapes that require a large degree of deformation.

Expanded PVC foam

Expanded PVC Foam material
CNC processingExpanded PVC Foam
Retail display of pens

Expanded foam is a lightweight but impact-resistant, inexpensive board that is easy to process. It can easily be sawed, stamped, punched, die-cut, sanded, drilled, screwed, nailed, riveted, or bonded using PVC adhesives and is suitable for display boards, POP displays, or as a reinforcing board inside display cases. A perfect substitute for wood.

It is important to note that neither the foam nor the PVC film can be cut by laser, as the cross-section will be scorched and yellowed by the laser.

Other plastics

EPS (expandable polystyrene) and GFRP (glass fiber reinforced polymer) are used to make the small batch of holiday props needed for some large festivals. EPS is used as the substrate to carve the shape, and the outside is coated with a material that can reinforce EPS, then polished and painted, and then it can be used in the store, but it has a short service life.

expandable polystyrene material
Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer sculpture
Bread shapes made by EPS

GFRP is a combination of resin and glass fabric, it is more expensive than EPS, but it can be placed outdoors for up to several years, and there are more options in the shaping and production process. These two materials can produce brightly colored, oddly shaped display props that give people a sense of wonder.

3d printed parts
Liquid 3d printer
CNC machining of plastics

Small quantities of non-standard parts (such as small accessories in display products, etc.) are often produced using 3d printing or CNC machining processes, often using materials such as PLA, ABS, and synthetic silicone, depending on the needs of different plastic choices.

The above is the total category of plastic most used in our production display process. For more information about retail displays and other materials commonly used in display manufacturing, you can subscribe to us.

If you are looking for a retail specialist to help you improve your customers’ shopping experience and add value to your business, we can provide you with the best solution. Our services include custom fittings, custom furniture, point-of-sale solutions, joinery services, custom store fittings, prototype units, window display units, and more.

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