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Using a vintage factory workbench as a display for retail goods offers a unique blend of industrial charm and modern merchandising. Here are some tips to make the most of this evocative retail display choice.

1.Layered Displays: Varying heights and layers add visual interest. You can use wooden crates, metal trays, t-stands or risers to elevate certain products and create depth but ensure there's adequate space between products, so it doesn’t look cluttered. A clutter-free display allows individual products to stand out more.  

2. Grouping: Group related items together on the workbench to create themed sections. This helps guide the shopper's eye and creates a more cohesive shopping experience.

3. Drawers and Shelves: Many of our antique workbenches include built-in drawers or lower shelves which can be utilised for storing or displaying additional merchandise, or even marketing brochures about the products or brand.

French vintage workbench with stirking blue patina

4. Signage & Storytelling: Attach a beautifully designed sign to provide information about the products, prices, or the history of the workbench itself. This storytelling can enhance the customer experience. The vintage factory workbench itself tells a story. Make sure the products and the way they are displayed align with this narrative, creating a cohesive and memorable shopping experience for your customers.

5. Adding decorative antiques: Other complementary items, such as metal baskets, vintage tools, or old industrial lamps, can highlight the bench's historical context. We supply a range of decorative antiques, vintage bottles and advertising signs for display purposes.

Other antique options: Using factory shelving and trolleys 

As well as original workbenches we also stock a number of antique factory shelving units and trolleys which offer a similar design appeal. We currently have four of these antique industrial trolleys, originally from a European shoe factory circa 1920. They have been sympathetically refurbished keeping the original patina and we have replaced the original shelves with reclaimed timber. These trolleys are very useful, adaptable pieces for any interior with a vintage industrial aesthetic, but given the shelving capacity on them, they are particularly well designed for retail display. 

All our antique workbenches are thoroughly restored,  ensuring they're clean and ready for use. The original character will be preserved but any rough edges that could harm customers or the products will be smoothed out in our workshops, the structure will be inspected and secured and any unstable parts will be fixed prior to selling on, giving each workbench a new lease of life. 

Dr Marten's shops frequently use vintage workbenches in their in store displays - see main image. The brand's flagship store in Camden Market leads the way in this innovative industrial interior design. Located in a Grade II* listed 19th Century former tack room for horses, the shop uses several antique pieces to great effect, including old Post Office shelving units. Learn more about the retail display project here