POP Defined.


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A-Board/A Frame/Sandwich Board
A double-faced display that forms an “A” shape when the tops are lined together and bottom is separated by a brace. Often used outside retail entrances or at the curb.

Accent Lighting
Lighting that emphasizes a particular section of a sign or display.

Acceptable Quality Level, AQL
The term used to define the maximum number of defects per one hundred units a producer considers to be satisfactory.

Acceptance is when a retailer supports a manufacturer’s program.

Action Aisle
An in-store aisle where promotional items are displayed – also called a “power aisle.”

The term refers to the execution of a marketing plan, a purchase made by a customer as a result of marketing initiatives like a display, product discount, sign or other marketing tool or, the translation of shopper insights into an actionable marketing activity.

Adhesion is defined as the molecular force of attraction between dissimilar materials attached by a mechanical, chemical, or reactive bond between surfaces causing them to stick together.

Defined as on-shelf product categories, or product departments located next to one another at retail.

Advertising Effectiveness
The term refers to the assessment of a marketing programs impact measured by sales lift, brand awareness levels and various other parameters.

Agency of Record (AOR)
Is an advertising firm contractually authorised to represent an advertiser in media buys and other public relations activities.

A store corridor flanked by fixtures carrying shelves of product.

Aisle Arch
An aisle arch pans an aisle from one gondola to the next.

Aisle Blocker
Aisle blocker is a movable merchandiser that is used to temporarily block a checkout lane.

Aisle Directory/Sign
A sign typically found at the end of an aisle identifying the contents within the aisle. Sign may be suspended from the ceiling or mounted to the end(s) of the shelf.

Aisle Violator
An aisle violator hangs perpendicular (at 90 degree angle) to the attached shelf, protruding into the aisle. It is often used to identify product spanning more than one shelf.

1. Denotes the amount of merchandise available to a specific market area or retailer
2. Shelf or secondary display space for a specific product.

1. In an assembly program, items are ordered by a vendor for shipment to warehouse and later to a store.
2. The building of a display from individual pieces. 3. An area within a POP production facility earmarked for assembly and kitting of display components.

Consumer recall about brand or marketing they have witnessed. “Unaided awareness” is the ability to remember something about a brand without prompting. “Aided awareness” is the same ability when the consumer is prompted.


Backlit Display
A display lit from behind to illustrate a film transparency or graphic.

Bait and Switch
Luring a shopper into a store with one low price product (bait), with the intent to sell the same shopper a more expensive alternative (switch) is referred to as bait and switch.

1. A standard interior or exterior sign commonly made from satin, poplin, poly-cotton or vinyl.
2. The marketing name under which a retail chain operates –“The Bay” is a banner of the Hudson’s Bay Company. “Victoria’s Secret” is a banner of The Limited.

Base Wrap
Role of paper or corrugate cut to conceal the bottom cases in a large display. Often one colour but can also be creatively treated.

Basket Ring
Indicates the amount of money spent by a shopper and also refers to the sound of a cash register ringing.

Design term to describe an image where each pixel corresponds to one or more bits in memory. It is a rasterized version of an image.

Acronym standing for “Buy One, Get One,” a style of promotion that sees a shopper receive a duplicate item with the purchase of a first.

Bottle Glorifier
Term used to describe the high-lighting of liquor bottles. Commonly found behind the counter in foodservice establishments or bars. Bottle glorifier may include the use of light and/or graphics to increase attention and trial.

The name used to identify a product. The term originates from the earlier process of “branding” a herd of cattle with the owners “symbol” in order to identify each bovine.

Brand Block
A merchandising practice of stocking all SKUs of a particular brand together, creating a billboard effect.


Abbreviation used to denote a “convenience store.” such as Mac’s.

C.O.W. is an acronym for Cut Out Wrap, a box style with a center and 4 folds that wrap around the product.

A long-form marketing program designed to market a product or brand which includes a range of timing and media.

Car Topper
Described as a sign or display that attaches to the roof of a vehicle. Commonly found in showrooms or in street marketing. Pizza delivery vehicles are a good example.

Case Stacker
A large display created from stacked cases of product where the top most cases are cut open to showcase the product. Additional POP elements are often added to the display including signs, pole toppers or base wraps.

Category Captain
A category captain is a product manufacturer who because of their size, market position, or strength in delivering proven insights is selected by a retailer to play a leading role in its category management activity.

Category Management
The range of products purchased by an organization or sold by a retailer is broken down into groups of similar or related products known as product categories. It is a systematic, disciplined approach to managing a product category as a strategic business unit.

Channel Strip
A molded plastic strip designed to fit over the front edge of a shelf to communicate branding or pricing.

CHEP Pallet
Term used to refer to the industrial pallet created by industry leading organization “CHEP.”

Clean Store Policy
The practice or guidelines used for restricting or conforming POP displays and signage in an effort to streamline a retail location’s appearance.

Clip Strip
Display term to describe the merchandising strip manufactured by Clip Strip Corp, the industry standard for such a strip.

Club Store/Warehouse Club
A retail term used to describe a warehouse-style operation such as Costco who charges an annual membership for customers to purchase merchandise in bulk at discount prices.

Co-operative Advertising
Term used to describe haring costs between two or more organizations to increase marketing dollars and reach.

Co-Pack is the agreement to produce a product for another organization to the quality standards defined by the contracting company. “Contract Manufacturing.” is a synonymous term for Co-Pack.

The term used to describe the rate of execution of a retail program across the entire retail network.

Compression is the encoding of digital information using fewer bits.

CAD, Computer Aided Design
High precision software used to design and manufacture displays and other physical objects used in POP.

Consumer refers to someone who buys and uses a product or a service instead of, re-selling or using the product in production.

Consumer Engagement
The term used to explain the process of making consumers salient in specific retail settings.

Consumer Promotion
A marketing campaign targeted at a consumer consisting of multiple tactics that can include displays, signage, and coupons and in store events.

The term used to identify the transition of an “RGB” file to a “CYMK” file or vice versa.

Counter Card
A standing advertising sign commonly used at checkouts and service counters.

Counter Display
Term to identify compact display common to store counters designed to drive impulse purchases.

CPG, Consumer Packaged Goods
Marketing and retail abbreviation used to describe “Consumer Packaged Goods.” This category includes pre-packaged food items and products for sale to consumers.

CRM, Customer Relationship Management
Marketing term meaning “Customer Relationship Management” and refers to a system of utilities used to read, sift and act on customer data.

Used to define the practice of displaying products from separate categories to generate incremental purchase or enhance the shopper experience. Examples include, batteries displayed next to electronic items and jewelry with dresses and blouses.

Customer Segmentation
The process of dividing a target audience into specific groups (e.g. psychographic or purchase pattering) to improve marketing, merchandising and customer loyalty.


Dangler is a flexible sign or graphic protruding from a store shelf and is also known as “wobbler”.

Printed piece covered by a lamination film on the front and pressure-sensitive adhesive film on the back.

Die Cut
Manufacturing process that cuts substrates into a specific shape using a precision tool (die) that resembles a stencil.

Die Line
A visual line placed in a design to mark the layout in a document that will be die cut during the production process.

Dollar Store
A dollar is a retail operation that offers a wide variety of categories with a limited number of SKU’s in each category. While most stores sold DKU’s at a $1 or less, most today sell items at higher prices.

Dump Bin
A term to identify a merchandising stand used to feature loose or bulk items.

Dwell Time
The amount of time a shopper spends at a location in a store (e.g. in front of a sign) or shops in the store.


Easel Card
Signs or cards containing a chipboard easel attached to the back. The easel provides support for the sign. Also refers to a free standing floor unit made of wood, plastic or metal to support signs, cards, or frames.

EDI, Electronic Data Interchange
Initials stands for “Electronic Data Interchange,” a term that involves the transmission of information by standardizing computer formats.

Edge Lit Display
A display that uses a special material to transmit light evenly across the surface using primarily LED lights positioned out of sight along the edge of the material behind the frame.

End Aisle Display
Term used to identify a display that appears at the end of an aisle. Also known as “end cap” or “end cap display.”

End Cap
Merchandising space located at the end of a store aisle – or perpendicular to the aisle offering greater potential for incremental sales.

EPS, Encapsulated Postscript
Initials stand for “Encapsulated PostScript” file. An EPS file is encoded using the PostScript page description language. A PostScript-compatible printer or interpreter is required to accurately print EPS files.

Ethnographic Research
1. Evidence gained by observation or video to study store shopper or in home consumer behavior.
2. The analysis of research collected under observation.

Refers to the activation of an in-store marketing program.

Experiential Marketing
A process of immersing a consumer within the brand message by engaging multiple senses such as sight, smell, touch and sound.

Extrusion Molding
The process of pushing heated plastic through a die. Extruded pieces – known as profiles – are often used in shelf-edge signage applications.


Term refers to each row of product stocked on a shelf or display. Determining the number of optimal facings for each SKU is a key for planogram development.

It is the decorative texture or appearance of a surface that appears on a substrate, such as metallic finishes or clear coats.

FMOT, First Moment of Truth
Marketing term coined by Proctor & Gamble. It’s the instant when consumers decide whether to “buy a P&G brand, or a competing product.” Phrase is interpreted as an affirmation for the importance of in-store marketing and as an endorsement for the store as a viable brand-building medium.

Floor Graphic
A floor graphic is a printed vinyl decal with protective coating that is applied to the floor. Floor decals are used to draw attention to products in close proximity and for way finding signs.

Floor Stand (Floor Display)
Freestanding merchandiser designed to sit on the sales floor to display posters and bulk merchandise. Floor stands are often double-sided.

A fixture that holds product on four sides.

Front-end is the retail floor space surrounding the checkout area. It is highly valued as a secondary merchandising location for the ability to attract high traffic volume.

FSC, Forestry Stewardship Council: organization
FSC refers to the organization known as the Forestry Stewardship Council. Products labeled FSC indicates the wood was cut from sustainably-managed forests.


GIF, Graphic Interchange Format
The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) is a common bitmap image format.

A secure shelving unit for stocking products allowing access from a minimum of two sides, often used for merchandising by packaged goods retailers. Gondolas are available in two sizes – “high profile” at 72 inches high and “low profile” at 48 inches.

Gravity Feed Display
A term referring to a display designed to allow gravity to push items forward as other items are removed from shelf.

Gray Scale
Refers to an image that has only intensity (luminance) and no colour (chrominance).


H.S.C, Half Slotted Carton
H.S.C. is an acronym for Half Slotted Carton.

Half Pallet
A pallet of the following dimensions (20″ x 48″, 24″ x 40″, 24″ x 48″)

The simulation of continuous tone imagery through the use of dots, varied either in size or in spacing.

A board that sits on the top of a display, fixture or case stacker is referred to as a Header. This area is commonly used for signage and branding.

The characteristic related to the light frequency that appears in a colour.

Hymes Bottom
A tuck style box with a fully automatic bottom and product entry from the top of the box is referred to a Hymes Bottom. It is the most common style of box.


Impression is the measurement of exposure to a marketing message. One exposure equals one impression.

Impulse Purchase
A purchase made without planning, often triggered by in-store stimuli.

In line
In line is a retail activity that occurs within the standard shelf set or planogram. It also refers to an area in an aisle.

In Store Marketing
Is a term referring to all marketing that occurs in a store, from displays and merchandising to promotions and sampling.

In-line Display
A type of merchandising unit that affixes to a retailer’s existing shelf fixture or gondola.

Incentive is a sales trigger where another product, service or feature is offered with purchase of original product.

Injection Molding
Injection molding is the process of pushing liquid plastic through a machined, two-part mold at high pressure and temperature. As the plastic cools, it solidifies and is ejected from the mold. This process is used to produce bar, rod and custom profiles used to produce POP displays.

Fluid substance used for printing.

Integrated Marketing
Integrated Marketing is the process of planning and developing marketing communications in a cohesive, holistic fashion to create clear, consistent and effective messages.

Interactive Display
A display that invites interaction from shoppers – via buttons, touch screens, product samples, QR tags, etc. is an Interactive Display.


JPEG is a common method for compressing images. The amount of compression is adjustable to create a balance between storage size and image quality.


K-D (Knock Down) Display
The term refers to a display that is shipped flat and has to be assembled on site.

Kitting is the action of assembling/collating materials into kits.

KPI, Key Performance Indicator:
KPI is an acronym for Key Performance Indicator that is frequently used in reporting.


Last Three Feet
The Last Three Feet describes the proximity to the purchase decision – referring to the last step in the process when a consumer considers a product.

Refers to rigid sheet of plastic that can display different visuals at different angles to create 3D or motion images.

Lift is the measurement of sales or revenue increase from in-store marketing. Expressed as a percentage, lift is generally short-term or promotional. It is also called “uplift.”

Loss Leader
A product or service offered to shoppers at cost or below cost as a way of driving traffic to the store and gaining additional purchases.

Lug On
Lug on is a sign or POP added to a primary display often resulting in an increase in the size.


Magenta is described as light purple, purplish-red or pinkish purple and is a critical colour in the CYMK colour system.

Mass Merchant
Is the term used to describe a store carrying a wide variety of popular product categories, often at a discount price.
Mobile Marketing
1. Delivering marketing messages to consumers via portable media devices such as mobile phones.
2. An event marketing tour featuring the use of a branded vehicle.

Modular Display
A display that can be constructed in multiple ways to produce different sizes and shapes


Near Pack Display
1. A display that merchandises a premium given away with product purchase. The premium is often placed near the central product and features promotional message.
2. A display shipped flat in a container, to be set up at retail.


Off Premise
Describes sales of beer, wine and liquor through retail environments where they will not be consumed. Distinction is significant in states where public policy limits access to alcohol.

On Premise
On Premise is the sale of beer, wine and liquor through channels offering on site consumption, such as bars and restaurants.

A promotion or other marketing message delivered on product packaging.

Opacity refers to the degree to which light is not allowed to travel through or, the degree to which something is opaque.

OTC, Over the Counter
OTC is an acronym for “over the counter”, referring to medication that does not need a prescription.

Pack Out Display
A display folded flat for shipment with the merchandise included in the same box for in-store assembly.


Pallet Display
A display built on standard pallets for shipping and rolled out to sales floor with minimal assembly. Typically pre-packed with product and shrink wrapped for shipping. Full-sized, half pallets and quarter pallets are common sizes.

Pallet Pattern
The arrangement or pattern of boxes/cartons placed on a pallet.

Pantone Colors
Standardized colour system for printing inks/paints patented by Pantone Inc. The system utilises a palette of standard colours that are mixed in precise combinations to consistently create and re-create a wide range of colours.

Path to Purchase
The path shoppers take from the time they discover a product to the time they purchase it. The process may include research, discussion with friends and media exposure.

Portable Document Format (PDF) is used to accurately display documents independent of application software, hardware or operating system.

PDQ Display
This term describes a display that arrives with product in shelf-ready container to allow for “pretty darn quick” stocking.

Pixel is a single point in a raster image. The pixel is the smallest unit of picture which can be controlled. Each pixel has an address that denotes the pixel’s coordinates.

Refers to the in-store location where a marketing program is set-up.

Planned Purchase
Refers to a purchase the shopper intends to make before entering a store.

A diagram used to direct the exact placement of specific SKUs (stock keeping units) on store shelves.

PMS, Pantone Matching System
PMS stands for “Pantone Matching System.” These colour charts have more than a thousand preprinted colour swatches representing blended inks, used to identify, display, or define special “branded” colours. PMS is the standard system used by commercial printers.

POP is an acronym for “Point of Purchase”, the site of a consumer transaction.

Pole Topper
A sign communicating an ad message mounted on paper or plastic poles. Pole toppers are frequently used in beverage merchandising.

POPAI, Point of Purchase Advertising International.
POPAI is a global trade association for practitioners of retail marketing.

Post-Consumer Materials
Production materials that have completed their intended use and sent to be recycled as raw material are referred to as Post-Consumer materials.

Powder Coating
Powder coating is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder. Typically applied electro statically and cured under heat to create a hard protective and decorative finish on metals and other materials.

Power Wing
Power wing is an add on component designed to hang from a store fixture, often on the sides of end cap displays.

Pre-Pack Display
Popular merchandiser filled with product at point of production and shipped together as a single unit reducing store labour. Lower cost versions are known as “shipper displays.”

Private Label
A line of products exclusive to a single retailer commonly produced by that retailer or outsourced with retailer branding. A good example is Roots.

A proof is an accurate sample of pre-production print work for the purpose of checking for errors.

Purchase Decision
The act of choosing to buy a product or service is referred to as a Purchase Decision.

Purchase Influence
Purchase Influence is the factor or factors affecting a shopper’s decision to buy.

Purchase Intent
The predisposition a consumer has to buy a product, or the likelihood that he will buy the product.


Qualitative Research
A method of enquiry in market research aimed to gather an in depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior.

Quantitative Research
Hard facts data-driven research used to improve products and services.

Quarter Pallet
A retail display that requires a floor space sized 20” x 24”. Four quarter pallet displays are often shipped on one regular pallet.


Racetrack is a continuous oval or circle aisle around an entire store where products are merchandised on either side.

A floor stand commonly constructed of wire or metal used to display specific products or a group of related products.

A style of graphic (e.g. JPEG) comprised of pixels and requiring care for resizing.

Rasterized Type
Type that has rough or pixilated edges is described as Rasterized. The type does not appear smooth because it has been rendered at a low resolution.

Items capable of being used again for other products or applications are referred to as Recyclable.

Renderings are the process of using software to produce an image from a model.

Retail Shop ability
Retail Shopabilty is defined as the ability of the retail environment to translate consumer demand into purchase.

Acronym stands for “Request for Information,” a process that sees a company request initial information about a potential supplier.

Acronym for, “Radio Frequency Identification”, a technology that appears on a data chip called an electronic bar code. The chip emits radio waves that can be interpreted by nearby readers.

Acronym stands for “Request for Proposal.” A RFP is a document that serves as a request for suppliers to submit bids on a project.

Acronym stands for “Request for Quotation”, the process whereby a company seeks costing from a supplier.

Acronym stands for “Raster Image Processing”. The term describes a component of printing system that produces a “raster” image or bitmap. The raster image is sent to a printing device for output.

1. The top most shelves of a gondola often used to store overstocks.
2. A graphic panel or card that attaches at the top of a display.

Rotational Molding
Rotational molding is a process used to create medium-to-large hollow parts using plastic resin. Produced parts are lightweight yet solidly constructed for POP displays and other applications.

RSB is an acronym for a Regular Slotted Box. It is good for most products and as a result the most common style used.


S Hook
A metal or plastic hook shaped like an “S” used to hang merchandising strips or other displays.

Same Store Sales
The amount of total sales generated from stores open for at least one year or long enough to invite comparisons based on data and is used to help determine a retailer’s overall health.

Saturation denotes the degree of chroma or purity of a colour.

Seasonal Merchandise
Products exhibiting higher demand from shoppers and increased merchandising activity from retailers during specific seasons of the year. Merchandise to support a Back to School campaign is a good example.

Secondary Display
Secondary Display is the placement of product in a location different than its primary shelf position. Can also define the display upon which a product receives the additional merchandising.

Security Ad Wrap
An advertisement placed over the theft-prevention security pedestals located at store entrance.

The process of dividing larger groups (e.g. consumer or shopper) into smaller groups by way of pre-defined criteria such as demographics. The resulting “segments” can receive targeted marketing or be measured independent of the larger group.

Sell Sheet
A printed sheet or brochure featuring detailed information about a product’s available pack sizes, display options and promotional offering. Commonly used by product manufacturers to sell programs to retailers. Sell Sheet is also referred to as “one sheet.”

Semi-Permanent Display
A display designed to remain in place for a longer period of time, commonly between two and six months.

Shelf Channel
A recessed channel on the front of store shelving units used to display pricing labels and other messaging.

Shelf Extender
A display or fixture attached to standard shelving units increasing the available space drawing more attention and focus by a shopper.

Shelf Label
A label placed on shelves or in shelf channels containing information such as price, product size, bar codes and temporary sales offers.

A display that includes pre-packed merchandise and the display structure in a single carton designed for fast and easy set-up.

The evaluation of a store’s ability to satisfy shoppers measured by how fast, easy, informative and pleasant the experience is.

A Shopper is a consumer who is actively involved in considering products to purchase.

Shopper Centric
The strategy in which store designs, layouts, merchandising activity, product selection or marketing initiatives are developed to meet the needs of a targeted consumer segment.

Shopper Insights
Shopper Insights is the qualitative and quantitative learning that allows for an understanding of shopper behaviour.

Shopper Marketing
The use of measured insights into the shopper mind set to drive marketing and merchandising activity in a specific store environment.

The amount of merchandise lost due to shoplifting, employee theft or spoilage – after a retailer receives it.

Sidekick is a small display that hangs at the sides of a store end cap or fixture. Most are pre-packed with merchandise for quick setup. Many retailers use permanent end cap hardware for pre packed sidekicks. Other displays of this type ship with a temporary base that allows usage as a display. Sometimes referred to as “power wing,” although this commonly denotes larger displays.

SKU, Stock Keeping Unit
Acronym means “Stock Keeping Unit,” a numeric identification tag given to a specific product by a retailer.

Slatwall is widely used for covering retail walls and display fixtures. The painted or laminated fibre board sheet is machined with slots allowing for the installation of specially designed bracketed shelves, hooks or other devices on which to stock product. One key advantage is Slatwall allows the retailer to maximize their wall space for product merchandising. Slatwall is often used by footwear retailers and dollar stores.

Slotting Allowance
Slotting Allowance is the fee paid by a manufacturer to the retailer to provide shelf space for a new product.

Is a large display that frequently combines multiple display formats and products to achieve greater impact. Commonly built around seasonal or event themes and positioned in store lobbies or perimeters. Christmas and Super Bowl displays are good examples.

A tool featuring flat, smooth rubber blade, used to remove or control the flow of liquid on a flat surface. Also known as a squilgee or sometimes squimjim
Smaller hand held squeegees are used for the installation of vinyl graphics.

A freestanding sign frame allowing for easily changeable graphics and messages. The majority of stanchions can be used double-sided.

A freestanding cut-out typically made of corrugate or foam board often showcasing a person or animated character. Usually comprises one component of a broader display program.

Store Check
A visit to a retail location to observe conditions and gather specific information is a Store Check. Store Checks are often used to measure campaign compliance.

Store With in a Store
The branded area of a store designed as a distinctive shopping destination. The term is used to identify co-branding partnerships such as a branded restaurant inside a larger store like a McDonalds within a Wal-Mart. Store within a Store is also referred to as “vendor shop.”

Sustainability is the capacity to endure, common to environmental soundness of organizations and environmental programs.


Table Tent
A small sign that ships flat and can be folded in half to form a tent-shaped display for use on tables or countertops. Frequently used in bars and restaurants.

Temporary Display
Denotes displays constructed of corrugated board with a life span of one week to three months. Most temporary displays are produced from “E” flute corrugate.

Test Store
A retail outlet used to test new products, marketing concepts or merchandising strategies.

Acronym stands for “Tagged Image File Format.” raster format of image.


Ultraviolet Curing (UV)
The drying of UV inks by a light reaction, as opposed to heat or oxidation.

Unaided Awareness
The consumer’s ability to remember an advertising message without prompting is Unaided Awareness.


1. A sign attached perpendicular to the shelf at 90 degrees.
2. Visual device affixed to packaging graphics to promote a special feature.

Visual Merchandising
Visual Merchandising or Visual Awareness is the arranging of products in a way that considers visual aesthetics and merchandising effectiveness.

Acronym that stands for “Volatile Organic Compounds,” chemicals common to paint that emit vapors while evaporating.


Warehouse Club/Club Store
A retail term used to describe a warehouse-style operation such as Costco who charges an annual membership for customers to purchase merchandise in bulk at discount prices

Way finding
Signage philosophy that helps consumers navigate a retail environment.

Window Display
Window displays are typically seen in urban department stores with pedestrian traffic and are seasonal in nature.

Wobbler is a flexible sign or graphic protruding from a store shelf and is also known as a “Dangler.”

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