Temporary vs. Permanent Displays

Displays are integral in brick-and-mortar retail. Countless businesses compete for customer attention, so you must stand out and show the advantages of what you sell. One way to do this is with permanent or temporary point-of-purchase displays. Custom POP displays can benefit your retail strategy in many ways, including grabbing customer attention and increasing profits and brand awareness.

This guide will review the differences between permanent and temporary displays to help you determine which one is better for your products.

Differences Between Temporary and Permanent Displays

Retail displays are vital in promoting beneficial products to attract potential customers’ attention. What is the best way to showcase promotional products? Consider the following criteria when deciding between temporary and permanent displays. 


Temporary displays consist of inexpensive and lightweight materials like cardboard. These semi-permanent, short-term displays are customizable and disposable.

In contrast, permanent displays are durable and long-lasting. They feature materials such as wood, plastic and metal, providing the sturdiness needed to withstand frequent customer interactions. 


Displays serve different purposes, affecting their life span. Temporary displays are usually seasonal, so they may only serve their purpose for a few months. A permanent display may remain in place for several years.


Temporary displays are the better option if you’re on a tight budget. The materials and manufacturing processes are inexpensive, so your business may use them to promote more affordable products. Due to their durability and longer shelf life, permanent displays can successfully market non-seasonal merchandise. Over time, permanent displays will serve as an extension of a company’s look and messaging, making them worth the ROI and brand continuity. 


Consider how adaptable each display material is. Temporary displays are best for short-term use, so they are a one-and-done marketing strategy. You can take them down shortly after a holiday or product launch.

Permanent displays can have removable graphics and updatable signage. Some displays are modular, giving you more ways to assemble them. This versatility lets you add or remove features to promote new products throughout the year as your marketing objectives change with the seasons.

Use Cases

Decide what you want to market to your target audience before investing in a display. Choose temporary displays for short-term or seasonal campaigns, then recycle the cardboard when it’s served its purpose.

Permanent displays are ideal for products requiring constant visibility. These sturdy displays can withstand heavy traffic. Their design makes them excellent for showcasing high-ticket items, staple goods and various product lines. They are a sound investment for long-term branding and marketing within a retail environment. 

Permanent Displays

Permanent displays feature creative, classic and timeless designs. They don’t reflect the seasons, holidays or your brand’s current commercials.

Permanent displays are an extension of your branding. Your display’s look and feel affect customer experience, convincing in-store shoppers to buy your product. Attractive, eye-catching displays are one way to increase purchases.

Here are the best products for permanent displays.

  • Well-known products: It’s a better strategy to market new products temporarily, so you can evaluate how well they do. Since permanent displays last for years, it is best to use them for one of your brand’s trusted products.
  • Products by established brands: Consider a permanent display for a new product if your company has built a trusted reputation. For instance, if you sell handbags, you can keep your primary stock on the permanent display and swap it out when you release a new collection.

Though Creative Displays Now does not specialize in permanent displays, we can quickly connect you with an expert at our parent company, Great Northern Instore.

Temporary Displays

Creative Displays Now has designed and manufactured temporary displays for over 60 years. Most POP displays are temporary. The benefits of temporary displays include affordability, durability and customizability. They’re usually corrugated cardboard, so they are lightweight. They’re  specific to your product, so you can use them to display everything from sunscreen to soda. They are easy to move and set up throughout a store and come in many styles. These custom, cost-effective displays are best for:

  • Snacks, food and beverages
  • Nutritional supplements and vitamins
  • Electronics
  • Pet supplies
  • Office supplies
  • Toys
  • Health and beauty supplies
  • Hardware and home improvement supplies
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables

Questions to Determine Which Display Is Better for You

Ask yourself these questions to decide which display suits your needs.

Is Branding Important?

Corrugated cardboard displays are easy to customize. Permanent displays often feature removable, secondary pieces like stand-up signage the product manufacturer may supply.

Do You Want the Store to Swap or Move Your Displays?

Corrugated cardboard displays are temporary and generally not reusable. When empty, these lightweight displays are easy to move. Since they are usually cardboard, you can disassemble and recycle them when the campaign ends, making room for new displays.

It’s possible to clear and restock permanent displays, offering a lifetime display but limiting your branding opportunities. They’re generally not movable, but you can relocate some throughout a store between campaigns.

Are You Using Your Displays for Seasonal Marketing Campaigns?

Corrugated cardboard displays are perfect for seasonal marketing campaigns. Order a new, custom autumn-themed merchandise display as summer gives way to fall or if you want to market ahead of a holiday like Valentine’s Day.

Permanent displays can take more time and thought to use seasonally, and you will probably need to order or design aspects to accentuate your merchandise and give it a seasonal feel. Additionally, you’ll need to consider campaign runtime — permanent displays store items for nine months or longer.

Do You Prefer Creative Displays?

Corrugated cardboard displays take the design work out of the process. Experienced companies can print and wrap product-specific branding.

Permanent displays take more time and forethought to create. They can be frustrating if you struggle to visualize items from conception to reality.

Contact Creative Displays Now!

Deciding to create a custom display for your products may initially seem overwhelming. It can be hard to anticipate the pros and cons of going either route. But as with anything, knowledge is power. Asking the questions above can help you determine which option is better for your needs. You may even realize you want to combine these strategies for an even more impactful marketing punch.

Creative Displays Now has over 60 years of experience in the temporary display and packaging business. We design, manufacture, print and distribute displays. If necessary, we can pack them out. Doing everything in-house allows us to ensure high quality and efficiency.

Our lithographic prepress and pressroom are G7 master certified. This qualification puts us in the upper echelons of lithographic printers and speaks to our commitment of providing our customers with the best possible products. After purchasing displays or retail packaging, our customers can configure custom boxes for their shipping needs.

Check out our display solutions or contact us to begin your next project. At Creative Displays Now, we treat every customer like a VIP.

*Page last updated November 11, 2022 at 3:30pm.

Posted in Display and Packaging Design, Printing, Manufacturing, and Product Pack-Out

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