PROJECT: permanent kayak display
CLIENT: Confluence outdoor - perception kayaks

Confluence Outdoor, a world leader in the manufacture of canoes, kayaks, and paddling accessories, partnered with Axis Display Group to create their first ever retail merchandising program.

Headquartered in a popular hub for canoe and kayak destinations - Greenville, SC - Confluence Outdoor both inspires and is inspired by the people who occupy their waterways. The company is parent to eight paddlesports brands - Wilderness Systems, Perception, Dagger, Wave Sport, Mad River Canoe, Adventure Technology, Harmony, and Boardwalks - offering customers of all interests and skill levels everything they “need to connect with the outdoors and find the freedom [Confluence Outdoors] believes can only be found on the water.”

Never having a formalized retail merchandising program before, Confluence Outdoor came to Axis Display Group to develop and produce a retail program for Perception Kayaks.

In recent years, kayaking has grown in popularity, bringing with it an influx of kayaks and kayak accessories produced by sporting goods manufacturers who often lack the expert knowledge necessary to make a high quality product. Many kayaks today are sold in superstores among other water toys, often shoved into overcrowded displays, with no education/messaging, and no true way to test features such as material, weight, and comfort.

Recognizing this pattern, and understanding how difficult it can be for shoppers to know what they should and should not look for when purchasing a kayak, Perception put out a video that helped to inspire the new retail experience:


Using content such as this for inspiration, Axis Display Group developed a permanent, standalone kayak display, featuring the ability to showcase one, two, or three kayaks + versatile signage and accessory options. Since shoppers have different needs based on their intended use and skill level, AXIS ensured educational messaging and a platform for associate-shopper interaction were included as key design elements. To accommodate differences in allotted retail space throughout Perception’s nationwide dealer network, the display family was manufactured with mass customization in mind. Doing this allows the design to provide scalable options no matter the real estate available.

Design Objectives:

  • Utilize “High, Eye, Buy” messaging to capture shopper attention, engage the senses, and smartly guide them through product information 
  • Showcase more of the kayak itself and less of the fixture so shoppers understand the kayak is available for purchase and not just part of the merchandising display
  • Design should be expandable to house 1 or 2 kayaks plus additional accessories
  • Must integrate into a multitude of retail environments and product offerings
  • Bundled accessories should allow for a complete buying experience

Materials & Components:

  • Powder coated steel
  • Tubing
  • MDF (clear coated)
  • Digitally printed graphics

Results Achieved:

Over 1,000 displays and accompanying parts were produced and shipped to retailers nationwide. To date, the Perception sales team reported a measurable sales lift in stores with the new kayak display. Plans to expand the program are expected. Cost was kept down for the client by implementing value-engineering and using both global and domestic manufacturing. Additionally, this display family was built to be mass-customized. No matter the individual retailer’s space, there is a workable option to attractively showcase the Perception Kayaks. As a future value-add, AXIS plans to also create a custom client web portal where Confluence Outdoor Customer Service Representative can easily order additional displays and parts on behalf of the retailers.


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