Building Professional Window Displays

How to Build Professional Window Displays...A Few Great Tips

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas

Focus Attention

 Have you ever tried to persuade someone who wasn’t really listening? It doesn’t work.People only have so much attention to give. Show a customer one product and you’re dealing with 100% of their attention. Show them two products and you’ve got only half as much attention on each. That’s called splitting attention. And the more products you add, the worse the math. Some store owners violate this principle hoping that something in the window will catch the eye. In practice, however, the normal result is to catch nothing at all. So little attention is available for any given item, the average passer by sees nothing at all.On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with grouping related products together and selling them as a package. 

Mask Distractive Background

 What else can the customer see through your window? If they can see into the store, you must ask yourself if this is going to enhance the overall effect or detract. Depending on the setting, this could go either way.If viewing above and around the display is distractive, if it looks cluttered, use a backdrop of some sort to wall off distractions. Cover the background panel in fabric or display vinyl. This could be a large panel, or even fire-resistant seamless photography paper. 

Keep It Clean

 A dirty or dusty window display lowers not only perceived value of the product, but also the integrity and control of store management. Five minutes with a feather duster can make a huge difference. Window glass is best cleaned before the display is done, using a solution of clear ammonia and water. Wipe edges with clean paper towels or newspapers. 

Present The Correct Quantity

 Now that you’ve selected an item and limited distractions, you need to decide how many products to put on display. This decision may pivot on price. Generally speaking the less involved the customer is in the purchase of the item, the more you may want to display a volume of the items on display. For example, a potato does not require a lot of thought on the part of a buyer, whereas an expensive watch does. So display only one of the watch, but offer potatoes in a huge pile. 

Elevate

 Get your items off the ground. To put something on a pedestal or platform is to glorify it. Remember the old idiom about putting someone on a pedestal. You can cover a box in velvet or display felt, buy a plastic column from a display supply, or use a table. Never place items on the floor in a display. Make it special. Elevate.  

Use Signage

 The use of signage in a window display gives the chance to reinforce the purpose if tasteful and clever. You want your display to be as powerful as possible but since the ultimate goal is to sell there are times when the whole composition will benefit from a word or two. Or perhaps a brand name or logo positioned somewhere. In fact, there are times when the omission of the brand name would be sheer idiocy. Take, for instance, a series of window displays interpreting a new fragrance. Such a display would make no marketing sense without the name of the brand somewhere visible.But in most cases, unless you have a really good idea for a sign, leave it out. As a comparative, advertisements sometimes include a tag line or slogan. Today the rule is, unless the tag line is spectacular leave it out! Like a bad haircut or botched plastic surgery, a mediocre tag line will do more harm than good. Many advertisers don’t understand this. “What’s our slogan for this campaign?”,  they think they have to have a slogan -not true.  ... The moral of the story, use signage, ( Link to Shoppetalk to Buy! ). 

Add Trim

 Foliage, flowers, ribbon, a velvet pillow, rusty steel, a wicker basket... in the display profession, props such as these are called “trim.” Older dictionaries give a definition of trim as a, “decorative addition.”In fact, it might interest you to know that for decades, a display artist in the apparel industry was called a “trimmer.” In the main, trimmers worked with wires instead of mannequins, making clothes appear to hang, float or fly in mid air as if by magic. They habitually added in decorative additions such as dried foliage, flowers, ribbon, and all manner of things to tell a story.

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas ..… Robyn hand made all the butterflies . Nice Trim!

Send me pictures of your window displays. Best Barbara

Best Gift Awards For 2011

Erica Kirkland, Editor Retail News, and Barbara Crowhurst,  founder of Retailmakeover, present the Best Gift Awards at the CGTA August Show , 2011 .[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"]"CGTA 2011 Unveiling"

Here is the awards unveiling and what was said:

Best Gift for Body & Soul:

Erica:Reed diffusers have come a long way from simple sticks in glass jars. Fruits & Passion’s Ambiance Decorative Diffuser Sets were designed to emit fragrance (from the birch flower) for up to eight weeks, but the combination of the sleek ceramic vase and the modern bloom means this item straddles the fragrance and home décor categories as a beautiful accent piece and functional fragrance item.Barbara:Great product, great price point. Do not cherry pick this collection . Buy all the colours . If this item is a test product never before in your store buy wide so again all the collection, all colours but stay shallow on the inventory or repeats. You can display this in many ways. New products should be placed in feature areas in your store in mass with signage announcing – both trend product connection and that’s it’s new . This is a great near the counter product as well. Love this technique – “product of the day”. Pick an item from this collection . Again signage and teach your staff to show and talk about the item.

Best Canadian-made Gift:

Erica:Canadian-made cuffs from Hides in Hand look need to be worn to be appreciated. Wrap one of these soft, supple Deerskin Floral Bracelets around your wrist and you’ll be sold – as will your customers. Available in five fashion-forward colours, the very affordable bracelets make for an unexpected addition to a display of Canadian-made wares or an array of fashion accessories.Barbara:Love this product. I agree it must come off it’s displayer to be truly shown off. Demos are a key way to showcase products in your store . You know it, customers love what you love . This will both be a great addition to your Canadian Made Category or for those of you who carry fashion accessory (a big growth category for retailers) a good choice. Again make sure your display of this product is in a feature spot with signage that tells the trend story. Talk it up to your staff.

Best Eco-Friendly Gift:

Erica:No water, no trees, no bleach and less energy (compared to traditional paper manufacturing) is involved in the production of Made By Human’s Rock Paper Notebooks. Better than recycled paper, more durable than regular paper, these nifty notebooks are filled with pages made from . . . limestone. Dressed up with contemporary graphics and bearing a retail price comparative to “regular” notebooks, what’s not to like?Barbara:This whole idea of supporting ECO friendly product seems to be a hit or miss with retail specialty stores. If my retail clients are passionate about being a leader for everything ECO in there market place then they support more of this type of product. If you are looking to set yourself apart from your competition. Here is your start; invest in this product. Make sure you display it prominently in your store. Again the right signage - on message. Product knowledge training for your staff. If I’m pushing your button on the ECO message , may be you become the force in your community , use your monthly newsletter to talk up your commitment and product selection.

Best Gourmet Food Gift:

Erica:Tishbi Wine & Fruit Preserves are made from products grown in the award-winning Tishbi Estate Winery in Israel and cooked in small batches– a process that delivers a natural, fruity flavour and a less sugary preserve. With tantalizing combinations like Strawberry Champagne and Cabernet Wine Jelly and shelf-friendly packaging, this line could likely sell itself, but we recommend taste testing.Barbara:This product sells itself once you taste it. Looking to create some excitement around this product. Do tastings . Great add on item. Let me take you thru how you achieve your sales goals thru add on sales. You build your business one client at a time, one interaction at a time. Let’s say your average sale is $40 and you want a 20% increase year on year. Show each customer an add on item at $8. Add on sales are part of a thriving sales culture. Start training add on sales . Role play with your staff.

Best Gift for the Home:

Erica:Battery-operated candles are not new, but Reallite candles from Abbott have managed to do what no other has yet achieved. A patent-pending technology results in a life-like flame that dances and flickers. No dripping, no smoke, no mess, no heat, no worries. Reusable, and therefore ECO-friendly, flame-free candles also allow us to keep our elderly, children and pets safe from the pitfalls of fire. Available in other colours and sizes.Barbara:Put this product into your buying budget for the Fall. You should budget 4% of your buying budget for New Trends each buying Show. This product wowed me and it will wow your customers. The look is outstanding , make sure you have multiples working in a mass feature display. Set a goal with your sales staff to show this item off to every one that comes into the store. Signage, staff product knowledge sessions and effective feature displays will do the trick with this product.

Best Kid’s Gift:

Erica:Stylish and sustainable, the Bynto from Lakapooki is the littler brother to the popular Goodbyn. The smaller version is perfect for snacks, kid’s lunches and for those concerned with portion control. The bright colours, simple yet arresting design, and affordable price point make this a winning new introduction in the highly competitive baby and children’s product category. Available in six colours.Barbara:I add my support to this great product. Let’s give this product the works, let’s have a look at the Best Launch Strategies.Buy enough to make a statement in your store, add this item to your promotional calendar (test it with an introductory price off at 10% or gift with purchase of this item) newsletter, website, instore displays, flyers, Twitter, Facebook, staff training.

Best Gift for the Kitchen & Table:

Erica:The Emile Henry Pizza Stone from Browne & Co. offers significant enhances for those who enjoy home-cooked pizza. Pizza lovers can cook, serve and cut delicious homemade pizza on these multifunctional stones. Place it directly on heat – barbeque, gas stove top, broiler - to cook, bring to the table and cut individual slices without scratching the surface.Barbara:In-store what will sell this product and it won’t be to hard! I promise you. Is feature displays and product knowledge. Using this as a contest item and give away to collect more customer names and contact info for your data base. Now that’s a good idea.

Best Novelty Gift:

Erica:Strap it to your shopping cart, treadmill and stroller to keep your smartphone close by at all times. The Texthook by Kidcentral Supply is the ultimate holder for your iPhone or Blackberry. A simple sliding motion makes inserting and removing a phone easy, so you can listen to tunes, check emails and take phone calls while on the move.Barbara:Since being on the panel that selected the trend products for this year. I have seen so many practical uses of this product. For instants a gal came on the elevator the other day with her bike. She had all the attachments her bike really geared up . In her hand her phone. I said to her: wouldn’t you love to have some were safe to put your phone. She said yes, were do I get that devise? To sell this it’s about feature and benefits. I was thinking you bring a stroller or bike into your feature display for this product. The larger props will draw attention and be the needed focal[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"]"CTGA 2011 Presentation"[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Best Gift Awards For 2011

Erica Kirkland, Editor Retail News, and Barbara Crowhurst,  founder of Retailmakeover, present the Best Gift Awards at the CGTA August Show , 2011 .[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"]"CGTA 2011 Unveiling"

Here is the awards unveiling and what was said:

Best Gift for Body & Soul:

Erica:Reed diffusers have come a long way from simple sticks in glass jars. Fruits & Passion’s Ambiance Decorative Diffuser Sets were designed to emit fragrance (from the birch flower) for up to eight weeks, but the combination of the sleek ceramic vase and the modern bloom means this item straddles the fragrance and home décor categories as a beautiful accent piece and functional fragrance item.Barbara:Great product, great price point. Do not cherry pick this collection . Buy all the colours . If this item is a test product never before in your store buy wide so again all the collection, all colours but stay shallow on the inventory or repeats. You can display this in many ways. New products should be placed in feature areas in your store in mass with signage announcing – both trend product connection and that’s it’s new . This is a great near the counter product as well. Love this technique – “product of the day”. Pick an item from this collection . Again signage and teach your staff to show and talk about the item.

Best Canadian-made Gift:

Erica:Canadian-made cuffs from Hides in Hand look need to be worn to be appreciated. Wrap one of these soft, supple Deerskin Floral Bracelets around your wrist and you’ll be sold – as will your customers. Available in five fashion-forward colours, the very affordable bracelets make for an unexpected addition to a display of Canadian-made wares or an array of fashion accessories.Barbara:Love this product. I agree it must come off it’s displayer to be truly shown off. Demos are a key way to showcase products in your store . You know it, customers love what you love . This will both be a great addition to your Canadian Made Category or for those of you who carry fashion accessory (a big growth category for retailers) a good choice. Again make sure your display of this product is in a feature spot with signage that tells the trend story. Talk it up to your staff.

Best Eco-Friendly Gift:

Erica:No water, no trees, no bleach and less energy (compared to traditional paper manufacturing) is involved in the production of Made By Human’s Rock Paper Notebooks. Better than recycled paper, more durable than regular paper, these nifty notebooks are filled with pages made from . . . limestone. Dressed up with contemporary graphics and bearing a retail price comparative to “regular” notebooks, what’s not to like?Barbara:This whole idea of supporting ECO friendly product seems to be a hit or miss with retail specialty stores. If my retail clients are passionate about being a leader for everything ECO in there market place then they support more of this type of product. If you are looking to set yourself apart from your competition. Here is your start; invest in this product. Make sure you display it prominently in your store. Again the right signage - on message. Product knowledge training for your staff. If I’m pushing your button on the ECO message , may be you become the force in your community , use your monthly newsletter to talk up your commitment and product selection.

Best Gourmet Food Gift:

Erica:Tishbi Wine & Fruit Preserves are made from products grown in the award-winning Tishbi Estate Winery in Israel and cooked in small batches– a process that delivers a natural, fruity flavour and a less sugary preserve. With tantalizing combinations like Strawberry Champagne and Cabernet Wine Jelly and shelf-friendly packaging, this line could likely sell itself, but we recommend taste testing.Barbara:This product sells itself once you taste it. Looking to create some excitement around this product. Do tastings . Great add on item. Let me take you thru how you achieve your sales goals thru add on sales. You build your business one client at a time, one interaction at a time. Let’s say your average sale is $40 and you want a 20% increase year on year. Show each customer an add on item at $8. Add on sales are part of a thriving sales culture. Start training add on sales . Role play with your staff.

Best Gift for the Home:

Erica:Battery-operated candles are not new, but Reallite candles from Abbott have managed to do what no other has yet achieved. A patent-pending technology results in a life-like flame that dances and flickers. No dripping, no smoke, no mess, no heat, no worries. Reusable, and therefore ECO-friendly, flame-free candles also allow us to keep our elderly, children and pets safe from the pitfalls of fire. Available in other colours and sizes.Barbara:Put this product into your buying budget for the Fall. You should budget 4% of your buying budget for New Trends each buying Show. This product wowed me and it will wow your customers. The look is outstanding , make sure you have multiples working in a mass feature display. Set a goal with your sales staff to show this item off to every one that comes into the store. Signage, staff product knowledge sessions and effective feature displays will do the trick with this product.

Best Kid’s Gift:

Erica:Stylish and sustainable, the Bynto from Lakapooki is the littler brother to the popular Goodbyn. The smaller version is perfect for snacks, kid’s lunches and for those concerned with portion control. The bright colours, simple yet arresting design, and affordable price point make this a winning new introduction in the highly competitive baby and children’s product category. Available in six colours.Barbara:I add my support to this great product. Let’s give this product the works, let’s have a look at the Best Launch Strategies.Buy enough to make a statement in your store, add this item to your promotional calendar (test it with an introductory price off at 10% or gift with purchase of this item) newsletter, website, instore displays, flyers, Twitter, Facebook, staff training.

Best Gift for the Kitchen & Table:

Erica:The Emile Henry Pizza Stone from Browne & Co. offers significant enhances for those who enjoy home-cooked pizza. Pizza lovers can cook, serve and cut delicious homemade pizza on these multifunctional stones. Place it directly on heat – barbeque, gas stove top, broiler - to cook, bring to the table and cut individual slices without scratching the surface.Barbara:In-store what will sell this product and it won’t be to hard! I promise you. Is feature displays and product knowledge. Using this as a contest item and give away to collect more customer names and contact info for your data base. Now that’s a good idea.

Best Novelty Gift:

Erica:Strap it to your shopping cart, treadmill and stroller to keep your smartphone close by at all times. The Texthook by Kidcentral Supply is the ultimate holder for your iPhone or Blackberry. A simple sliding motion makes inserting and removing a phone easy, so you can listen to tunes, check emails and take phone calls while on the move.Barbara:Since being on the panel that selected the trend products for this year. I have seen so many practical uses of this product. For instants a gal came on the elevator the other day with her bike. She had all the attachments her bike really geared up . In her hand her phone. I said to her: wouldn’t you love to have some were safe to put your phone. She said yes, were do I get that devise? To sell this it’s about feature and benefits. I was thinking you bring a stroller or bike into your feature display for this product. The larger props will draw attention and be the needed focal[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"]"CTGA 2011 Presentation"[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Day #10 - What Trade Shows Should I Visit?

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"]international trade shows[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"]"international trade shows"             Here is a link to all International and North American ShowsBarbara[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Getting ready for your next buying trip

It's that time of the year!  The biggest lesson, I can teach you about being better prepared for your next buying trip has everything to do with one of my major concerns for you.  You need to take care not to over stock your store with more inventory then you need for the next selling season. Check this out, if you are not consistently selling through the products you are bringing in for your selling or seasonal cycle , you are for sure adding  to your financial  debt.You have to promise me that you will not go to another show with out knowing the following information. Buying trips are expensive. Make them count. Getting ready for a trip is important. The more detailed  information  you have with you when you go to buy ,  the more effective your buying experience will be.Here is what I want you to have a look at before you start packing your bags.My first question to you is how much stock do you have on hand? Review your current inventory levels next review the reports that tell you how much stock you have  and specifically what that stock is. It’s easy to forget what you have in the fast pace that is a buying trip, which in turn can have you buying more than you need or duplicating what you have already.Pull together your Year To Date sales per category, focus on the same period you are buying for. What you want to see in this information is  what sold  and what did not. Also what you want to understand is how much of any given category you had to reduce in price to sell thru .Pull reports that show sales by item , yes detail is important. You can get caught up  in the moment during a buying trip and buy  the same or similar items that did not sell .These next two points are in your best interest so be on top of them. 1. Knowing your best sellers. You want to duplicate your best sellers at your next buying trip or if that is not possible find products that are similar. 2. Know your customers likes and dislikes. I recommend you talk to your customers before you go so you know what they want. Do a mini survey.Reading up on trends is a very good use of your time before going on a buying trip. I want you to know what you are talking about! Buying trends or NEW products are the right focus for you. NEW drives your business.  So, do not shy away from trendy purchases, just do not over buy in this area. Use the buying technique of wide shallow purchasing.Understanding how many times products turn over in your store is an important piece of information. I know that many of you are not on top of this. Calculating the number of turns you experience will insure you do not bring in products before you know you can sell them. Again, this will help you not to be overstocked in any given quarter.Managing your schedule at a show is always a challenge. My advice, plan 75 % of your time at the show. Do not over schedule every minute; you may not have any time to just have a real good look around. Possibly passing  by an opportunity to find the next big craze - Silly Bandz any one!Make appointments with key vendors. You want to make sure you catch people you need to see during your next buying trip. It just makes sense.If you do nothing else this is my biggest advise. Set buying budgets before you go. Do not leave home with out knowing how much you can afford to spend. It can be set by item, category, or vendor.  My advice, the more detail the better. You will be more in control of the money being spent and make sounder buying decisions.Just recently, I was speaking to one of my favorite  retailers in North America Diane Acheson, after reviewing the list I have prepared for you in helping you get ready for your next buying trip . I asked Diane what she would add . She said “make sure you know where you are staying”. I love that suggestion thank you Diane ,thank you.Well , it is  over to you now. Do the work I am suggesting.  Round up the information.  You will have a more successful buying trip.See you at the next show.BestBarbara Crowhurst