Displays That Will Get Customers Sticking Around The Store Longer

Q: What are some of the most effective ways to make the kind of display that will get customers sticking around the store longer.A: A few ideas on displays that promote sales:

  1. Set up several feature areas in your store. Tables are best. These areas bring your store to life and are points of interest. They slow down shoppers.

  2. Use cross merchandise technique to showcase multiple items and how they work together. This creates interest in add on sales.

  3. Your sales staff should be trained to use these feature /cross merchandized display as a sales tool.

Q: What are some tips on putting up effective displays on a budget?A: Many retailers still buy props for display set up. Not the right way to think. Everything you use in a display other than the actual fixture or table and may be the risers are for sale. I do not recommend retailers spend any money on props. If you have it, you sell it! What I do suggest is that within your display grouping you use multiple products and products with many heights to create flow and impact.Q: How can a manager find inspiration for non-holiday themed displays?A: The manager should be following a promotional calendar for each month. That’s 3 to 4 events happening in the store, more than enough activity to support their merchandising program other then holidays.Q: Is there such a thing as too little or too much when it comes to displays?A: Interesting questions. The display is always defined by the space provided. In my years of being a visual merchandiser and that’s 37 years, retailers struggle with this for sure. I would recommend hiring a VM. They are worth the money. Sales will go up for sure. But, in the mean time, bring more products out of the stock room make your store look lush!Q: What should be the creative angle when the idea is to gin up sales?A: Complex questions. Displays are the icing on the cake. They alone will not completely gin up sales. It’s selling the right product at the right time, it’s training staff to sell, and it’s creating a customer experience to say the least.Q: Are there any cardinal sins when it comes to displays?A: Ample lighting, most stores skimp on lighting because it’s expensive. Lighting has been shown to be one of the strongest influences in retail selling. My other pet peeve is not using signage to complete displays. Signage is a silent sales person when everyone is busy. Of-late, chalkboards have become very popular again. “If you feel stuck please contact Retail Makeover we can help you.”

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. 


 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

Day #122 - How to be a Better Retail Store Manager

I wanted to share this article from John Reh with you. It gets to the point about management  style and effectiveness.

How to be a Better Retail Store Manager

"The need for good managers, people who can manage themselves and others in a high stress environment, is increasing.I believe anyone can be a good manager. It is as much trainable skill as it is inherent ability; as much science as art. Here are some things that make you a better manager:

As a person:

  • You have confidence in yourself and your abilities. You are happy with who you are, but you are still learning and getting better.
  • You are something of an extrovert. You don’t have to be the life of the party, but you can’t be a wallflower.
  • Management is a people skill - it’s not the job for someone who doesn’t enjoy people.
  • You are honest and straight forward. Your success depends heavily on the trust of others.
  • You are an includer not an excluder. You bring others into what you do. You don’t exclude other because they lack certain attributes.
  • You have a ‘presence’. Managers must lead. Effective leaders have a quality about them that makes people notice when they enter a room.

On the job:

  • You are consistent, but not rigid; dependable, but can change your mind. You make decisions, but easily accept input from others.
  • You are a little bit crazy. You think out-of-the box. You try new things and if they fail, you admit the mistake, but don’t apologize for having tried.
  • You are not afraid to “do the math”. You make plans and schedules and work toward them.
  • You are nimble and can change plans quickly, but you are not flighty.
  • You see information as a tool to be used, not as power to be hoarded.

Take a look at yourself against this list. Find the places where you can improve and then get going. "Very BestBarbara

Day #112 - Retailing In A Pop Up World

The future is temporary:

Retailing in a pop up world

I found this article to be very interesting.  Enjoy the read...By Doug Stephens

Reebok pop-up store New York City

The concept of pop-up retail has been around for more than a decade.  Vacant, a company out of Los Angeles, California is credited with pioneering the concept of pop-up shops in North America, after seeing similar concepts in Tokyo.  They observed that Japanese consumers would sometimes line up for hours to buy limited edition goods.  Once stock was sold out, the store would simply close until new stock arrived.  This led Vacant to innovate the current model for pop-up, whereby stores would open for a defined period and then simply close, only to pop up later in a different location.Until 2007 however, pop-up shops, while intriguing, were regarded largely as a novelty.  The retail industry remained dominated by the foundational precept that stores were more permanent things.   The goal of most retailers remained long-term, favorable leases in locations with trusted consumer traffic levels. This was how retail was done and how it was won.

Popping Up Out of the Ashes

The economic collapse of 2008 brought new opportunities for pop-up retail.  Landlords who were reeling from fallout in the commercial real estate market entertained previously unthinkable, short-term agreements for their space, paving the way for a host of temporary retail installations.  From Los Angeles to the mean streets of New York, the economic meltdown spurred a brilliant series of unique and daring pop-up concepts.Above all else, these concepts seemed to breathe new life into a retail industry that had become fat and lazy, in the days leading up to the financial crisis.  Retail had too long depended on excess consumer spending to buoy demand. Only when the bottom fell out of the market was it apparent just how unremarkable most retail had become.In a sea of sameness, these unique and fleeting pop-ups caught the attention of consumers and made retail interesting again.

From Novelty to Strategy

Today, pop-up has become a legitimate channel strategy.  Everyone from Walmart to Hermes has turned to these temporary formats to reach consumers where their full-line stores couldn’t.Entire cities have embraced the concept of pop-up retail as a means of revitalizing urban neighborhoods.  One example, Oakland California’s Pop Up Hood concept, offered 6 months of rent-free space to independent merchants to test out their retail concepts in designated parts of Oakland.Even entertainment moguls Jay-Z and Kanye West opened a pop-up shop last year in New York City to commemorate the release of Watch the Throne.  The store was open for one weekend only.Technology is also fueling more creative approaches to pop up.  Augmented reality applications are transforming inanimate spaces into engaging consumer buying portals – trips through the looking glass.  Net-A-Porter’s recent launch of its Karl Lagerfeld line, whereby the outside of the store became a living interaction point for mobile device wielding consumers, is one such recent example.Net-A-Porter uses augmented reality to wow crowds at their Karl pop-up stores

Commercial Real Estate Redefined

What these and other concepts point to is an historic move away from retail being solely about established patterns of consumer traffic and purchase intent based on familiarity.  The new consumer is seeking surprise and excitement from retail and is in many ways returning to its pre-industrial revolution roots and the concept of the travelling market.For the commercial real estate industry, the writing may be on the temporary wall.  The success of pop-up retail signifies the need for less permanent real estate overall.  It’s logical to expect more retail chains to move to a mix of flagship (got to be there) locations and opportunistic, temporary installations to create excitement and capture sales. The commercial real estate professional of the future may be relied upon as much for their keen sense of guerilla marketing instinct as they are for their knowledge of the market overall.BestBarbara

Day #103 - Home Decor Trends

Home Decor Trends:

It's that time of the year to share what's on trend for the upcoming year. I've selected a short video from House and Home Magazine for you. Watch it before you go on your next buying trip:[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"] [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Day #90 - Loblaws Opens at Maple Leaf Gardens

Recently, I went on location to visit the  new Loblaws store in Toronto.  I was excited about what I saw and experienced, and wanted to share the story with you.It's  Retail..... at it's best. Congratulations Loblaws!

Customers lined up as Loblaws opens upscale Gardens store (courtesy The Toronto Star)

Day #88 - The Show Must Go On

.... nor slit or snow shall ...wasn't that a slogan for the Federal Post Office?Retailer Kim Winsor, owner of Johnny Ruth & Living Planet in St John's, braves the snow and cold to pick up the paint for her new  store renovation.I have the pleasure of working with Kim to help her design  the new retail location on Water Street. For those of your curious what the color is  - Martha Stewart " Gray Squirrel"Opening Day Dec 1, 2011Barbara

Day #66 - Preparing For The 4th Quarter - Part 6 of 14

Store Colors:

By now most of you now my approach to store design. Your store should be neutralized with wall colors like Benjamin Moore: Delaware Putty, White Sand or even Bronze Beige. You can pick up to 5 areas in your store that you do color blocking in. One of my favorite colors for the Xmas season is Rouge by Benjamin Moore


"Fashion Color Trend 2011-2012 Fall-Winter"

Day #57 - Prevent Shoplifting And Shrinkage In Your Store

The best advice I can give you is that with in the safety and security procedures for your store you should include your policies on "Shoplifting"shoplifting and employee theft. Your policies should be in writing and shared with your staff.Let us look at some things you can do from your store design to training your staff that will help deter shoplifters and shrinkage.

Here are some great tips:

  1. Your cash register should be placed closer to the front so that customers must pass it when exiting the store. Middle side left is my recommendation.
  2. Fixtures and displays should be kept low in the center of the store for better site lines.
  3. A well-lit store with no dark corners is what you want to achieve.
  4. Use mirrors to cover blind spots.
  5. Also, consider putting clearance items in your blind spot areas. If something goes missing, it is not too big a deal.
  6. In addition, a tidy well-organized shop makes it very easy for you to see if products are missing."Shoplifting"
  7. One of the best ways to reduce shoplifting is a well-trained staff.  A staff that is engaged with customers when they are in the store. Train your staff to say hello, look at the person and smile  - it is the best greeting for all customers but for those who are shoplifters it says…  I have been noticed; it may be too risky to steal something from this store.
  8. Signage helps . Post your policy on shoplifting in clear view.
  9. Put small expensive items in locked fixtures and cabinets. Place these fixtures as close to the cash counter as possible.
  10. One of the most effective ways for retailers to prevent shoplifting is to install an electronic security system.  As this is one of the most costly ways to go, I would like you to consider the pros and cons before going this route.
  11. A well-designed store layout will not eliminate all shoplifting but will help reduce it.  Wider aisles with shorter fixture lengths in the middle of the store are what you want. This strategy makes it less likely for shoplifters to feel secure and hidden from view.
  12. Heighten awareness from staff is a must. Please teach your staff to combat shoplifting by being proactive and aware of what’s going on in your store at all times.
  13. Your staff needs to be up to date on regular price points and what is on sale.  Teach them, if the price does not make sense, always check.  Customer price-switching is preventable.
  14. Your shoplifting procedures should be in writing and laid out for your staff so they know what to do if they suspect someone.  You do not want any staff member to be in a position of confrontation and in any danger.  Theft prevention should be your goal.

Let's have a quick look at internal theft:

  1. Retailers  do not like to think that your staff is stealing from you, but the sad reality is that a percentage of your staff will steal when the circumstances and the opportunity is there."Shoplifting"
  2. Theft by employees is a very big problem in Retail today and many companies are reluctant to address it.  You have the right to protect what you own, and you should not make any apologies for taking whatever lawful and appropriate action you can to do so.
  3. Establishing clear policies, procedures and staff training will go a long way to helping your business eliminate shoplifting and shrinkage.

Do not ignore these issues, get started today.Barbara