I see a lot of retailers, both large and small, doing big re-merchandising of their stores at this time of year. I guess it’s usually prompted by the removal of holiday/seasonal products, new stock arriving and a feeling of wanting a fresh start for the new year.
It’s a great idea as it is also the time of year you need to re-energize your customers into shopping again and for them to see a new store layout is always intriguing to them, even subconsciously.
So, in this spirit, here are a few merchandising inspirations to get your creative juices flowing!
Step 1 is to sit down and draw out the layout of your store. Think about the ‘journey’ your customers go on, most of them will walk a similar way through your store. Think logically about the order in which they will come across your products and always if you can, have the cash counter towards the back of the store so customers have to walk through the store to pay and therefore see more of your merchandise.
A great merchandising idea is to create themes. It doesn’t have to only be with your holiday displays, it can continue throughout the year with many creative themes depending on your store. By grouping products together in logical themed displays, you are helping the customer to focus their shopping and helping their brains to make clearer purchasing decisions. You want to inspire them not confuse them.
When you are tight for space, which lets face it, most boutiques are, it’s a nice idea if you can find a way to double side your window display so that is also functions from the inside of the store. It takes a little more thought when displaying the products but it is totally worth it for the extra selling space!
When I was a child, I was obsessed with patterns. I couldn’t draw objects very well but I loved repetitive patterns and colouring in an orderly fashion. Perhaps this is why I believe that merchandising a store should be about clean lines, repetitive products and colour blocking where possible. Again it depends on your products but I think retailers can get too carried away with ‘lifestyle displays’ which can complicate the look and ultimately prevent the customer from easily shopping your products. Include them of course but keep it to a minimum and if you can, always have the same products on shelves too for the customer who prefers that type of shopping. Large photographs work well in place of lifestyle displays and take up less floor space.
Sometimes with merchandising you just need to get creative with props. Perhaps it could be a new table at the front of your store, or some ladders as shown here below or perhaps using chairs to put products on. Focus on props that are sturdy, non-distracting from the products, the right height and that are worthy of the floor space you give them. By that I mean make sure the prop holds enough product to warrant that amount of space it will take up. I think props work well if they are a small percentage of your overall display, it’s easy to overkill it in a small store environment. Create a variety of heights wherever possible and again be careful not to use props that prevent the customer from picking up the product or touching it. Our goal is to sell not just display!
Have fun with it!
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