Every store needs fresh ways to display merchandise, stay competitive and keep customers interested. Adapting other store owners' ideas to fill specific display needs may trigger an avalanche of better ways to display. It's all about grabbing the customers' attention, planting ideas that are appealing and finding ways to show customers how the product fits into their world.
Use chairs, tables, bookcases and side tables for display. In the Resources, take a look at what Tiffany has done with these simple, easy to find items. Invest in custom-made slipcovers to change out chair upholstery as needed. Collect tabletop accessories—lace, solids, patterns, paper, cloth, metal mesh, laminates, flowers and vases—to refresh each season. Shop vintage stores, online auctions and resale venues for items that are one-of-a-kind for added punch.
Adding special display furniture sparks the imagination of the viewer and presents products in a new light. Furniture designer Johanna Eliason has created a special retreat for shoes that allows each pair its own stage. The addition of gold leaf as a backdrop places further emphasis on the displayed items.
Update mannequins throughout the store, and give the customer something new to view. Maintain at least two full sets of differently styled mannequins, and rotate between the two. Mannequins pull the customers eye up and out into the expanse of the store. Not only will the clothes look different, the whole store will appear updated. Recent trends include the use of more realistic mannequins, according to Visual Merchandising and Store Design (VMSD), a leading resource for store display professionals. Old Navy is the leader in placing life-like mannequins in display design as part of the brand message—attitude.
Learn from display designers, and apply their ideas to window or interior displays. The Harvey Nichols department store in London connected the interior with the exterior by extending an interior window display concept to the outside marquee of the store. Using the work of wood artist Charlie Whinney, Harvey Nichols has enhanced its reputation as an innovative leader in retail display. Attention-grabbing ideas like this can incorporate the work of local artists found through arts organizations, art schools and galleries.