Merchandising Display Ideas for a Retail Store

Displays come in all shapes and sizes, but they must organize products to be visually appealing.
Displays come in all shapes and sizes, but they must organize products to be visually appealing. (Image: Jim Franco/Photodisc/Getty Images)

If you own your own retail store or work in a retail chain store, use merchandising display ideas to build better displays. Arranging displays is a core strategy for attracting customers to buy certain products. For example, retail stores build displays of products discounted or advertised as buy one, get one free in the current week's advertisement. Also, displays are used to sell overstocked items.

Window Displays

An important idea you might overlook is a well-planned window display. This display invites customers into the store. Some retail establishments rely on a neon or graphic sign display, a television or another tech device to capture people's attention as they walk by. If you work in a local retail store, use windows to create atmosphere. Examples are a cozy children's bedroom for a toy store and a highly decorated living room for a furniture store. Display items in the window that appeal to people's tastes and comforts; that's why real estate agents bake cookies before showing a home for sale.

Theme Displays

A theme display for a retail store may develop around seasonal and holiday themes. In the summer, for example, you might walk into a retailer and see an above-ground swimming pool surrounded by summer grilling and recreation products. A theme anchors the products you want to sell. You need to pick a theme to display products targeted for volume sales. If overstock or discount items don't fit a seasonal theme, get creative. You should also visit competitor stores to ensure you don't duplicate their seasonal themes.

Interactive Displays

Inside the store, interactive displays invite customers to spend time lingering. Starbucks created an atmosphere with its coffee house culture. In the Oct. 2010 edition of Display and Design Ideas (DDI) Magazine, Janet Groeber describes how Sunglass Hut now uses social-media tech displays to get customers to try on sunglasses. Their new displays allow "customers to take pictures of themselves rocking out new shades and share them with friends and family on the Web." Think about how you can use technology displays to help customers explore your products.


A theme is not the only way to organize a display. Cross-merchandising involves pairing at least two different types of products in the same display. Creative Magazine recognized a Scotts Miracle-Gro display designed for Lowe's stores in its 2010 POPAI Awards. This display allows the store to include displays of complementary products for Miracle-Gro sought by customers, which equals more sales.

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