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Transform your retail floor space.

The first step in creating a strong visual merchandising program for your gun shop is to sit down and sketch out how you could clear space both on the floor and in the area above the floor on shelves, racks, etc. This 'free spacing' activity allows you to eliminate any preconceived barriers you have to the use of the space in your store.

"You can't have any sacred cows when you're trying to create a new visual merchandising area inside your store," Dillon said. "Free spacing lets you literally start the process with a clean sheet of paper and an open mind. It's the most important first step you can take when you're trying to create a visual merchandising program."

The second step is to evaluate the quality of the light in the free space. Whether you use artificial light, natural light, or a combination of both, light plays an integral part of the magic of visual merchandising.

However, the wrong kind of light can easily turn customers off. There's a delicate balance between light that's too "hot" and light that's just right.

"For example, if your retail space has no natural lighting so that artificial light is your only source, you can end up using a light that's so bright that it overpowers the merchandise you're trying to showcase. But if you use too soft a light, the product will be shadowed and will get lost in the background," Dillon said.

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The third step is to place the product correctly, and then add enough accents to highlight the primary product. The majority of Americans are right handed, and they follow a right-hand bias in almost everything they do. So when a customer enters a retail environment, he or she moves to the right, and from the front of the store to the mid-floor space. Take advantage of this and it will greatly increase the selling potential of your displays.

The forth step is to combine all of this into a total visual presentation that will draw customers to the product selection you want to showcase.
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Outdoor Marketplace
Author:Diss, Mark
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Feb 1, 2004
Words:348
Previous Article:Boost your product sales with the right lighting.
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