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Window displays in-store merchandising.

Window displays in-store merchandising

Window displays are a critical means of generating more store traffic, so make the most of them. While in-store displays are invaluable for selling merchandise, the store window is important not only for sales but also for store image. Thoughtful consideration is needed. To be successful, you must:

Know your store inside and out. Examine what your business stands for: what your product mix says about your store; your pricing structures; the quality of your products; and special services offered.

Understand your customers' needs. Study your trading area. Examine the demographics (age groups, income brackets, ethnic groups, etc.). Keep abreast of style preferences. Compare your prices to your competitors'. Be aware of customer reaction to sales and special promotions.

Be display-savvy. Learn the rudiments - how to select items for display; how to coordinate props, materials and fixtures; how to enhance displays with lighting and motion; and how to use color effectively. Strive for creativity and balance.

Develop a six-month display/promotion plan. With your knowledge of your store, your customers' needs, and display techniques, prepare a promotion plan in advance. Follow through on major elements - displays, advertising, sales promotion and public relations. Schedule the dates of activities for each aspect of the plan. Break down the display section of your plan into two categories: windows and interiors.

Interior displays

Your most valuable "silent salespeople" are your interior displays. Use them to:

* intrigue shoppers.

* generate excitement and activity in the store.

* support the desire to buy.

Study every nook and cranny of your store for potential display areas. Make the best use of location and space. Develop an eye for interesting arrangements. Displays don't materialize overnight, so lay everything out on paper; you can use scale drawings of the display area to help you plan.

Divide your store into special-attention "display spots." They should be located:

* around your register(s) or checkout(s).

* near sections that bear the heaviest traffic.

* in the main aisle.

Such locales are strategically important for holiday items, impulse goods and seasonal and sale products.

Displays can include merchandise in groups, on aisle tables or kiosks, in floor stands, or in baskets.

Change your displays frequently to retain shopper interest, and keep them clean! Use professional-looking point-of-purchase material and signage to get your message across to your customers. Some additional tips:

* Departmentalize merchandise.

* Locate impulse-oriented items toward the front of the store.

* Place specialty goods or merchandise most customers will spend time shopping for toward the rear.

* Enclose expensive (small) merchandise in glass showcases.

Window Displays

If your show window is designated as your most important promotional tool, it should be! Change your window display at least 10 to 15 times throughout the year.

An empty window might not look like much, but fill it with creativity and you've got a lot more than just glass panes, a window base and perhaps a shelf or two. It's as valuable an area as you can ever hope to obtain for your retail shop. What you do with it depends on your ingenuity!

Imagine your window as your store's face or as a stage setting. It's up to you to make up your face or set the stage. Displays must be executed with imagination. You need to:

* Use the background, props, materials and signage to create an atmosphere and convey a mood.

* Heighten drama through position, movement and lighting.

* Grab your customers emotions through humor, romance, etc.

New retailers tend to throw everything but the kitchen sink into the window; resist this temptation. Such displays are not only cluttered and confusing, but extremely unproductive. Instead, consider a basic theme for each window change. When grouping your merchandise, set up products with plenty of "air space" around them.

Key Points

* Project impressions of style an distinction in your window displays.

* Display merchandise that is timely.

* Keep displays clean and neat! Use breathing space between products.

* Build window displays around a single, unifying theme.

* Use color in your displays.

* Change a window display at least 10 to 15 times a year.

* Use a professional-looking P.O.P.

* Make sure all merchandise is lit adequately.

* Ensure that the display is balanced.

Theme ideas: June in January; January in June; At the Beach; Jazztime; Open House; Bargain Days; Graduation; Memories; Harvest Time; The World Series; Comedy; Cruising; Luxury; Mozart; Election Day; January White Sale; Chilly Days, Warm Nights; Warm Days, Chilly Nights; Victorian Pleasures; and A Night at the Opera.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Lockwood Trade Journal Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Friedman, Susan
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Nov 1, 1990
Previous Article:Freshness: a quality essential.
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