These Mannequins Are Watching You…

eyes-01Mannequins are typically used in retail stores to display apparel and fashion accessories. By placing products on a human-like form, shoppers can see exactly how the item looks when worn, which of course translates into more sales. But the Italian mannequin-maker Almax is taking a step in a different direction with its innovative new line of mannequins.

According to a report by Retail Innovation, Almax has developed a line of EyeSee mannequins featuring video cameras embedded into the eyes. They appear to be ordinary mannequins from the outside, but the eyes have video cameras with facial-recognition software, tracking shoppers’ movements and actions. The camera automatically works in conjunction with the software, identifying shoppers’ age, gender and race.

You might be wondering why any retail store would feel the need to use a mannequin with a video camera? Well, there are several benefits worth noting, one of which is its positive impact on theft. Each year, U.S.-based retailers lose billions of dollars to shoplifting — a cost that places many businesses at risk for being shut down. EyeSee mannequins, however, can deter theft by providing supplemental video surveillance for retail store owners.

Of course, the real benefit of Almax’s innovative line of EyeSee mannequins is its ability to track shoppers’ movement. Ever wonder who’s checking out your products? With EyeSee, you can easily capture data regarding the demographic of shoppers who view certain products. And using this information, you can make smarter marketing and visual merchandising decisions. Demographic data goes a long ways in the retail industry, and the EyeSee mannequin may help retailers capture this data more easily. The only real downside is its hefty price tag of $4,600 for the standard model.

Any software that can help profile people while keeping their identities anonymous is fantastic. It could really enhance the shopping experience, the product assortment, and help brands better understand their customers,” said Uché Okonkwo, executive director of consultant Luxe Corp.

Almax is also planning to implement a microphone in its EyeSee mannequins. If successful, it will eavesdrop on shoppers, listening to what they have to say about a product or display.

Do you think the EyeSee mannequin is helpful or creepy?

If you have any questions at all about mannequins or visual merchandising in general, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at

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Common Pitfalls To Avoid When Designing a Window Display

4269899578_b05b0c6962_zPoor Lighting

Arguably, one of the most common mistakes store owners make when setting up a window display is using inadequate lighting.  Whether you intend to use an overhead fixture, track lighting, wall sconces, table lamps, floor lamps, etc., you should check to make sure it’s fully capable of illuminating the display. Dimly lit displays are difficult for shoppers to see, and they don’t emphasize the products as well. Thankfully, this is an easy problem to fix, as you can install additional lighting to enhance the display with greater illumination.

Too Many Products

Another all-too-common mistake is trying to force too many products into a single window display. There’s no rule, written or otherwise, stating that you must fill every square inch of your window. When a window display is cluttered with too many products, it creates a messy appearance that ultimately reduces its impact on shoppers. Stick with a few product to ensure your displays have a positive effect on shoppers.

Not Seeking Help

Don’t try to tackle a large window display by yourself. If you aren’t familiar with the products, contact the manufacturer/merchant and ask for their assistance. Most vendors will gladly send a representative to help you set up a window display. After all, you’re promoting their products, so it’s in the vendor’s best interest to offer a helping hand. In addition to the advice and labor offered by vendors, some may even bring their own promotional material to further enhance your window display.

Broad Demographic Targeting

Instead of trying to make your window display appeal to everyone, focus on targeting a more narrow demographic. Ask yourself, who would purchase these products? Now, set up your window display so it appeals to this target demographic. Creating a more narrow window display will yield greater engagement, and subsequently more sales.

Not Testing New Things

Even if your window display is effective in attracting shoppers and generating  sales, you should constantly make new changes to see what works and what doesn’t. Over time, shoppers will grow tired of seeing the same display, at which point it will slowly lose its effectiveness. Making subtle changes, however, will keep shoppers engaged and interested

If you have any questions at all about setting up a window display, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at

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Cross-Merchandising Tips For Retail Stores and Businesses

5930055189_d884c9e173_zIf you aren’t cross merchandising different products in your retail store, you’re missing out on one of the easiest ways to boost your sales/revenue. Cross merchandising refers to the practice of displaying two more groups or types of products together. Instead of displaying a single dress on a mannequin, for instance, an apparel store could display a dress, high-heeled shoes, jewelry, handbags, and other related accessories.

Cross merchandising products can be grouped based on a wide range of criteria. Some store owners group their products based on the demographic of the respective target audience, while others group their products based on interest. An example of grouping products together based on interest would be a retail store placing DVD movies and popcorn together. Since so many people enjoy popcorn while watching movies, this form of cross merchandising would prove highly effective at attracting sales.

There are a number of reasons why retail store owners should cross merchandise different products together, one of which is its ability to trigger impulse purchases. A shopper may visit the store with the intention of buying a single garment. Upon seeing other items grouped with it, however, he or she may choose to buy several products. So even if the shopper didn’t intend to purchase the second item, the cross-merchandising display may entice him or her to make the purchase.

Tips For Effective Cross Merchandising:

  • Think about who’s going to buy the primary product and choose secondary products that appeal to this demographic.
  • An effective cross-merchandising display should follow some level of cohesion (e.g. don’t display swimwear with outerwear).
  • If a particular cross-merchandising display isn’t working, change some of its elements to see what works and what doesn’t.
  • Invest in store fixtures to properly display your cross-merchandised products. The right fixtures can make a world of difference in your store’s displays, drawing greater attention from shoppers.
  • Implement high-illumination lighting fixtures to draw more attention to your product displays. Track lighting, standing floor lamps, and overhead fixtures are just a few ideas to consider.
  • If a product is drawing near its expiration date, try cross merchandising it with other products to move it faster.
  • Use cross merchandising to promote a better shopping experience for your customers.

If you have any questions at all about cross merchandising, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at

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Comparing The Different Types of Jewerly Display Cases

jewelrydisplayDo you own, manage or otherwise operate a retail jewelry business? If so, you’re probably well aware of the importance of display cases. The right display cases will enhance the aesthetics of your jewelry while also keeping them safe and secure from potential shoplifters.

Glass Jewelry Display Cases

Many jewelry store owners prefer glass display cases due to their simplicity and stylish appearance. These cases are typically constructed with multiple panes, giving it additional strength and durability. With that said, glass is still susceptible to breakage when enough force is exerted.

Acrylic Jewelry Display Cases

Acrylic jewelry display cases have become a popular alternative to glass. Although it looks nearly identical to glass, there are some key differences between the two types of display cases. Acrylic is constructed from acrylic acid, giving it certain properties which are similar to plastic. One of the most noteworthy characteristics of acrylic is its strength, as it doesn’t crack or shatter under pressure. This alone is reason enough for many store owners to choose it over other types of jewelry display cases.

Acrylic is also significantly lighter than glass. A display case made of acrylic material is certain to weight less than a glass model. Most store owners probably won’t move their display cases around once they are set up; therefore, the weight of a case shouldn’t be a key factor in your purchasing decision.

Metal Jewelry Display Cases

A third type of jewelry display case is metal. Metal display cases offer a high level of strength and durability combined with a modern appearance that’s not found in neither glass nor acrylic. The actual metal may consist of aluminum, steel, or various alloy combinations. Of course, metal display cases typically feature either a glass or acrylic window frame to allow shoppers to view its contents.

Hopefully, this will give you a better idea of the different types of jewelry display cases available. So, which display case should you choose? All three types are excellent choices with their own unique advantages. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the different types of jewelry display cases and choose the one that’s best suited for your particular needs. If your store currently contains a modern, metallic decor, then a similar metal jewelry case would likely be the best option.

If you have any questions at all about jewelry display cases, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at

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Tips For Setting Up In-Store Mannequin Displays

478291639_8c6b699097_zWhether you own a retail clothing store or a small fashion boutique, your business will certainly benefit from the use of a mannequin display. As shoppers walk by, they’ll see your work right in front of their eyes and actually get an idea of what it looks like when worn. However, if you want your mannequin to create a positive effect, then you need to know how to properly style it.

You should never rush into styling your mannequin. If it’s not done right, it can turn customers away and have them never look back. On the other hand, if it’s done right, you’ll have repeat customers who come back to not only buy your new apparel and accessories, but to see what you have styled on your mannequin as well.

Location Matters

Before styling your mannequin, you should decide where you want to place it. If there are prominent see-through windows in your store, you should place it there for the highest level of visibility. If this isn’t an option, then placing it near the entry of your store is usually recommended. Remember, the whole purpose of a mannequin is to capture the attention of passer-bys and get them interested in the products on the mannequin, so place your mannequin in a location with high visibility.

Styling Your Mannequin: Where To Start

One of the most effective ways to utilize your mannequin is to style it in the latest designs and types of clothes in your store. Customers are always intrigued by new apparel, so use your mannequin(s) to display it.

When you dress your mannequin, you may need to custom tailor the clothes to fit their body. Not all mannequins are made in the same size and if you want clothes to properly fit them, tailoring might be necessary. An alternative method to tailoring the clothes is to simply use pins to pin up the problem areas. Look for areas where the clothes are baggy or hanging off and simply place some inconspicuous pins there. As long as you cant see the pins, then this method is okay to use.

After you’ve dressed your mannequin in clothes, it’s time to accessorize them. A lot of store owners only use clothes on their mannequins, and while this is completely fine, it’s not using the mannequin display to its full potential. If your store sells accessories such as sunglasses, necklaces or earrings, try placing them on your mannequin. Even if your store doesn’t sell any accessories, you should can still add some extra style and character to your mannequin by doing so.

If you have any questions at all about visual merchandising please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at

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Silver Powder Coating vs Chrome Plating: What’s The Difference?

feature-2-470x470 When shopping for new store fixtures, you’ll probably come across the terms “silver powder coating” and “chrome plating.” Based on their appearance alone, it’s often difficult to distinguish between the two. However, silver powder coating and chrome plating are two unique techniques used in the construction of store fixtures (among other things), featuring their own respective characteristics. To learn more about the difference between silver powder coating and chrome plating, keep reading.

Powder Coating

As the name suggests, silver powder coating is a technique that involves the application of fine silver particles over a given object or surface. While the exact process varies depending on the manufacturer, powder coating is typically applied by projecting the silver powder particles towards the fixture using a standard spray. However, what makes powder coating different is that it integrates the uses an electrostatic charge to accelerate the rate at which the silver powder particles are projected; thus, resulting in a cleaner and more efficient workpiece.

After the silver powder particles have been projected on the fixture, the fixture is cured under to heat. This allows the coating to form a skin-like layer on top, as well as an attractive mattee or flat finish, adding further aesthetic value to the fixture.

Chrome Plating

Chrome plating (also referred to as chromium plating or simply chrome) involves the application of chromium on a metal or plastic object through a process known as electroplating. An electric current is passed through the metal to reduce dissolved metal cations, which subsequently produces a more uniform, and visually appealing look. A thin layer of chromium is applied to the object’s surface, creating a shiny metallic finish with reflective properties.

It’s important to note that electroplating may alter the physical properties of the workpiece, improving its tensile strength, durability, or even making it corrosion resistant.

Now for the million-dollar question: should I choose silver powder-coated store fixtures or chrome-plated fixtures? Don’t get caught up in the technical jargon of these two techniques, but instead choose the fixture based on its appearance, application and function. There’s no “best” type of fixture finish, as both chrome plating and silver powder coating have their own unique advantages. Hopefully, this post will give you a better understanding of them and how they work.

If you have any questions at all about silver powder coating or chrome plating, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at

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5 Tips To Improve Your Window Displays


Tip #1) Tell a Story

Storytelling isn’t limited strictly for your son or daughter’s bedtime stories. It’s also an essential component in creating an effective window display. By telling a story within your display, you’ll subsequently make the products more relatable to shoppers. For example, a beach-themed window display may consist of several mannequins decked out in bathing suits, surfboards, beach towels, and other related accessories.

Tip #2) Make It Bold

You can’t expect to achieve an effective window display unless it’s visually striking. Window displays should instantly grab shoppers’ attention, coercing them into the store while promoting your respective products. So, how do you accomplish this? Don’t be afraid to use bold colors, prints and styles to make your window display stand out. A red “Shop Here” sign will undoubtedly prove more effective than a traditional black-and-white sign.

Tip #3) Incorporate Seasonal Elements

Use the seasons to your advantage by incorporating them into your window displays. Both men and women can relate to the seasons, making your window displays appeal to a larger demographic. Something as simple as a winter scene consisting of fake snow flakes and beanie-wearing mannequins can create the perfect seasonal setting. And when spring rolls around, try adding fake (or real) flowers to create an authentic spring setting.

Tip #4) Illumination

When you’re busy styling mannequins and adding props to your window display, it’s easy to overlook something as simple as lighting. Failing to utilize the right lighting, however, can negate all the hard work you’ve invested into the window display. There are several different lighting solutions from which to choose, including overhead fixtures, track lighting, wall sconces, and free-standing floor lamps. Choose the lighting that works best for your particular display.

Tip #5) Color Combinations

Last but not least, play around with different color combinations to see what works and what doesn’t. You want to make your window display stand out, but at the same you time it should feature cohesion within the elements it contains. Mixing brown and black, for instance, typically creates a clashing appearance. Mixing brown with taupe or other lighter shades, on the other hand, can create an aesthetically pleasing display. After setting up your display, take a step back to view it from afar.

If you have any questions at all about visual merchandising please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at

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4 Ways To Grab Your Shoppers’ Attention

chart-01Sometimes it takes a little encouragement to turn shoppers into paying customers. If they are simply walking around in ‘browsing’ mode, it’s doubtful they’ll make a purchase. The good news is that you can turn some of these browsing shoppers into customers through the power power of attention-grabbing promotional material and techniques.

#1 – End-Cap Shelving

Using end-caps is a simple and effective way to grab the attention of shoppers in a store. If your store is structured around gondola aisles, you should use end-caps to maximize your available space Far too many store owners overlook this key area, leaving a valuable promotional area unused. End-caps should contain impulse buy items along with products that are drawing near their sell-by date.

#2 – Displays

Setting up a display in your store can also draw the attention of shoppers. Regardless of what your store sells, you should create visual displays throughout your store. This will break up the monotonous look of product lining the shelves, giving shoppers a fresh perspective on what you have to offer. Feel free to read through some of our previous posts on how to set up product displays in a retail environment.

#3 – Sale Signs

Tossing up some promotional sale signs around certain products is sure to create a positive response among shoppers. A bright red “50% Off” sign is hard to ignore, leading to more sales. Don’t limit yourself to just a single sign, but instead place several up around the particular product area. Your goal is to drive as much attention to the area as possible.

#4 – Intercom Announcements

A fourth idea for grabbing shoppers’ attention is to use intercom announcements. You’ve probably heard employees in national grocery stores alert shoppers of certain sales and promotions. Well, you can practice this same technique in your retail store. As long as you have an intercom installed, you should use it to grab the attention of shoppers. Just hop on the intercom once in a while to tell shoppers about products and items that are on sale. When you are speaking over the intercom, try to create a sense of urgency so customers will act now. You can do this by saying the deal will end in 15 or 30 minutes.

If you have any questions at all about visual merchandising, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at

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Slatwall vs Gridwall: Which One Should I Choose?

Slatwall and gridwall are two versatile fixture options for retail stores and businesses. With their simple hook design, store owners can easily move product around as they see fit. While slat-wall-unitthey share some similarities, however, slatwall and gridwall have their own unique characteristics.


Slatwall (see image to the right) places a greater emphasis on aesthetics than its counterpart. When used correctly, it will naturally blend it into the surrounding decor, creating the appearance of a permanent fixture. Slatwall is available in several different finishes, giving  store owners the freedom to choose the one that best matches their store.

Slatwall is also incredibly strong an able to support most products. Whether you need to display garments or heavier items such as sporting goods equipment, your can rest assured knowing it will hold up under the stress.

Benefits of Using Slatwall:

  • Visually appealing; looks like a permanent fixture to the untrained eye.
  • Available in a wide range of finishes.
  • Able to support most products.
  • Universal sizing makes finding and using product hooks a breeze.
  • Because it blends into the surrounding decor, slatwall keeps shoppers’ focus on the product.


Gridwall is comprised of metallic grids (hence the name), and is usually installed directly on a wall. Hooks are placed on the grid, allowing store owners to display their products. Once the gridwall is safely secured to the wall, the store owner can arrange hooks and fill it with product. It’s an otherwise simple fixture solution with a countless number of uses in retail stores.

Benefits of Using Gridwall:

  • Offers a modern/contemporary look.
  • Inexpensive to ship.
  • Quick and easy to install.
  • Able to support most products.
  • Requires minimal maintenance.
  • Can be installed either directly on the wall or set up as a free-standing fixture.

Now that you know a little bit about the pros and cons of gridwall vs slatwall, you are probably wondering which one is right for you. Well, there’s really no wrong choice with either of these display methods. Both gridwall and slatwall are highly effective forms of displays for retail environments. I recommend comparing the two side by side to see which one will look the best in your store. Aesthetics is critical to creating a successful retail environment, so try to find a model that blends into your current retail interior.

If you have any questions at all about gridwall or slatwall please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at

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