Small Things that can Make a BIG Impact on Retail Sales

iphone-1451614_960_720Do you own or manage a retail store? If so, you should pay close attention to the following elements, because they can have a significant impact on your sales.


Even lighting can affect retail sales. According to some studies, bright lighting in retail stores triggers emotions of honesty and positivity, while also encouraging impulse buying. Consequently, dim lighting has the opposite effect, throwing shoppers off balance while discouraging them from buying the store’s products. This is why it’s important for retailers to use ample lighting throughout their store, using a combination of lamps, overhead fixtures and other lighting solutions.


Don’t underestimate the importance of sound in a retail store. Slow-tempo music triggers relaxation in shoppers, which slows down their rate of shopping and ultimately encourages them to spend more. Furthermore, this leads to greater contact with merchandise, increasing product visibility and sales. Something else to consider when choosing music for your store, however, is its popularity with your target demographic. Ideally, you want to play music that’s popular with your audience; otherwise, it could backfire and actually hurt your efforts to generate sales. As explained by Wikipedia, a retail store that sells apparel for teens should play pop music, as this is the most relevant music for this demographic.


Of course, colors also affect retail environments and their respective sales. Red triggers passion and intensity, whereas blue has a calming effect. White is a neutral color that falls somewhere in the middle. Use color to invoke energy in your shoppers, getting them moving around and browsing your store’s products. Don’t focus your store around any single color, however. Instead, use a combination of colors to encourage more sales.


You might be surprised to learn that scents can affect sales in a retail store. Lavender, for instance, has been shown to ease stress and reduce anxiety, whereas vanilla has a comforting and calming effect Incorporating some of these scents into your store’s environment may have a positive impact on sales. The only way you’ll know, though, is by trying it for yourself. So the next time you decide to make over your store, try adding scents and aromas to the environment.

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Retail Strategies for Emerging Markets

smartphone-695164_960_7202There are both pros and cons to opening a retail store in an “emerging” market. You’ll have less competition, which usually translates into easier sales. But on the flipside, there are typically fewer customers. It’s a double-edged sword so to speak that can either help or hurt your efforts to create, and maintain, a successful retail business. But there are ways to shift the odds in your favor, so check out the following retail strategies if you’re planning to open a new store in an emerging market.

Choose the Right Location

Location can make or break a retail store, but choosing the right location is even more important when it involves an emerging market. You should choose a location that’s in, or close to, the main commercial part of town. Doing so increases your store’s visibility while attracting more shoppers in the process. If you open your store in some obscure part of town that’s off the beaten path, you’ll face an uphill battle trying to build your brand and generate sales.

Create a Strong Brand

Another effective tactic for successfully cementing your retail business in an emerging market is to create a strong brand. If your target audience remembers who you are and what you do (or what you sell), they’ll feel more inclined to choose your retail store the next time they need one of your products. So, invest the necessary time and resources into building your brand. Using a combination of both local and online techniques, promote your brand and its respective elements to your target audience.

Expand Your Operations

Of course, you can always open a new retail store to further strengthen your position in an emerging market. But opening a new store isn’t a decision that retailers should take lightly. It requires double the work, and double the capital.

Price Competitively

Even if there are few to no competing retail stores in your area, you should still price your products competitively. The fact is that many consumers now shop for products online. So before buying a product in a retail store, they’ll check online to see if it’s offered elsewhere at a lower price. Failure to offer a competitive price could result in these consumers choosing one of your competitors instead.

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5 Elements of a Successful Retail Marketing Campaign

house-309156_960_720Studies show that more than half of all small businesses fail within their first five years. Statistics such as this can be daunting for aspiring store owners and entrepreneurs, as it reveals the highly competitive nature of small businesses today. But there are ways to ensure your store remains open for business long after the five-year mark, including a proper marketing strategy.

Inbound Marketing

Don’t focus your marketing efforts strictly on outbound techniques. Sure, some outbound techniques can drive sales, but there’s been a growing trend towards the use of inbound marketing techniques in recent years. Inbound marketing involves creating content and advertisements that indirectly promote a business’s products or services. Instead of directly promoting your store’s products, for instance, you can create content that’s relevant to your target audience, encouraging them to seek out your store on their own.

Create an Online Presence

I know what you’re probably thinking: why do I need an online presence if I sell products in a retail brick-and-mortar store? Even if you have no intentions of selling your products online, having an online presence will benefit your store in several different ways. For starters, it helps produce greater brand recognition so your audience knows who you are and what you do. Furthermore, it allows prospective customers to find your business more easily. When a prospective shopper wants to find your store’s address, he or she may search online. And without an online presence, you could end up losing this customer to one of your competitors.

Track Your Results

Another helpful marketing tip for retailers is to track your results. In other words, use metrics/analytics to determine which advertising platforms are generating sales and which ones aren’t. Using this information, you can tweak and optimize your campaigns for a higher return on investment (ROI).

Offer Competitive Pricing

You can’t expect shoppers to buy your products if a competitor offers the same or similar product for less. The advent of smartphones and mobile technology has made it easier than ever for shoppers to research product prices. Before making a purchase, many shoppers will check to see if another store sells the product at a lower price on their smartphone. To prevent those shoppers from leaving your store, offer competitive pricing and/or a price-match guarantee.

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Merchandising Tips for Retail Apparel Stores

hanger-970890_960_720Retail apparel is a dynamic market, ever-changing market that evolves with each passing year. Fashion trends come and go, and as such, retailers must utilize the latest merchandising techniques to appeal to their target audience. So if you’re looking to increase sales, keep reading for some helpful merchandising tips.

Make Your Displays BIG

When it comes to visual merchandising displays in retail apparel stores, bigger displays typically yield a stronger response by shoppers. They are easier to see, making them more effective at capturing shoppers’ attention. And when shoppers see your product displays, you’ll have an easier time converting them into paying customers.

Go Beyond Four Themes

Some apparel retailers stick with four basic themes in their visual merchandising displays: spring, summer, fall and winter. But there’s no rule stating that you must limit yourself to only using seasonal themes such as this. On the contrary, you can reach a larger audience by using other themes. When it’s time for school to start, for instance, try using a back-to-school theme in your designs. Doing so creates a direct connection with parents who are out shopping for new school clothes for their children.

Use Supporting Elements

Details can make or break a visual merchandising display. While this rule holds true for all stores, it’s particularly true for apparel stores. You want to present your apparel products in the most appealing, natural manner possible. To achieve this goal, the right supporting elements must be included. If you are designing a dress display, for instance, add subtle details like high-heeled shoes, bright lights and handbags. This makes the display more relatable to shoppers, which should have positive impact on their purchasing decisions.

Change it Up

Even if your store’s current layout and product designs are having a positive impact on sales, you should still get into the habit of changing them on a regular basis. Over time, shoppers will grow tired of seeing the same designs, which can subsequently lead to an ineffective merchandising strategy. By changing your store’s designs, however, you’ll keep shoppers interested and engaged. So, how often should you change your store’s designs? There’s really no easy answer to this question, as no two apparel stores are the same. With that said, a good rule of thumb is to make at least some changes to your store’s designs every month.

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How a Retail Store’s Layout Affects Shopping Behavior

dolls-1077237_960_720A retail store’s layout will directly affect the behavior of its shoppers. Store owners who neglect to create an appealing, functional layout will suffer from fewer sales. But that’s just one of the many ways in which a store’s layout affects shopping behavior. To learn more about this link, and how to optimize your store’s layout, keep reading.


Arguably, one of the most important elements in a retail store’s layout is the color. Colors can make or break a store’s layout. When the right colors are used, it creates an appealing, welcoming environment that encourages shoppers to take action. And when shoppers are engaged, they are more likely to buy a product (or several). On the other hand, the wrong color combination will have the opposite effect, creating gloom and negative energy that discourages shoppers from taking action.

Generally speaking, it’s best to focus your store’s layout around warm colors like orange, red and yellow. Warm colors are said to provide a sense of excitement while also encouraging shoppers to make purchases. According to Van Rompay et al.,. 2011, shoppers that enjoy excitement also prefer these colors. Cool colors, on the other hand, provide a sense of calmness and security.


In addition to using the right color combination, store owners should also design their store’s layout to maximize its available space. When a store is cluttered and messy, shoppers are less likely to make a purchase. But when a store is properly organized and features plenty of “waling space,” shoppers will feel more comfortable making a purchase. So if you haven’t done so in a while, reevaluate your store’s layout to determine if it needs adjusting. Shuffling some shelves, pegboard, mannequins and other elements around can make a big difference in terms of space.

Product Displays

Place yourself in the shoes of an average shopper and ask yourself: how do the product displays affect my shopping behavior? Product displays serve a few basic purpose: they attract shoppers’ attention on specific products; they guide shoppers to the appropriate department; and they enhance shoppers’ overall experience in the store. If your product displays fail to accomplish any of these three goals, perhaps you should change them.

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Are You Making these Mistakes with Your Product Displays?

sale-685007_960_720If you run or otherwise a manage a retail store, you are probably well aware of the importance of maintaining product displays. Whether your store sells clothing, handbags, accessories, electronics, pet supplies or any other consumer goods, you need to display your product in a manner that appeals to shoppers. Unfortunately, many store owners take the wrong approach with their product displays, minimizing the otherwise positive benefits associated with visual merchandising. So, are you guilty of making the following mistakes with your store’s product displays?

Not Changing Product Displays Regularly

Even if your product display is currently attracting shoppers and getting their attention, you will eventually need to change it. Shoppers grow tired of seeing the same display time after time, in which case they’ll ignore it. To prevent this from happening, try to get into the habit of changing your product displays on a regular basis. Shuffling the displays around and using different mannequins and fixtures can make a world of difference, increasing engagement and ultimately generating more sales for your store.

Setting up Displays in Irrelevant Areas

Consider the location of your product displays in relation to the actual product being advertised. A display featuring men’s clothing, for instance, shouldn’t be set up in the women’s clothing department — or vise-versa. Store owners should set up displays in or next to the area in which the product is located. When a shopper sees a product that he or she wants to buy, they’ll search for it near the display. Failure to place the display near the associated product could result in a loss of sales.

No Theme or Story

Every retail product display should center around a theme or story. Remember, you want shoppers to picture themselves using the product. In order to accomplish this, you’ll need to design your product displays around a central idea.

Poor Color Combinations

Colors can make or brake a store’s product display. Using too many dark colors, for instance, will draw shoppers’ attention away from the display. Of course, using too many bright colors with no real contrasting element has a similar effect. Choose a color combination for your product displays that’s attractive, eye-catching and matches with the surrounding elements. It may take some trial and error, but you’ll eventually find the perfect combination that works for your store.

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Visual Merchandising Tips for Shoes

fashion-1284496_960_720Whether your retail store specializes in footwear or simply sells shoes as part of its overall product selection, you’ll want to display them in the most appealing manner possible. When shoes are properly presented, shoppers will be more likely to buy them. Unfortunately, many store owners overlook the importance of visual merchandising, tossing their shoes on a large shelves that offer little-to-no aesthetic appeal. Even if the store generates some sales, chances are it can improve its numbers by practicing some basic visual merchandising steps.


When presenting shoes in a retail store, it’s important to illuminate them with adequate lighting. If there’s little-to-no lighting, shoppers won’t be able to see all of the subtle details; thus, you’ll have a harder time convincing them to purchase the shoes. A simple solution to this problem is to use track lighting to illuminate specific areas of a shoe presentation. Track lighting can be focused to shine its light down onto your shoe displays, enhancing its details while making them more attractive to prospective buyers.

Acrylic Shoe Risers

In addition to using the right lighting, you should also consider using acrylic shoe risers to present your store’s footwear. As the name suggests, acrylic shoe risers are multi-tiered platforms made of transparent acrylic material that’s used to present shoes. Shoes are placed on top of the platforms, allowing shoppers to see them more easily. It’s a relatively simple and inexpensive way to display shoes, but it can make a world of difference in terms of sales and shopper interaction. Acrylic shoe risers capture shoppers’ attention, encouraging them to pick up and try on the shoes. In turn, shoppers are more likely to buy the presented shoe.

Shoe Shelves for Slatwall

Slatwall is among the most versatile types of fixtures for a retail store. It can be used to present a wide variety of products, including shoes. But if you really want to take advantage of slatwall, it’s recommended that you use compatible “shoe shelves.” These shelves are inserted into the slatwall, at which point shoes can be displayed on top. By placing the shoes at or around eye-level, more shoppers will see them. Slatwall shoe shelves are a smart investment for any retail store owner who sells shoes, so make them a part of your visual merchandising strategy.

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How Music Can Drive More Retail Sales

according-to-214445_960_720The term “visual merchandising” is somewhat of a misnomer, because it’s not limited strictly to visual elements. Visual merchandising refers to the process of presenting a product or products in the most appealing manner possible, usually with the intent to attract more shoppers and generate more sales. While this can done using visual elements like signs, colors and mannequins, it can also be done using music and sounds.

According to one study Donovan and Rossiter, 1982, music affects shoppers’ behaviors via the pleasure-arousal-dominance (PAD) model. Researchers discovered that the type of music played in a store affects shoppers’ mood and behavior. When a store played music that was appealing to the part of the brain that’s associated with pleasure, it triggered a release of hormones and chemicals like oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, all of which are associated with feelings of happiness.

Playing music also offers the benefits of increased shopper satisfaction. Whether they realize it or not, shoppers want to enjoy their shopping experience — and this means engrossing themselves in the environment. There’s more to a shopping environment that just visual elements, however; the shopping environment consists of visual elements, music and sounds, and even smells. By incorporating all of these elements into your visual merchandising efforts, you’ll improve shopper satisfaction, which should have a positive impact on your sales.

So, what type of music should you play in your retail store to drive more sales and boost shopper satisfaction? It really depends on the type of retail store as well as the store’s target demographic/audience. With that said, however, it’s generally best to focus on music with positive vibes and an upbeat tempo. Playing slow music and sounds with an equally slow tempo may have a negative impact on shoppers’ mood, discouraging them from taking action and buying your store’s product.

A separate study conducted by researchers at the Association for Consumer Research reinforced this belief, finding that loud music with a fast tempo encourages shoppers to move around with greater purpose while subsequently spending more time buying and less time shopping. So if you’re looking to boost sales (and you probably are), it’s recommended that you play music with a fast tempo for maximum results. This, along with traditional elements and practices of visual merchandising, will go a long ways in boosting sales

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Visual Merchandising Tips for the Summer Season

sale-686361_960_720There’s no better time than the start of new season to update your store’s visual design. June 20th marks the official beginning of summer, a time during which many children will be out of school while adults get to take off work for vacation. Retailers can use to their advantage by creating attractive visual merchandising displays that encourage shoppers to buy their products.

Warm Colors

We’ve talked about this in a previous blog post, but it’s worth mentioning again that colors will directly influence shoppers’ decision to buy or not buy a product. Being that summer is all about warmth, your store’s visual merchandising displays should reflect this characteristic by featuring “warm” colors. Red, yellow, orange and variations thereof are all excellent choices for the summer.

Update Your Inventory

Of course, you should also update your store’s inventory so it’s more aligned with the summer season. Retail apparel stores, for instance, can add bathing suits, sandals, flip-flops, tank-tops and other warm-weather clothing to their inventory. Doing so will allow them to implement these seasonal items into their visual merchandising displays, creating a stronger connection with shoppers while subsequently driving more sales in the process. And when the fall season rolls around, you can rotate these items out of your store’s inventory, replacing with more relevant fall-themed items.


Mannequins are an invaluable tool for visual merchandising in the retail world. Store owners can use them to display their products in a more appealing manner, encouraging shoppers to buy them. During the summer, try creating several displays throughout your store featuring mannequins. Some people assume that mannequins are only useful for apparel stores, but this isn’t the case. Even if your store doesn’t sell apparel, you can still use mannequins to effectively present your product.

Summer Discounts

Of course, retailers can always boost sales by offering seasonal summer discounts and promotions. If you look through some of the catalogs of leading retailers, you’ll notice that many of them have similar sales during this time of year. There’s a good reason for this: summer discounts improve shopper engagement and boost sales. So, try implementing discounts and promotions into your store’s visual merchandising displays. This can be easily accomplished using signs, banners and similar displays.

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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How Lighting Affects a Retail Store’s Mood and Atmosphere

light-bulbs-1125016_960_720Lighting is a critical element in all retail stores and businesses. It provides a source of illumination, lighting up the surrounding area so that shoppers can see the products, visual merchandising displays, signs and other material. However, it’s a little-known fact that lighting also affects a store’s mood and overall atmosphere. To learn more about the way in which lighting affects mood, and how store owners such as yourself can use this to their advantage, keep reading.

Bright lighting has been associated with energy, positivity and honesty, often having a positive impact on a store’s sales. According to Wikipedia, bright lighting triggers a higher level of engagement among customers, speeding up “the pace at which customers purchase products.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should always use bright lighting throughout every area of your store, however. If customers shop too fast, they may overlook some of your store’s products; thus, purchasing fewer products that they would if they shopped at a slower pace. This is why it’s important for store owners to use balanced lighting throughout their store, finding a delicate balance that’s not too bright not too dim.

Even dim lighting has its place in the retail world. When lighting is dim, consequently, it slows down the pace at which customers shop. Furthermore, dim instills a sense of calmness and relaxation, setting the tone for your store.

Of course, lighting can also be used to draw attention to a particular product or area of your store. If you recently added a new product to your store’s lineup, for instance, you may want to draw shoppers’ attention to it, in which case lighting can be used. Track lighting, when affixed in the direction of the new product, will naturally increase its visibility, which should subsequently have a positive impact on sales.

So, should you use bright or dim lighting throughout your store? It really depends on your store’s product lineup, target market, time of day, and other factors. If you look at some of the nation’s leading retail stores, you’ll notice that many of them use both techniques. Bright lighting may be used around visual merchandising displays and in-store products during the day, whereas dim lighting is used throughout the rest of the store and during the evenings.

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The Two Most Important Elements of Visual Merchandising

Visual_Merchandising_Winter_Wear_Window_DisplayVisual merchandising is essential when running a brick-and-mortar retail store or business. It allows store owners to present their products in a more appealing manner; thereby, encouraging shoppers to buy them. While there are dozens of different elements associated with visual merchandising, none of them hold as much importance as interior and exterior displays.

Both interior and exterior displays are intended to capture shoppers’ attentions, encouraging them to enter the store and buy the presented product. According to a study published in the Journal Of Business & Retail Management Research, interior and exterior displays have the greatest effect on impulse buying, attesting to their importance in the retail setting. Of course, this shouldn’t come as a surprise given the fact that product displays are the first and last thing a shopper sees when visiting a store.

Interior Displays

Interior displays often consist of mannequins displaying garments, accessories and other products sold by the store. Even if the store doesn’t sell clothing, it may still use mannequins to present its products. Sports stores, for instance, will often use mannequins to display baseball, football and other sports equipment. With that said, however, this doesn’t necessarily mean that all interior displays consist solely of mannequins. Interior displays may also include signs, cardboard cutouts, and similar elements. In addition to boosting sales, such interior displays may improve customer satisfaction while boosting the store’s aesthetics.

Exterior Displays

Exterior displays may also consist of mannequins displaying garments, accessories and other products sold by the store. One of the nuances between interior and exterior displays is the space. Interior displays typically are typically larger because of the greater floor space. This means store owners must carefully construct their outdoor displays in a way that makes the best possible use of the available space. With a finite amount of space, exterior displays must be carefully constructed to ensure a positive response among the store’s target demographic.

Another difference between interior and exterior displays lies in the function: interior displays are used to draw to shoppers to a particular product or area of the store, whereas exterior displays are typically used to draw shoppers into the store. As such, many retail store owners will use bold, bright-colored signs in their exterior displays.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Visual Merchandising

question-security-01234Visual merchandising plays an important role in the function of modern-day retail stores and businesses. It’s used to attract shoppers, encouraging them to purchase a presented product or products. Today we’re going to reveal some frequently asked questions and answers surrounding the art of visual merchandising.

What Elements Should be Considered When Designing a Product Display?

Elements used in a product display will vary depending on the store, the product, and goal. However, some of the most common elements used in product displays include lighting, product information (e.g. name and price), scents, sounds, digital displays, and interactive installations.

What is a ‘Point of Purchase’ Display?

In the world of visual merchandising, a point of purchase display is exactly what it sounds like: a product display that’s placed on or near the checkout register. Whether you’re shopping at a grocery store, apparel store or even an electronics store, you’ve probably seen them before. Point of purchase displays often include impulse buy products like snacks, gum, mints, etc. When a shopper is ready to check out, he or she will notice the products and hopefully decide to buy them.

Can Scents be Used in Visual Merchandising?

The term visual merchandising is somewhat of a misnomer, because it can include the stimulation of other senses besides just sight. Scents, for instance, are often used in visual merchandising. Scents like lavender and cinnamon tend to create a relaxing, stress-reducing effect in shoppers.

What Tools Can Assist with Visual Merchandising?

There are several different tools that can help a retailer with his or her visual merchandising strategy. Planograms are one such tool, featuring the layout of a shelf, pegboard or similar fixture, along with the appropriate product arrangement. A professional visual merchandiser may also want to use a camera and measuring tape.

Should I Use a Theme for My Product Displays?

While there are always exceptions to this rule, it’s usually a good idea to construct your product displays around a central theme or concept. For instance, a retail apparel store during the summer may create a beach-themed product display in which mannequins are presented wearing bathing suits and other beach-related accessories. Studies have shown that consumers respond more actively when presented with themed product displays such as this.

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Visual Merchandising Tips for Boutiques

store-984393_960_720Running a successful boutique isn’t always an easy task. Unlike larger retail stores, boutiques typically work with a smaller inventory and limited store space. But even with these limitations, boutique owners can still attract new customers and boost sales by embracing visual merchandising practices. Here are some visual merchandising tips to help your boutique succeed.

Less is More

Don’t assume that you must include a large number of visual elements in your store’s design. On the contrary, focusing on just a few main visual elements will likely prove more beneficial. Boutique owners and managers should follow the “less is more” approach by sticking with a few select elements in their layout. Doing so avoids clutters while creating a stronger connection with shoppers.

Use Warm Colors

We’ve talked about this before on our blog, but it’s worth mentioning again that colors can have a direct influence on shoppers’ decision to buy a product. Black and other dark colors tend to create a gloomy atmosphere that discourages shoppers from buying. On the other hand, warm and bright colors like red, orange, yellow and variations thereof have the opposite effect by triggering a visceral response in shoppers that encourages them to buy. So when designing your store’s layout, stick with warm colors.


If you aren’t cross-selling merchandise in your boutique, you are missing out on one of the easiest ways to boost sales. This, of course, is something that visual merchandising can help you achieve. For apparel boutiques, for instance, you could display handbags next to dresses. If a shopper is interested in a dress, she may also be interested in buying a new handbag, making this an effective visual merchandising tactic to boost sales.

Display Products at the Right Time

Visual merchandising is all about timing. If you time your designs and visual merchandising elements right, you’ll reap the benefits of more sales. Think about what products and items customers are currently interested in and display them throughout your store. During the summer, for instance, customers may be interested in buying swimsuits, shorts, v-neck t-shirts, etc. And during the winter, they’ll probably be interested in cold-weather apparel like sweaters, jeans and jackets. By reflecting your store’s layout to the current seasons and trends, you’ll experience more sales.

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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3 Ways to Attract Shoppers to Your Store

shopping-mall-509536_960_720Looking to attract more shoppers to your store? Sure you are! Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that more shoppers will translate into more sales, which is the primary goal of most retail stores and businesses. But enticing shoppers to enter a store isn’t always an easy task. Maybe they are heading to a different store? Or perhaps they aren’t interested in what your store sells? Regardless, there are certain steps that you can take to grab consumers’ attention and encourage them to enter your store.

Time-Sensitive Sales and Promotions

Arguably, one of the easiest and most effective ways to attract shoppers to your store is to host a time-sensitive sale or promotion. For instance, you could host a “spring sale” in which all products are 20% off until the end of spring. This creates a sense of urgency, compelling shoppers to enter your store and buy the advertised product or products while they are still on sale.

Re-Grand Opening

Just because your store has already had a grand opening doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t throw a second one. On the contrary, re-grand openings are an excellent way to draw attention to your store while increasing its traffic and sales in the process. You can even spread the word about your store’s re-grand opening to local media outlets and newspaper, some of whom may run the story to generate even more publicity for your store.

Update the Window Displays

When was the last time that you updated your store’s window displays? If it’s been several weeks or longer, perhaps it’s time for a change. Shoppers grow tired of seeing the same products and visual merchandising elements displays in windows time after time. So even if your store had an effective window display that encouraged shoppers to take action, its benefits will begin to diminish given enough time. To prevent this from happening, you should get into the habit of changing your store’s window display on a regular basis, updating it with new products and visual merchandising elements. A fresh window display will grab shoppers’ attention, attracting them into your store — and once they are inside your store, you’ll have an easier time selling them your products. It’s just that simple.

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Mannequins vs Rolling Racks for Retail Apparel Stores

fashion-1031469_960_720While visual merchandising is essential for all retail brick-and-mortar stores and business, it’s particularly important for apparel stores. Shoppers want to see how a particular shirt, dress or other garment looks before buying it. Therefore, apparel stores must present their products in the most attractive manner possible. There are several different ways to display garment in an apparel store, although the two most common involve the use of mannequins and rolling racks.

A rolling racks (as shown in the image to the right) is exactly what it sounds like: a large rack, typically featuring a single rod, with wheels on the bottom. They are inexpensive, versatile, and can be used to display a number of different garments. Furthermore, rolling racks are easy to move around from end of the store to the other. If you get tired of displaying your garments in a particular area of your store, just push the rolling rack to a new area.

There are a few drawbacks to rolling racks, however, one of which is the simple fact that shoppers cannot fully see their garments. Sure, shoppers can see the outside of the garments, but this doesn’t offer the same effect as seeing the entire garment. Another problem associated with rolling racks is their restriction on the type of garments that can be displayed. If the garment cannot be placed on a clothes hanger, it generally cannot be used on a rolling rack. This means jeans, shorts and other pants are usually not suitable for use on a rolling rack.

An alternative to displaying your store’s garments on a rolling rack is to use a mannequins. Unlike rolling racks, mannequins present garments in their entirely, allowing shoppers to see exactly how the garment looks when worn on the human body. Mannequins can also be used to display jeans, shorts, pants and other garments and accessories that cannot be displayed on a rolling rack.

Mannequins, however, are limited in terms of the number of garments they can display. A rolling rack may hold several dozen garments, whereas a mannequin is generally best used with a single outfit.

There are both pros and cons associated with rolling racks and mannequins. Rather than choosing one or the other, why not use them both in your store?

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Visual Merchandising Trends to Watch

8062204_970b8fb497_zVisual merchandising is an essential step in running a successful business. The term refers to the way in which products are displayed. But visual merchandising isn’t static, rather it’s dynamic and ever-changing. Here are some of the top visual merchandising trends to watch.

Incorporating Multiple Senses

Although the name would suggest otherwise, visual merchandising isn’t restricted to visual elements. Many retailers are now incorporating multiple senses into their respective stores in an effort to connect with shoppers and generate more sales. The apparel retailing giant Abercrombie & Fitch, for instance, uses its Fierce line of men’s cologne to create a pleasant aroma for shoppers, encouraging them to purchase the product. Even car dealers use scents to help sell their cars. And this isn’t a trend that will be going away anytime soon, as analysts believe the use of multiple senses will become even more commonplace among retailers and business owners.


Another visual merchandising trend that you can expect to see more of in the years to come is a focus on eco-friendly and sustainable practices. Starbucks is among the hundreds of businesses which are emphasizing the importance of sustainability in their visual merchandising practices, including this practice in their textures, themes, store designs, concepts and more. Retail apparel stores are also embracing the use of eco-friendly and sustainable practices, as it creates a positive image for their respective brands.

Simplistic Designs

Of course, there’s also a growing trend towards the use of simple merchandising displays. Instead of creating large and complex displays, retailers are shifting their focus to smaller and more simplistic displays. This allows for a more efficient use of space while creating a narrow focus in the process.

Warm Colors

We talked about this in a previous blog post, but your choice of colors will play a direct role in shoppers’ buying decisions. A visual merchandising trend that’s currently gaining momentum among retailers is the use of warm colors, such as tangerine, magenta, red, sunset orange, etc. Warm colors such as these are energetic and uplifting, and there’s some belief that it encourages shoppers to buy. Whether or not there’s any truth to this statement remains to be seem, but warm colors are becoming a mainstay in visual merchandising.

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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How Color Affects Consumers’ Buying Decisions

hanger-970890_960_720When you’re busy counting inventory, setting up product displays, facilitating customer transactions, and doing the countless number of other tasks that go into running a retail business, it’s easy to overlook the importance of color. Besides, how much of an impact does color really have on shoppers’ decision to buy or not buy a product? The answer might actually surprise you…

Color is the #1 Reason Why Consumers Buy a Product

According to an infographic created by WebPageFX, color is the primary reason why consumers buy a particular product. More specifically, 84.7% of consumers cited color as being the leading factor in their decision to purchase a product. A consumer, for instance, may choose a red dress simply because red is her favorite color, whereas another consumer may be looking for a yellow dress. This alone should be reason enough for retailers to focus more of their efforts and resources on using color throughout their visual merchandising efforts.

Colors Increased Brand Recognition

It’s also worth noting that color can be used to increase brand recognition for retailers and store owners. A separate article published by KISSMetrics found the use of color to yield an 80% increase in brand recognition. Color helps consumers remember retailers and their respective brand elements. A black-and-white logo isn’t exactly memorable, in which consumers may not associate it with the company. But adding color into the logo helps to create a stronger and more memorable design, which is critical to achieving a high level of brand recognition.

The Power of Red

Arguably, one of the most effective colors to entice shoppers to buy a product is red. Red is bright, bold, and visually eye-catching — but it also triggers a visceral reaction among consumers, encouraging them to buy. This sense of urgency associated with red makes it particularly effective when used in visual merchandising. A bright red “SALE” sign, for instance, is guaranteed to catch shoppers’ attention, which should have a positive impact on sales.

The Power of Orange

Another excellent color to use in visual merchandising is orange. Technically a secondary color, orange is associated with warmth, compassion, and impulse buys. Whether it’s used in your store’s layout, signage, marketing material, etc., it will draw shoppers’ attention to various areas while encouraging them to take action.

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Top 4 Tools for Visual Merchandising

mannequin-732626_960_720Running a successful retail store isn’t an easy task. While the exact number remains unknown, some industry experts have estimated there to be more than one million retail stores operating in the United States. With such steep competition, it’s often difficult for new stores to gain any traction with their target audience. But the good news is that visual merchandising can help enhance your store, making it stand out in a sea of competing stores.

Floor Map

Regardless of what product(s) your store sells, you should keep a floor map on hand to strategically plan your product placements and visual merchandising elements. This visual layout will allow you to organize and arrange products for maximum shopper engagement. Furthermore, you can use a floor map to identify “untapped” areas within your store that can be used for signs or other visual merchandising elements.


Not to be confused with a floor map, a planogram is another visual diagram of a store’s layout — but it focuses specifically on product placement. Planograms are often used in grocery stores and retail apparel stores, revealing the best possible way to organize and present products using the store’s fixtures. If a store has gridwall, for instance, the planogram will reveal the peg placement in accordance with its respective products. So instead of crossing your fingers and hoping that everything lines up, you can rest assured knowing that your pegs, and their products, will fit just right by following the planogram.


Mannequins are also considered a visual merchandising tool, so don’t forget to use them in your store. Even if you can display your store’s garments or products on a rolling rack, opting for a mannequin may prove well worth the investment. Mannequins allow store owners to present their products (e.g. shirts, dresses, hats, handbags, etc.) in a more relatable manner. Shoppers can see exactly how the product looks when worn by a human if it’s displayed on a mannequin.


Last but not least, signs are another key tool used in visual merchandising. Signs can be used for any number of different purposes, from guiding shoppers to a particular section, to showcasing discount/clearance items. Regardless, be sure to include signs as part of your visual merchandising strategy.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Retail Signage

clothing-970846_960_720Do Use Bold Colors

The primary purpose of retail signs is to capture shoppers’ attention, which is why it’s important to use bold, easy-to-see colors. Opting for white, beige or other colors with low visibility will only hurt your efforts in the long run. Whether your store sells apparel, sporting goods, pet supplies, electronics or any other consumer product, be sure to include bold-colored signs throughout your store.

Do Use Signs to Guide Shoppers

Retail store owners and managers should use signs to guide shoppers to various departments and/or products. Apparel stores, for instance, may hang large signs over various departments such as men’s clothing, women’s clothing, children’s, footwear, etc. Instead of forcing shoppers to venture around aimlessly in search of these departments, they’ll know exactly where to go thanks to the signs.

Do Perform a Test Run

It’s always a good idea to place yourself in the shoes of a shopper to see whether or not your signs “work.” Can you see easily spot the signs? Do they provide useful information regarding the nearby departments and/or products? What emotions do the signs trigger? These are just a few of the questions that you should attempt to answer when using signs in your retail store.

Don’t Obstruct View

When placing signs throughout your store, make sure shoppers can easily see them. If you place a mannequin or some other display in front of a sign, it’s not going to prove beneficial in capturing shoppers’ attention. Signs should be placed with a clear line of sigh so that shoppers can see them.

Don’t Use too Many Words

It’s best to follow the “less is more” approach when designing signs for your retail store. Creating signs featuring full sentences isn’t the best approach, as shoppers have short attention spans; thus, you should focus on short and concise signs with just a few words. Focusing your efforts on signs with just a few words will yield a greater response by shoppers — and that’s exactly what you should be trying to accomplish.

Don’t Hang Signs without a Holder

It’s recommended that you use a holder for your signs to protect them from damage. A basic metal or acrylic holder will preserve your signs so they maintain their shape and structural integrity, allowing you to get more bang for your buck.

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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Window Display Tips for the Spring Season

shopping-arcade-1214815_960_720With the spring season right around the corner, there’s no better time than now for retailers to update their window displays to reflect this seasonal transition. Spring marks a new era during which the temperatures become warmer, plants begin to blossom, and the days become shorter. As a retailer, you should get into the habit of changing your window displays on a regular basis, and spring offers the perfect opportunity to do so.

Spring Colors

Don’t underestimate the importance of using the right colors in your store’s window displays. A good rule of thumb is to incorporate colors of the current season in your displays. For spring, instance, this may include red, violet, orange, nectarine, emerald, yellow, green, sage, navy, moss, grape and salmon just to name a few. Feel free to look around outdoors for inspiration. Take note of the various colors and try to incorporate at least some of them into your window displays.

Tip: use bright colors to draw attention to specific products or elements in your window display. Red and yellow work well for this reason, drawing shoppers’ attention to the display.


Another essential element in a retail window display is lighting, which is particularly important for the spring season. Retail spending tends to pick up around the spring, as this is when many people are eager to update their wardrobes. So, utilize proper lighting in your window displays to attract shoppers to your store. This can be done through the use of either artificial or natural lighting. Assuming you choose the first option, consider using either light-emitting diode (LED) or compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) instead of incandescent. Both LED and CFL bulbs last longer and use less energy than their incandescent counterpart.

Change the Mannequins

Assuming your window display features mannequins, consider changing either the type of mannequins and/or their position. Studies have shown that shoppers tend to suffer from “banner blindness” after seeing the same display layout time after time, making it less effective as encouraging more sales. You can keep shoppers interested and engaged, however, by changing the mannequins in your display. The spring season is the perfect time to do so, as it allows you to incorporate mannequins wearing warm-weather apparel and other spring products and related accessories.

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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The Many Uses of Mannequins

theatre-955201_960_720Who says mannequins are only used in retail stores? Many people assume that mannequins are intended strictly for visual merchandising displays in retail stores, but this isn’t necessarily true. While this is probably their most common use, mannequins can be found in other industries and applications, some of which we’re going to discuss today.

CPR Training

Mannequins are frequently used for the purpose of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. Instructors use them to show the exact steps for compression and compression-mouth CPR. When used for CPR, torso-only mannequins are generally preferred, as they are easier to maneuver, cost less than their full-body counterpart, and make ideal training tools for CPR classes.


You might be surprised to learn that mannequins are also used to assist artists in drawing and sketching figures. Artists will place gowns or other garments over the mannequin to see how the fabric looks on a human figure. Because mannequins are designed to closely resemble the human figure, it allows artists to see up close how various clothes look on the human body; thus, using it from which to draw inspiration for their own work.


Another surprising use of mannequins occurs in the military. According to Wikipedia, mannequins have long been used by various military powers, with the first recorded military use dating back to ancient China during the Battle of Yongqiu. The Tang army is believed to have lowered mannequins down the castle walls of its enemy to attract fire from enemy arrows. Mannequins were also used during World War I to protect soldiers from enemy sniper fire.

Visual Merchandising

Of course, the single most popular application of mannequins involves visual merchandising displays in retail stores. Retailers frequently use mannequins to display garments, fashion accessories and other products. Even if these products can be displayed on standard shelves or rolling racks, opting to display them on mannequins typically yields better results. Shoppers respond with a higher level of engagement to products displayed on mannequins, resulting in higher sales. And mannequins can be used to display more than just clothes; retailers may also use them to display jewelry, sports equipment, shoes, electronics and more.

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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Going Green in the Retail: Eco-Friendly Tips for Retailers

recycle-29933_960_720“Green” is more than just a color; it refers to acts and practices that encourage environmentally friendly decisions and greater sustainability of resources. Retailers can benefit from going green in several different ways. It reduces waste, promotes efficiency, and most importantly, it sends a positive message to customers and the community at large. So, what are some of the different ways that you can go green with your retail store?


Among the easiest ways to go green is to recycle. Retail store owners and their employees can break down boxes, for instance, placing them aside for a recycling pickup. Other items that can be recycled includes glass, plastic and aluminum, although you’ll probably have more cardboard from product shipments than any other material. Contact some of the local recycling centers around your store to see if they offer free pickups. Many facilities will gladly visit your store to pick up recycled materials, and some of them may even pay you for it.

Energy-Efficient Lighting

The right lighting can also promote a greener, more Eco-friendly retail store. Rather than using incandescent bulbs, consider switching to either compact fluorescent light (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED), both of which last longer and use less energy than their counterpart. While it’s true that incandescent bulbs are the cheapest, often costing just a couple bucks a piece, they have a very short lifespan, often running for just 1,200 hours. In comparison, CFL bulks will run for approximately 8,000 hours, making them well worth the investment.

Reduce Energy Usage

Here are some ways to go green while reducing your store’s energy usage:

  • Use a programmable thermostat to turn off heating/cooling when the store is unoccupied.
  • Have your store inspected for “thermal leaks,” adding extra insulation when necessary.
  • Encourage employees to turn off the lights when they leave.
  • Have HVAC system maintenanced annually for maximum efficiency.
  • Install additional windows to allow natural light into your store during the daytime.
  • Monitor energy usage for spikes.

Green Visual Merchandising

Of course, you can also implement green practices into your store’s visual merchandising. This includes the use of recyclable materials, minimizing waste, and adding natural elements like plants to your displays.

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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Jewelry Display and Presentation 101

wedding-rings-1163321_960_720Retail jewelry is a multibillion-dollar industry that continues to grow larger with each passing year. From diamond engagement rings and wedding bands to bangles, bracelets, earrings and more, consumers will always be searching for new jewelry. But as a store owner, you must present your products in a positive manner that encourages shoppers to buy them. So, here are some jewelry presentation tips to apply in your store.

Use Tiered Displays

Tiered Displays such as the Three-Tier Acrylic Jewelry Display are an excellent addition to any jewelry store. They can be used to display necklaces and bracelets alike, allowing customers to see exactly how the product looks when worn. And because they are made of high-grade acrylic, you can rest assured knowing that it will withstand the hands of time. Acrylic is incredibly strong yet also lightweight, making it the perfect choice for your store’s jewelry displays.


Don’t underestimate the impact that lighting has on your jewelry displays. If shoppers are unable to see the full details of your jewelry, they may not purchase it. A well-lit display will naturally encourage higher sales by illuminating the products so they are more appealing. Consider using a glass or acrylic display case that features a built-in light.


Another helpful tool for store owners is rotating jewelry displays. Carousal-style displays, for instance, are a great way to present multiple products in a more interactive manner. Shoppers can turn the display to see different pieces, which promotes a higher level of engagement while ultimately having a positive impact on sales.

Ring Displays

Rather than placing rings under a traditional flat display, consider using a special ring display in which multiple levels are featured. Not only does this encourage greater visibility of your products, but it also saves space

Protect High-Dollar Jewelry

Of course, store owners should also take precautions to protect their high-dollar products from theft. It’s not something that most jewelry store owners want to think about, but theft is a very real possibility. Statistics show that approximately 1 in 11 people have shoplifted at some point during their lives. To reduce the risk of shoplifting occurring in your store, it’s recommended that you implement security measures like video surveillance, convex mirrors, and an alarm system.

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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How Visual Merchandising Impacts Retail Sales

store-984393_960_720Visual merchandising is a catch-all term used to describe the way in which products are presented in a store. Whether your store sells apparel, jewelry, electronics, sporting goods, or any other consumer product(s), chances are its sales are being influenced by visual merchandising.

When you first step foot into a store, your eyes will be drawn to a nearby product display. Perhaps this is a mannequin dressed in the store’s latest apparel, or maybe it’s a slatwall grid featuring seasonal products. Regardless, visual merchandising displays such as this are designed to draw shoppers’ attention, guiding them towards specific products. And when a shopper is focused on a particular product, he or she will be more likely to purchase the respective product.

Visual merchandising is also useful for selling excess inventory. Retail store owners know all-too-well the problems of “overstock” inventory. If there’s a stockpile of a product in your store’s back room that’s taking up valuable space, you’ll need to move it, and fast. The longer it sits there, the more space it’s going to waste — space that could be used for storing other products. You can move excess inventory, however, through the use of visual merchandising. Displaying the product in your store’s window will encourage shoppers to buy it, as they’ll see exactly what the product looks like up close.

Retailer should engage in visual merchandising practices to maximize sales and promote a higher level of customer satisfaction. Investing just a small amount of your time and resources into visual merchandising will have a positive impact on sales while allowing shoppers to feel more confident with their purchase.

Here are some visual merchandising tricks and techniques to maximize your store’s sales:

  • When displaying clothes and apparel, make sure the garment is clean and pressed.
  • Create a central “theme” around your product displays.
  • Change your product displays on a regular basis, rotating new products and incorporating new design elements.
  • Measure shoppers’ response to your product displays. Are shoppers buying more of the product now that’s displayed differently?
  • Use bold colors like red and yellow to draw attention to your product displays.
  • Contact your product manufacturers and/or distributors to see if they offer assistance with product displays.
  • Use lighting to illuminate your product displays and make them more visible.

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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Retail Tips: How to Improve Customer Satisfaction

counter-309880_960_720Maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction is essential in the retail industry. If customers aren’t happy with their experience, it’s doubtful they’ll return to make future purchases. So, what steps can you take to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction in your retail store?

Reduce Checkout Wait Times

One simple way to boost customer satisfaction in the retail industry is to reduce checkout wait times. When shoppers are forced to wait 15+ minutes just to pay for an item, they may think twice before returning. While long checkout times are bound to occur — especially during the holidays — store owners and managers can keep them running smoothly by hiring additional staff and training those employees to work fast.

Offer Self Checkout

You may have already seen them at various retail stores: self-checkout lanes. While they require some initial upfront investment, adding self-checkout lanes to your retail store will have a positive impact on customer satisfaction. It allows shoppers to checkout and pay for their items without having to wait in the normal lines. Subsequently, offering shoppers a self-checkout option will almost certainly have a positive impact on their satisfaction.

Greet Shoppers

When a shopper first enters your store, an employee should be there to greet him or her with a friendly “hello, how are you doing today?” And when this shopper leaves, an employee should tell them “thanks for the shopping.” It only takes a few minutes to greet shoppers, but doing so will leave a lasting, positive impression. Shoppers want to feel acknowledged and welcome when they shop, which is why it’s important to greet them and wave them goodbye.

Allow Flexible Returns

Last but not least, create a flexible return policy so shoppers aren’t forced to jump through hoops just to return a product. Charging customers a 15% restocking fee may sound like a helpful way to recoup costs, but it leaves a negative mark on shoppers. As such, it’s recommended that you allow flexible returns to boost customer satisfaction in your store.

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 Tips and Tricks for Retail Stores

fashion-1031469_960_720Slatwall is an invaluable tool for retail store owners and visual merchandisers. They allow stores to display product in a more appealing and efficient manner, resulting in higher sales. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to use slatwall. For some essential tips and tricks on how to effectively use slatwall in your store, keep reading.

Choose a Color that Matches Your Store’s Decor

When shopping for slatwall, it’s recommended that you choose a color that matches your store’s existing decor. If your store has a rustic maple decor, then you should stick with a similar style of slatwall. Some store owners assume that slatwall is only available in a single “brown” color, but this isn’t the case. You can find it several different colors, including maple, cherry, paint grade, and white melamine.

Leave Space in Front

One of the reasons why slatwall is such a popular fixture for retail stores is because it maximizes space by leveraging the power of the walls. Rather than leaving your walls plain, you can hang up shirts, jackets, dresses or other products — assuming there’s slatwall present. But if you intend to use slatwall for this purpose, you need to leave clearance in front, keeping it clean and free of any product or fixtures. Cluttering the front of your slatwall with products may restrict shoppers from accessing it, in which case it’s going to prove beneficial in driving new sales.

Measure Products Before Hanging

Try to get into the habit of measuring the size of your products before hanging them on slatwall. Ideally, you want to leave just an inch or two of space between each product hanging from your slatwall. If there’s too much space between your products, it will not only look awkward, but it also restricts your ability to display other products. Using a measuring tape, identify the height and width of your product, using this information to plan your slatwall display in the most efficient manner possible.

Go High

Hanging product high on the slatwall can yield a higher level of visibility, as shoppers throughout the store may see it regardless of their location. When a product is hung at eye-level, only shoppers who are nearby will see it. Granted, shoppers may need assistance to retrieve products placed high on slatwall, but this is a simple yet effective strategy for drawing attention to high-end products like coats, jackets and dresses.

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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Things to Consider When Choosing Mannequins for Your Store

mannequins-235769_960_720The way in which products are displayed in a store will directly impact the customers’ buying decisions. Sure, it’s probably easier to toss apparel on a shelf and call it a day, but this doesn’t present them in the most attractive manner possible. As such, shoppers are less likely to purchase the items. A better solution is to display garments and fashion accessories on a mannequin.

Male or Female

There are several things to consider when choosing mannequins for your store, one of which is gender. Mannequins are available in male, female and unisexual genders. If you operate a store that only sells women’s apparel, you should stick with a female gender mannequins. On the other hand, if your store sells primarily men’s clothing and accessories, male gender mannequins would work best.

Full Body or Partial?

Something else to consider is whether to choose a full-body or partial-body mannequin. Full-body mannequins, as the name suggests, feature an entire body, complete with the torso, head, legs and arms. Partial-body mannequins may only have a torso and head. If you intend use your new mannequin to display jewelry or other small accessories, a partial-body mannequin may suffice. For garments, however, you’ll probably want to stick with a full-body mannequin for maximum benefit.

Are They Adjustable?

Mannequins typically fall under one of two different categories: stationary, meaning their legs and arms cannot be moved, and adjustable, meaning the limbs can be adjusted. Adjustable mannequins are great for creating themes in a window display or throughout your store. Because the arms and legs move, you can create unique poses with your mannequins to capture the attention of shoppers. Keep in mind, however, that adjustable mannequins such as this tend to cost more than their stationary counterpart.

Additional Features

Mannequins have come a long ways over the years. Some of the newer ones are equipped with features like stereo speakers, which can be used to play music in a store.

How Much do They Cost?

Of course, you should consider the price when choosing mannequins for your store. Depending on the brand, size and features, the cost of a new mannequin can range anywhere from a couple hundred bucks to several thousand dollars.

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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3 Tips for Creating a Stunning Window Display

tailor-633102_960_720As the saying goes, “you only get one chance to make a good first impression” holds true in the retail industry. When a new shopper approaches your store, he or she will likely see your window display first. Depending on how it’s designed, this can either help or hurt your efforts to convert the shopper into a paying customer. To increase your chances of success, you should follow these tips for creating a stunning retail window display.

Choose a Theme

We’ve talked about this before on our blog, but it’s worth mentioning again that an effective retail window display should feature some type of central idea or theme. By maintaining a sense of cohesion throughout the display, it will create a more engaging display to which shoppers can relate. If you are creating a window display for a party store, for instance, you could design your window display around a costume theme in which mannequins are dressed in various costumes.

Make it Bold

Want to know the secret to creating a stunning window display? It involves using bold colors and elements to catch shoppers’ attention. Shoppers grow tired of seeing the same boring window displays time and time again. As such, they may instinctively avoid them the next time they go shopping. But unless shoppers look at your window display, it’s not going to prove beneficial in attracting more sales.

You can capture shoppers’ attention, however, by designing your window display with bold elements. Red and yellow “FOR SALE” signs against a contrasting background is an excellent way to accomplish this.

Adjust the Lighting

Lighting (or lack thereof) will play a key role in the effectiveness of your store’s window displays. Poorly lit displays aren’t going to have the same effect on shoppers as well-lit displays. If lighting is a problem, consider installing additional fixtures to help illuminate it. Some of the different lighting options available for window displays includes traditional overhead fixtures, track lighting, wall sconce, or even miniature chandeliers. Remember, choose lighting that’s flows cohesively with the rest of the display for a maximum level of shopper engagement.

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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5 Tips for Throwing a Grand Opening

dolls-1077237_960_720Hosting a grand opening is a great way to draw attention to your new store. Consumers will hear about your store’s grand opening, visiting your store to see what it offers. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to host a grand opening. So before you hang a “grand opening” sign over your store, keep reading for some helpful tips.

Plan Ahead

I know this probably sounds like common sense to most seasoned retailers, but it’s still worth mentioning that you should plan your store’s grand opening several months in advance. Doing so will ensure that you have plenty of time to stock inventory, set up the displays, and make the final touches on your store’s layout before customers see it.

Host on the Weekend

It’s recommended that you host your store’s grand opening on the weekend, simply because this is when the majority of consumers do their shopping. Weekend grand opening will yield more customers and more sales, which is exactly what you should be trying to accomplish. And even if your store is already open for business, you can still host a grand opening at a later date/time.

Product Displays

Don’t just toss your products on shelves and/or rolling racks, but instead make sure they are properly being displayed for maximum visibility. If you sells shoes, for instance, try using shoe risers to lift them higher where shoppers can see them more easily. Mannequins can also be used to display shirts, dresses, coats, and other garments. Investing the necessary time into setting up your store’s product displays will go a long ways in creating a successful grand opening.

Offer Incentives

You can attract a broader audience by offering special deals and other incentives during your store’s grand opening. For instance, you could offer the first 50 customers a free $25 gift card. Another idea is to host a raffle in which a random customer wins a prize. Incentives such as this can drive tons of shoppers to your store during its grand opening.

Promote it

Of course, a grand opening is only productive is shoppers know when and where it’s taking place. Far too many business owners fail with their store’s grand opening because they don’t promote it. After choosing a date and time, spread the word via social media, fliers, mail advertisements, commercials, and word of mouth.

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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Ringing in the New Year with These Retail Statistics

mall-893205_960_720Retail is Largest Work Sector in the US

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), more Americans are employed in the retail sector than any other industry. The NRF estimates there to be roughly 29 million retail workers, which is far ahead of healthcare with 19 million workers, manufacturing with 12 million, and scientific research with just 12 million. Of course, this trend will likely continue, as retail remains a time-tested, proven industry with an ever-growing workforce.

Mobile Retail Revenue Tops $12b Annually

It’s no secret that more and more consumers are choosing to purchase retail goods on their smartphones as opposed to in person. In fact, the website Statista reports that mobile retail revenue tops $12 billion annually.

 The Term ‘Retail’ Means ‘to Cut Off’

Historians believe the word “retail” originated from the Old French language meaning “to cut off.” It was originally used in tailoring, but it later spread into the general goods market. Wikipedia states that the first recorded use of the word “retail” as a noun occurred as far back as 1433.

3 Out of 4 Retail Pages Have a Facebook Like Button

Being that Facebook is the world’s largest and most popular social media network, this statistic should come as little-to-no surprise: nearly 3 out of 4 webpages on which retail products are listed have a Facebook like button displayed. This allows visitors to like the page simply by clicking the button (assuming they are logged into their Facebook account). And by increasing the number of Facebook likes on a product page, it instills trust and confidence in other online consumers.

Malls Produce 45% of Retail Revenue in Thailand

Shopping malls are incredibly popular in Thailand, producing roughly 45% of the country’s retail revenue. To put this number into perspective, shopping malls produce 39% of Philippines’ retail revenue, 28% of Indonesia, 25% of China, 10% in Vietnam and just 7% in India.

Retail Fraud Costs Retail Stores Up to $17.2b Annually

Retail fraud often sends new stores into the red zone, cutting into their profits and sometimes even forcing them to close. It’s to bad, in fact, that experts attribute it to costing retailers between $8.9 and $17.2 billion. Retail fraud may consist of customers who purchase a product at one store and then attempt to return it for cash at a different store.

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Retail Trends to Watch in 2016

happy-new-year-622149_960_720w2With the beginning of a new year right around the corner, there’s no better time than now for retailers to plan their strategy for 2016. Retail is a dynamic, ever-changing industry in which new trends emerge on a regular basis. So, what kind of retail trends can you expect to see in 2016?


Many retailers already use Apple’s iBeacon technology, but it will likely become even more commonplace in 2016 and going forward. In case this is your first time hearing about it, let me explain: iBeacon consists of Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) devices that are capable of sending digital messages to nearby shoppers. If a shopper approaches the footwear section of a department store, for instance, iBeacon can automatically send a 10-20% off shoes coupon to his or her smartphone.

More Mobile Sales

Of course, mobile online sales is also expected to increase next year. Last year, U.S. consumers spent roughly $56.67 billion in mobile purchases. Experts predict this number will rise to $74.93 billion by the end of the year. And in 2016, U.S. consumers are predicted to spend $96.22 billion in mobile purchases. Retailers should embrace this trend by ensuring their online stores are compatible on both desktops and mobile devices; otherwise, they’ll be losing a significant chunk of sales.

Multi-Sensory Shopping Experience

Retailers are now implementing techniques to stimulate shoppers’ senses. Aside from visual stimulation, they may also include soothing, relaxing music to make shoppers feel more comfortable, as well as certain scents. Auto dealers have long used scents to increase sales, spraying special chemicals inside cars that create the characteristic new car smell. It appears now that retailers are following in their footsteps, using a similar strategy in which scented fragrances are released into the air.

Personalized Service

Last but not least, you can expect to see more personalized service in retail stores and shops. In other words, retailers are differentiating themselves by providing an exceptional level of customer service that’s tailored towards the shopper. This may include recognizing and acknowledging regular shoppers by name, as well as offering recommendations on apparel or products based on the shopper’s style. Offering personalized service such as this promotes a positive shopping experience.

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Product Placement Tips for Retailers

Healthy groceriesAs a retailer, you only have so much space in which to display products, and it’s important that you utilize that space in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Randomly tossing products on the shelves without any sense of cohesion or order is a recipe for disaster. Sure, some customers may purchase the products, but it’s not going to maximize your sales. If you’re struggling with product placement in your store, here are some tips to help.

Consider Shoppers’ Eye Level

When planning the placement of products within your store, consider how the shoppers’ perspective. If shoppers are forced to look down to see the product, there’s a good chance that many will pass right by without ever noticing. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should avoid placing products on the bottom shelves, but rather use this area to store large, conventional products while using eye-level shelves for other products.

Elevate Products

Try raising your “displayed” products just a little higher so they are easier for shoppers to see. If you operate a retail clothing boutique, for instance, perhaps you can use should shoe risers to display footwear. Shoe risers live up their namesake by “raising” shoes a couple inches higher, allowing shoppers to see exactly what they look like. Of course, there are other solutions available for other products, so don’t feel restricted to only using shoe risers.

Rotate Products

It’s essential that retailers rotate products through different displays and placement areas within their store. Even if you have a winning formula, chances are there’s room for improvement. Moving one product to a new location or shelf, for instance, could yield more sales. But the only way you’ll know whether or not a new placement works is by testing it for yourself, so be sure to rotate products in different placement areas on a regular basis, testing to see what works and what doesn’t.

Seek Help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help with your store’s product placement. Many manufacturers and distributors will gladly send a representative to assist in setting up their product. Some may even offer props or accessories to further draw attention to their products. After all, it’s in their best interest to help you sell as many products as possible.

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How to Motivate Your Sales Team

4285523308_9b4f8fbfc2_zMotivation (or lack thereof) will directly impact a retail store’s sales. When a store’s sales team isn’t motivated, they aren’t going to sell many products. On the other hand, a highly motivated team of salespersons will place your business on autopilot, converting all of those “window shoppers” into paying customers. So, what steps can you take to motivate your sales team?

Use an Employee Appreciation Program

Among the easiest and most effective ways to motivate a sales team is to implement an employee appreciation program. A State of Employee Recognition report published by Deloitte found that nearly 3 in 4 businesses operating in the United States have some type of employee appreciation program in place. This can be something as simple as an employee-of-the-month program, in which you recognize a single employee for his or her hard work and dedication each month. The worker named employee-of-the-month will set an example for other sales persons to follow, making this is a simple yet highly effective form of motivation.

Offer Performance Incentives Based on Sales

Of course, another way to motivate your sales team is to offer incentives based on sales. For instance, you can reward sales persons who sell X amounts of units within a month or fiscal period with either a cash bonus. The allure of receiving a monetary bonus is often enough to motivate a sales person to push the product. If you want to go one step further, you can set up multiple “tiers” for performance incentives, such a $50 bonus for selling 100 units; a $100 bonus for selling 200 units; etc. Keep in mind, however, that you don’t have to limit yourself to strictly using monetary performance incentives. T-shirts, company-branded gear, and free dinner passes are all excellent alternatives.

Motivational Speakers

Why not hire a professional motivational speaker for your sales team? Motivational speakers are fully trained in the nuances of retail sales, speaking directly to salespersons in a way that encourages them to sell more product. A good motivational speaker will sit down with you to discuss your company’s goals and objectives. And using this information, he or she will prepare an engaging speech that motivates your sales team.

These are just a few simple ways to keep your sales team motivated.

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Are You Making these Mistakes with Your Window Display?

2969910832_4e4a2b4825_zA well-designed window display will have a positive impact on your store’s traffic, and subsequently, its sales. It will catch shoppers’ attention, encouraging them to walk into your store and check out the advertised product. However, the wrong window display will have the opposite effect by discouraging shoppers to enter your store.

It Doesn’t Connect with Your Target Audience

When designing a window display, consider your target audience and whether or not they can relate to the elements being displayed. If you operate a store that sells women’s apparel, for instance, you should stick with female mannequins in your window displays. On the other hand, if your store sells sporting goods products, you may want to use male mannequins that are dressed and positioned in sports poses. Following this simple rule will go a long ways in enhancing your window displays.

Too Much Blank Space

While there’s rule stating that you must use every available square inch of space in your store’s window display, leaving too much empty space creates a bland appearance that will ultimately hurt your efforts to attract new customers. If there’s open space in your window display, consider filling it with props or decorations. You don’t have to necessarily fill empty spaces with products, but rather include props to enhance the display and make it more attractive.

Inadequate Lighting

Don’t underestimate the importance of lighting in your window displays. Lighting will illuminate your display, enhancing the advertised products for a greater level of visibility. Rather than using just standard overhead lighting, however, you should consider using track lighting. With track lighting, you can adjust the fixtures to focus on specific products or elements of your display.

It’s Disorganized

A good window display should be clean and well-organized. If there’s random props and debris scattered throughout, it may have a negative impact on shoppers. Therefore, you should put forth the effort to clean and organize your window displays.

No Central Theme

Want to know the secret to designing an effective window display? It’s the theme. If you check out some of the window displays designed by the biggest national retailers, you’ll probably notice that they all have a central theme. Sometimes the theme is obvious, while other times its more subjective. Build your window display around a basic theme that reflects the advertised products for maximum effectiveness.

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5 Simple Visual Merchandising Tips to Boost Sales

6793826885_d3b6befb99_b(2)Group in Threes

As noted by the retailing experts at Shopify, grouping products and visual displays in threes can prove useful in attracting shoppers’ attention. How does this work? Well, the human brain is hard-wired to respond with a higher level of engagement with presented with asymmetrical designs. Shoppers may walk right by a window display featuring two mannequins. But if you set up this display with three mannequins, it may trigger a visceral response that forces shoppers to stop and look.

Increase Lighting

Lighting (or lack thereof) will play a direct role in your sales. Stores that are dim, dark and offer minimal lighting won’t achieve the same number of sales as stores that are well-illuminated. It’s just that simple. Survey your store’s landscape, installing additional lighting in dim areas. Lighting ideas may include track lighting, wall sconces, floor lamps, and even miniature chandeliers. Track lighting has become a popular choice among retailers, as it can be projected directly on products and visual merchandising designs.

Optimize Gridwall and Slatwall

When using gridwall or slatwall, it’s important that you adjust the pegs to maximize the available space. In order words, don’t just toss up pegs randomly and call it a day. This will have a negative impact on both the aesthetics of your store, as well as shoppers’ buying decision. A better approach is to adjust the pegs so each and every available inch of the gridwall or slatwall has a product. It may take some adjusting, but with a little bit of work you should be able to properly optimize your gridwall or slatwall.

Use Props

Don’t underestimate the power of props in your store’s displays. Effective displays are all about telling a story, and there’s no better way to accomplish this than by using props. If you’re selling swimsuits, for instance, try setting up beach towels and beach balls next to a group of mannequins.

Rotate Products

So, you’ve found the magic formula for your store’s visual merchandising displays? Even if it’s attracting new customers and boosting sales, though, you should still get into the habit of rotating new products into the display. Shoppers grow tired of seeing the same product over and over, meaning the benefits of well-designed display will begin to diminish. By rotating new products into it, you’ll keep shoppers interested and engaged, which should have a positive impact on sales.

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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Preparing Your Retail Store for the Holidays

8085629858_be68d12232_zWith the holidays right around the corner, there’s no better time than now to prepare for the “retail rush.” According to Wikipedia, U.S. shoppers spend more than $600 billion during this time of year, which translates into roughly $767 per consumer. So if you’re looking to capitalize on this trend, you should follow the tips outlined below.

Hire Additional Staff

Don’t underestimate the increase of foot traffic that your retail store will receive during the holidays. The months of November and December yield the greatest amount of shoppers for retail businesses, which is why it’s recommended that you hire additional staff. More employees means faster checkout times and greater customer satisfaction. Furthermore, it will help to reduce the risk of injury, as staff members will have an easier time controlling large crowds.

Stock Up on Inventory

Retailers should also stock up on inventory to prepare for the holiday rush. If there’s a strong demand for a particular product, go ahead and order a surplus of it. Waiting until you run out the product to place another order will end up costing you sales — lots of sales during the holidays. To prevent headaches such as this from occurring in your store, stock up on popular products for the holidays.

Consider Changing Your Store Hours

Another tactic that can help maximize holiday sales is to change your store hours. Perhaps you can open a few hours earlier and close a few hours later. Those extra hours can yield additional sales, so long as you have the staff and resources necessary for the change.

Create Attractive Product Displays

Of course, the right product displays will go a long ways in boosting your store’s holiday sales. If your store sells footwear, for instance, consider using shoe risers to present them in a more attractive manner. Whether it’s acrylic or metal, shoe risers offer a simple yet effective way to display shoes. The shoes are elevated on a platform-like riser, increasing their visibility for shoppers.

Offer Special Deals and Promotions

With tens of thousands of retailers vying for consumers’ business during the holidays, it’s paramount that retailers offer special deals and promotions. It’s not uncommon for retailers to offer 50% off more or more during this time of year. Other incentives to attract customers may include buy-one-get-one-free offers, store credit vouchers towards future purchases, free giveaways, and more.

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5 Reasons to Use Mannequins in a Retail Store

18465308451_a7de33b319_zDo you own or manage a retail apparel store? According to some statistics, the global retail apparel and footwear industry will reach $2 trillion by the end of 2018, attesting to its widespread growth. But with such steep competition, many new retailers struggle to succeed. The good news is that mannequins can give your store the upper-hand, cementing its place as a leading brand in its respective niche.

Mannequins Boost Sales

This alone should be reason enough to use mannequins in your store. Numerous studies have shown that retail apparel store owners who use mannequins naturally generate more sales than retailers who do not use them. How can mannequins boost sales? Well, it all goes back to the visual appeal they offer. Mannequins are more attractive and relatable than a standing rolling rack, encouraging shoppers to buy the presented garment or accessory.

Better Shopping Experience

Of course, another reason why retail apparel stores should embrace mannequins is because it promotes a better all-around shopping experience Again, this is largely attributed to the visual aesthetics offered by mannequins. Setting up mannequins in your store will enhance the decor, which subsequently improves the shopping experience for consumers. It’s a win-win scenario in which there are no losers.

Guides Shoppers to Products

A lesser-known benefit of using mannequins is their ability to guide shoppers to the appropriate clothes and products. If a shopper notices a dress draped on a mannequin, for instance, the shopper will visit the area surrounding the mannequin to find, and hopefully purchase, the dress. This principle isn’t limited strictly to dresses, however. Regardless of what your mannequins are presenting, it will help guide shoppers to the respective items, which in turn boosts sales (as we mentioned earlier).

Mannequins are Inexpensive

Think mannequins aren’t worth the cost? Think again. You can purchase some truly remarkable, lifelike mannequins without breaking the bank.

Fills Voided Areas

Does your apparel store have an empty window or corner? Allowing voided space such as this to fill your store creates negative energy in the atmosphere. Thankfully, there’s a quick and easy solution to this problem: fill those blank areas in your store with mannequins. Setting up just a couple of mannequins in empty areas will go a long ways in enhancing the decor while promoting positive energy.

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What Is Retail Shrink?

e-com-03Typically described as a percentage, shrink is the loss of product between the point of manufacture and point of sale. Just because a store orders a bulk shipment of wholesale products doesn’t necessarily mean it will sell them all. It’s not uncommon for products to become lost, damaged or stolen before they are sold. When this occurs, the store must count them as shrink and move on. To learn more about retail shrink and its impact on businesses, keep reading.

According to a 2008 National Retail Security Survey conducted by the University of Florida, the average shrink for U.S. retail businesses was 1.52%. It’s important to note, however, that shrinkage varies depending on the type of store. Grocery stores and supermarkets, for instance, tend to have a higher shrink rate, simply because they manage and sell more perishable items. If a food/beverage product isn’t sold before its sell-by date, it must be counted as shrink.

A high shrink can have a devastating impact on retail businesses. When a store is unable to sell a product, it must increase prices on its existing products to make up for this difference. In some cases, consumers will pay the higher price. But other times, they will take their money elsewhere, hoping to find the same product for a lower price. This creates a chain effect in which the retail store suffers even greater loses, as it loses customers in the process.

You might be surprised to learn that the number one cause of shrink in the retail industry theft. Each year, retail businesses lose billions of dollars worth of product due to theft. If you own or otherwise operate a retail store, you should take measures to reduce the risk of theft. See below for a list of anti-theft measures for retail stores:

  • Install a video surveillance system.
  • Place security tags on garments, handbags and similar products.
  • Conduct background screening on all job applicants and existing employees.
  • Keep your storage room locked.
  • Perform regular inventory checks to identify which products are being targeted by thieves.

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Window Dressing 101: What You Should Know

thumb212Window dressing is the term used to describe the display of product or good in a store window or within the actual store. The person responsible for this act is known as a window dresser. Among other things, he or she must set up mannequins, place products on display, incorporate visual elements to make the display more appealing, and change the display on a regular basis. But this is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the role of a window dresser.

The terms visual merchandiser and window dresser are often used in conjunction with one another. While they share some similarities, however, they are two different professions with their own unique characteristics. Visual merchandisers typically create floors plans which are used to display products within a store, while window dressers focus more on the actual displays.

In most cases, the window dresser will focus his or her attention on the store’s window (hence the name). After all, this is where product displays have the greatest impact, influencing both shoppers and pedestrians walking by the store. A window dresser may create a display consisting of several mannequins dressed in the store’s latest fashion, enticing pedestrians to step into the store and check it out. Furthermore, however, he or she will utilize lighting, themes, colors and other elements to make the product look as appealing as possible. Anyone can toss up a mannequin with a garment, but it takes a skilled and experienced window dresser to truly create an effective window display.

One of the most prominent window dressers of all time was Gene Moore. After moving to New York City in the early 1930s, Moore found a job working as a window dresser at Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue. It’s believed that Moore designed or helped design approximately 5,000 window displays, ranging from simple mannequins to full themes consisting of stuffed hummingbirds and other visual elements. Other well-known window dressers include Raymond Loewy, Giorgio Armani, Simon Doonan, L. Frank Baum, Victor Hugo and Christine McVie.

Hopefully this will give you a better understanding of window dressers and how the key role they play in the retail industry.

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Tips For Taking Better Product Photos

camera-300x244Product photos are frequently used in physical store catalogs, mail brochures, e-commerce websites, and other forms of media. They allow store owners to present their products in the most appealing manner possible, which subsequently boosts sales. However, there’s a right way and a wrong way to take photos, and unfortunately many store owners choose the latter.

You can’t expect to take quality product photos without investing in a decent camera. While smartphones and webcams may suffice for personal photos, they lack the clarity and detail needed for product photos. After all, the photo is essentially what the reader/viewer will base his or her purchasing decision on. If its’ grainy and looks unprofessional, they probably won’t buy it. But if it looks clean, detailed, and professional, they may pull out their wallet and place an order.

When searching for a camera, choose a high-megapixel DSLR. These are the “de-facto” standard among professional photographers and business owners alike. And while the cost may seem somewhat high, you can usually write it off on your taxes if it’s used strictly for business purposes. Purchasing a mid-to-high end DSLR is a smart investment that will pay off in the form of better product photos for your store.

In addition to the actual camera, you should also invest in some type of graphics editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop. After taking photos of your products, you’ll want to clean them up by adjusting the lighting, removing blemishes, cropping unnecessary objects out of the frame, etc., all of which can be accomplished with Photoshop. Alternative GIMP is a free-to-download Image Manipulation Program that offers similar features of Photoshop.

Here are some more tips on how to take killer photos of your products:

  • Focus strictly on the product, limiting or removing other elements from the shot.
  • Don’t underestimate the impact of lighting on your product photos. Taking photos in dark or shaded areas will result in a “gloomy” look that does your product no justice.
  • If you are taking photos of shirts or other garments, consider using a ghost mannequin. These special mannequins feature removable arms and appendages so the garment appears to float in the air.
  • Familiarize yourself with your camera’s setting, including landscapes, close-ups, portraits, etc.

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Questions You Should Ask When Setting Up Product Displays

Photoxpress_305067Visual merchandising plays a key role in the number of sales a retail store makes. Whether it’s apparel, jewelry, handbags, electronics, pet supplies, or even groceries, the product must be displayed in an appealing manner to entice shoppers to buy it. Simply tossing items in a shelf with no real sense of order or organization is a recipe for disaster. This week, we’re going to discuss some key questions every store owner should ask themselves when setting up new product displays.

Does It Catch My Attention?

Let’s face it, most shoppers don’t visit retail stores with the intention of looking at new product displays. Nine out of ten times, they visit a store with the goal of purchasing a particular product; therefore, you must set up your product displays in a manner that catches shoppers’ attention. Something as simple as the use of a brightly colored red sign with white letters saying “SALE” can instantly draw the attention to your display.

Does It Emphasize The Product?

When you’re busy adding cut-outs and props to your displays, you may overlook its primary purpose: to emphasize the product. Be conscious of your display and how shoppers perceive it. Remember, you want it to draw attention to the product, not the props. Keep the focus of your displays on the product and you’ll notice shoppers are more likely to purchase it.

Does It Accurately Reflect My Store?

Your product displays should follow a general theme that coincides with your store. This doesn’t necessarily mean all of your product displays should look them same, but they should maintain a general sense of cohesion. Creating random displays with unique colors and elements may clash with your store’s decor, creating a negative mood that discourages shoppers from purchasing products.

Is It Intrusive?

A good product display shouldn’t interfere with customers’ normal shopping behavior. It’s not uncommon for store owners to play their displays in areas that obstruct shoppers, forcing them to walk around to reach different departments. The bottom line is that you want to make sure your product displays are out of the aisles and paths that shoppers frequently use.

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Choosing The Right Light Bulbs For Your Retail Store

compact-florescent1Thanks to advancements in modern technology, store owners now have many different types of light bulbs to choose from. Although most people purchase the cheapest ones they come across, the fact is that you could potentially save energy and money on your power bill by using energy-efficient light bulbs. If you’re interested in learning more about the different types of light bulbs, keep reading and we’ll reveal the advantages and disadvantages associated with them.


Incandescent light bulbs are the most commonly used type of light build in stores. Incandescent bulbs work by heating a filament wire to high temperature using an electrical current, therefore producing a bright, illuminating light. During manufacturing, the glass bulb surrounding the filament is either vacuumed to remove the air, or it’s filled with a gas to prevent oxidation from outside air.

While incandescent bulbs can effectively light up store, there are some downsides to using them. For starters, the extreme heat required by the filament draws a significantly greater amount of energy than other types of light bulbs. In addition, the heat also makes the filament vulnerable to breakage and damage. If you’ve ever owned an incandescent bulb, you’ve probably experienced a broken filament before, which results in the bulb needing to be replaced. As a result of their high energy usage, the European Union and several other agencies throughout the world are in the process of phasing out the use of incandescent bulbs.

Compact Florescent (CFL)

A more energy-efficient alternative to standard incandescent bulbs is compact florescent. As you can see in the picture above, compact florescent bulbs contain no heated filament to generate the light. Instead, they use electricity to activity mercury vapor within the bulb to produce ultraviolet light followed by visible light. This allows for a lower amount of energy necessary to power the bulb and less heat generated during the process.

So, just how much of a difference in energy savings do compact florescent bulbs offer? On average, most of them use about 30-50% less energy than incandescent bulbs. You’ll have to spend a little bit more on the initial purchase of your compact florescent bulb, but it’s almost certain to pay off in the long run. Also, compact florescent bulbs last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Compact florescent bulbs are manufactured to fit into traditional light sockets intended for incandescent bulbs, making them a popular alternative for store owners looking to save on energy.


Florescent bulbs work in the same manner of compact florescent lamps but without the ability to plug into traditional lamps designed for incandescent bulbs. Although there are many sizes and variations of florescent bulbs, most of them are large rectangular shaped and fit into specially-designed ballasts that hang overhead. These ballasts not only hold the bulb in place, but they also regulate the amount of voltage the florescent bulb receives.

Something that’s important to note is that both florescent and compact florescent bulbs are considered hazardous waste because of the mercury they contain. As a result, the United States Environmental Protection Agency recommends having them recycled instead of throwing them away in your everyday trash.

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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What Is a Planogram?

file000613843818Ask any experienced retail store owner and they’ll agree: planning where and how to display merchandise is critical to a store’s success. Blindly placing products on shelves with no sense of organization will result in a cluttered mess that discourages shoppers from making a purchase. Thankfully, a planogram can make the process easier by guiding store owners and their employees on how to display their product.

A planogram is exactly what it sounds like: a visual diagram that defines where and how product should be displayed. The Oxford Dictionary defines “planograms” as “a diagram or model that indicates the placement of retail products on shelves in order to maximize sales,” which is a pretty accurate definition by most standards. A typical planogram may feature a diagram of shelves along with the appropriate shelf height and the respective product to be displayed. Other planograms may feature illustrations of pegboards or other visual merchandising displays.

While hundreds of major retailers from across the globe now use planograms, their origins go back to the K-Mart. It’s believed that K-Mart was the first store to use planograms. Over the years, other retailers took notice and began using them as well.

So, why should retailers use planograms? These otherwise simple illustrations can make a world of difference in a store’s visual merchandising, and subsequently its sales. Planograms are typically created using computer software, allowing for precise measurements and calculations to ensure the product is displayed in the most efficient and engaging manner possible. Trying to “eyeball” a location on a shelf to display a product doesn’t always work. With a planogram, store owners can display their product with greater ease, ensuring each and every item fits in its intended location.

Planograms typically provide the following targets:

  • To optimize the store’s available space in the most efficient manner possible.
  • To ensure proper inventory levels on shelves.
  • To facilitate the brand’s identify with the retailer.
  • To assist in mapping the store’s layout.

But planograms aren’t designed for all retail stores and businesses. Boutique apparel shops, for instance, may have display their product in a more appealing manner by manually setting up their product instead of using a planogram.

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

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The Importance of Using The Right Jewelry Display Case

237471_3725Do you own or manage a retail jewelry store? If so, you should check to make sure you are using the right display cases. While many retail businesses rely on display cases to present their products, it’s particularly important for jewelry stores. To learn more about the importance of using the right display case for jewelry, keep reading.

Display cases naturally deter shoplifting. According to the Global Retail Theft Barometer, shoplifting, employee and employee fraud, was responsible for a global retail loss of $128 billion last year, $42 billion in the US alone. To put this number into perspective, that’s roughly 1.29% of all retail sales. What’s even more alarming is that only a small fraction of shoplifters are ever caught, and even fewer are brought to justice.

While there’s no way to completely prevent shoplifting, you can lower the risk by using display cases. Storing high-dollar rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other jewelry behind display cases will deter potential shoplifters. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you must store all of your store’s jewelry behind display cases, but the valuable items should be stored here at the very least.

Another reason why you should invest in the right display cases for your jewelry store is because it makes product easier for shoppers to see. It’s often difficult for shoppers to see the subtle nuances in jewelry that distinguishes them from one another. With the help of a back-lit display case, however, the shopper will have an easier time viewing the product’s details. Display cases are often designed with built-in lights for this very reason. Using these lights will enhance jewelry, allowing shoppers to see intricate details that would otherwise go unnoticed.

So, how do you know which display cases to use in your jewelry store? Choose the case that’s best suited for your particular needs and application. Glass and acrylic are the two most popular styles of display cases, both of which offer their own unique advantages. Acrylic is shatter-proof, lightweight and versatile, while glass is resistant to visually appealing and resistant to scratches. In all honesty, however, you really can’t go wrong with either a glass or acrylic display case.

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

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Choosing The Right Retail Display Cases

storeretail1Whether your retail store sells apparel, jewelry, footwear, handbags, or a combination of all the above, you’ll need plenty of cases to display your product.


When shopping for retail display cases, pay close attention to the size. Some of the most basic display cases are designed as free-standing towers with just 2-3 shelves, while others are long counter-top cases with mirrored sides for increased vision. Ask yourself how much product your intend on displaying, and then choose the size that’s right for you. Contrary to what some people may believe, larger display cases aren’t always the best choice. Smaller ones require far less space, which opens your store up and increases the real estate for other products. Keep this mind when choosing a size for your display case.


Of course, you’ll also need to determine exactly how many display cases your store needs. Places like jewelry stores and electronic stores would obviously benefit from a greater number of display cases simply because most of their product requires them. On the other hand, convenience stores may only require a couple display cases for the more valuable products. Determine how much product and store space you have before selection an amount.

Safety and Locking Mechanisms

One of the unique advantages to using display cases in a retail store is the safety and locking mechanisms they provide. It’s not something most store owners want to think about, but thefts occur, and more often than you may realize. In fact, shoplifting can be such a troublesome problem that it forces some retail businesses to close from loss of profits. The bottom line is that you need to take the necessary precautions to protect your business and products from shoplifting. Placing your valuable products into a locked display case is a simple and effective way to prevent would-be shoplifters from getting their hands on it. Just remember to keep them locked and safely secured where no one can reach in and grab them.


The other main objective of a retail display case is to make certain products more visible and easier for customers to see. Things like watches, necklaces, rings and other jewelry work best in display cases simply because they are easier to see. If you are using them for this reason, make sure the case offers mirrored sides that reflect the back of the product. Also, some display cases have lights built in that offer a great amount of illumination. There are neat little accessories that play a key role in improving the visibility of products placed in a retail display case.

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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What Is a Mystery Shopper?

moving-questions-01No, a mystery shopper isn’t a stranger who enters a retail store in hopes of purchasing a product. The term “mystery shopper” is used to describe someone who’s paid to evaluate the quality of customer service, quality of product, and store layout. As the name suggests, he or she doesn’t give away their true identify, but instead pretends to be a regular shopper in search of a product.

Thousands of major retail stores throughout the country use mystery shoppers for quality control purposes. Unfortunately, though, there’s a lot of bad information on the subject, leading both store owners and shoppers  down the wrong path.

The Role of a Mystery Shopper

Mystery shoppers are typically hired by larger quality control companies to act as a regular shopper/customer while simultaneously evaluating several aspects of the retail store. Neither the store manager nor the employees are initially aware of the mystery shopper. They assume the individual is just another shopper who’s browsing the store, but in reality the mystery shopper is taking mental notes to create a detailed report.

Benefits of Mystery Shoppers For Retail Stores

  • Ensure employees greet each and every shopper who enters the store.
  • Ensure the store follows the company’s standards.
  • Check the store’s cleanliness (or lack thereof).
  • Analyze the quality of the merchandise.
  • Analyze the employees’ attitude and disposition.
  • Analyze productivity levels.

Think of a mystery shopper as a fly on the wall. If the store knew a person was coming to evaluate the quality of their work (and the other criteria mentioned above), the manager and employees would probably put their best foot forward so they don’t receive a failing score. But this eliminates the entire purpose of quality control, which is to ensure each and every customer receives the proper treatment.

History of Mystery Shoppers

Contrary to what some people may believe, mystery shoppers aren’t new. Some of the first known reports of people getting paid to pretend to shop date back to the 1940s. Today, mystery shoppers are used by retail businesses of all shapes and sizes. They allow retail executives to identify problems within their stores in an authentic nature.

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Creative Ways To Display Shoes In Your Store

Photoxpress_2876739According to data presented by the National Shoe Retailers Association (NSRA) and the Census Bureau, consumers in the U.S. spend approximately $20 billion annually on footwear. Shoes are an essential item that every man, woman and child needs, which is why this industry is so large. But one of the hurdles faced by shoe stores is trying to display their product in an attractive manner. Due to their small size and unique characteristics, you can’t display them in the same manner as traditional garments.

The good news is that there are several solutions available for displaying shoes and footwear in a retail store. Whether you own a dedicated shoe store or a clothing store that including shoes, you should experiment with different ways to display them. The right display can make a world of difference, driving more shoppers through the door while subsequently boosting your store’s sales and revenue.

If you aren’t using shoe risers in your retail store, you’re missing out on one of the easiest and most effective ways to showcase footwear. As the name suggests, a shoe “riser” is essentially a raised platform on which shoes are displayed. Shoe risers vary in size, shape and material, with slanted acrylic/plastic being the most popular. So, what’s the purpose of a shoe riser? Displaying footwear on the ground level isn’t exactly appealing. In fact, most shoppers will walk right by it without taking notice. However, lifting it just slightly off the floor with a shoe riser will grab shoppers’ attention.

Another option for displaying shoes involves the use of shelving (see photo above). This is arguably the easiest way to display a large number of shoes, allowing store owners to maximize their available space. The only downside is that it doesn’t create the same connection with the shopper as shoe risers. A good rule of thumb is to place top-selling shoes on risers and the remaining footwear stock on shelves.

In case you were wondering, men’s athletic shoes are the single most popular type of shoes purchased in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 20% of the market, while women’s casual shoes come in a close second at 17%, followed by women’s dress shoes at 13%.

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

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Tips For Creating an Effective Window Display

thumb205Window displays offer a highly effective way for retail stores to display their garments, accessories and other products. Instead of placing them on shelves and hanging racks, store owners can set up their products in a more realistic manner to which shoppers can relate. And when shoppers see the product in this light, it triggers an innate response that often results in higher sales. But how do you create an effective window display?

Start With a Plan

An effective window display begins with a detailed plan. Ask yourself, what do I hope to accomplish with my display? Perhaps you want to showcase new products, or maybe you want to draw more shoppers into your store (or a combination of the two). You need a clear objective before you begin to actually create your display.

Create a Budget

The next step in creating a window display is to set, and follow a budget. From purchasing mannequins to installing new lighting and fixtures, creating window displays isn’t cheap, nor is it easy. However, you have to think of it as an investment that pays off in the long run. You may not recoup your costs immediately, but it will eventually prove well worth the investment.

The Importance of Lighting and Colors

Colors and lighting play a key role in window displays. You have to remember that shoppers pass by numerous window displays on each shopping trip they take, so it’s up to you to catch their attention. The use of bold colors with ample lighting can help you achieve this, capturing shoppers’ attention  and drawing them into your store. Some lighting ideas to consider using in your window display includes track lighting, wall sconces, floor lamps, and overhead fixtures. Choose a high-powered, adjustable light that allows you to focus the illuminating beam on your display.

Contact Product Vendors

Don’t be afraid to reach out to product vendors for help with your window display. You might be surprised to learn that some product vendors will help you set up displays containing their products for free. After all, it’s in their best interest to push their product. In addition to offering their physical labor and expertise, vendors may also provide your with visual merchandising material such as cardboard cut-outs, signs, promotional banners, etc.


Once you’ve set up your window display, pay close attention to its impact on foot traffic and sales. If you notice a positive change, don’t touch it. If it has a negative impact, try changing some of the elements. Through trial and error, you’ll eventually find the ‘perfect’ display that drives traffic and sales.

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

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Key Performance Indicators In Retail Stores

woman with white shirt and neck tie seriesKey performance indicators (abbreviated KPI for short) are used by retail stores and business to increase their revenue. Whether your store sells jewelry, clothing, electronics, pet supplies, or practically any other type of consumer merchandise, chances are it will benefit from the use of KPI. Unfortunately, many retail store owners turn a blind eye to these metrics, focusing strictly on sales. While sales is obviously an important metric, there are other KPIs which shouldn’t be ignored.


If you plan on running a retail store, you are going to face shrink. Shrink is defined as the loss of product between the point of manufacture/production and point of sale. Some of the most common forms of shrink in the retail industry include customer theft, employee theft, damaged product, and even lost product. Stores that suffer from a high shrink must raise the prices of their products in an attempt to make up for this loss of revenue.

You can reduce your store’s shrink by focusing on theft prevention. Each year, billions of dollars worth of merchandise is stolen from retail stores, resulting in higher product prices for the consumer. Taking steps to prevent theft, such as installing a video surveillance system, tagging clothes and products, and performing background checks on job applicants, can make a world of difference.

Net Profit

Not to be confused with gross revenue, net profit is another critical KPI used by retail stores. Net profit is defined as a store or business’s total revenue minus their operating expenses. For instance, just because an apparel store sells a pair of jeans for $30 doesn’t mean it earned $30 profit. The store must subtract the actual wholesale cost from the total, as well as overhead expenses, administrative costs, taxed, etc. Gross revenue is also important, although it doesn’t hold the same weight as net profit.

Return on Investment

Arguably, one of the most important KPIs in the retail industry is return on investment (ROI). As the name suggests, this is essentially how much money a store earns on their investment. Going back to the example mentioned above, a pair of jeans that sells for $20 at wholesale and $30 at retail may generate a $10 return on investment for the retail store.

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

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Choosing The Right Location For a Retail Store

mapOne of the most important steps in launching a new retail store is choosing the right location for it. You can offer the best products at the lowest prices in town, but you won’t succeed unless your store is in the right location. So, how do you choose a location for a retail store or business?

Is It Easy To Find?

Granted, you might save some money on lease by setting up your store in an obscure part of time, but this ultimately come back to haunt you in the long run. A smarter solution is to choose a location that’s visible, easy to find, and contains other retail businesses nearby. You can expect to pay more when leasing premium commercial real estate such as this, but it’s a smart investment that will give your retail store a helpful boost.

What’s The Competition Like?

Another element you should look for when choosing a location for retail store is competition. The presence of other retail stores in the area is a positive sign. Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that it’s a good location if similar businesses experience success. However, areas crowded with too much competition can prove to be a nightmare for new retail stores. Check both the phone book and online to see how many retail stores are currently active in the area.

Price Comparison Shopping

Profit margins are often narrow for new retail stores, which is why it’s important for owners to shop around before choosing a location. You can call different buildings and shopping centers to request a lease quote. After gathering a dozen or so, narrow the list down even further based on your target demographic.

Research Your Target Demographic

Once you’ve narrowed the location of your retail store to a few possible choices, gather some information on the surrounding demographic to help make your decision. You can also gather data on a particular area by looking at public records. Don’t be afraid to spend some time at the local library researching the area. Educating yourself on the area allows you to make smarter decisions on which location is right for your retail store.

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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Tips on How To Use End Caps

5124083606_86f54033ef_zEnd caps are shelving components that either attach or rest against the end of a gondola. Most gondolas only feature shelves on their sides, with the ends being open and void of product. By connecting end caps to it, however, retail store owners can maximize their product real estate, boosting sales while simultaneously promoting a better shopping experience.

Draw Shoppers’ Attention

End caps are only effective if shoppers actually stop to look at them. Since most products are stored and displayed down the aisles, shoppers often overlook this component. So, how do you draw their attention back to your end caps? One solution is to set up a large banner and sign. Assuming it’s brightly colored, it will naturally attract shoppers. Another idea is to contact product manufacturers and distributors to see if they have any visual merchandising material they are willing to share with you. Many companies will gladly send retail stores cardboard cutouts and other promotional material to use in their displays.

Large To Small

A good rule of thumb when setting up end caps is to organize your products based on size, with the tallest products sitting on the highest shelf. This will make it easier for shoppers to spot, which subsequently improves the effectiveness of your end cap. Most end caps work in the same manner as gondolas, featuring adjustable shelves that can be rearranged to fit the product. Take a few minutes to adjust the shelves so it makes the best possible use of the given space. Product space is valuable in the retail industry, so you want to make every inch count.

Which Products Should I Display?

There’s really no easy answer to this question, as it depends on a number of different factors, such as your short/long-term goals, your store’s niche, the time of year, etc. With that said, grocery stores often use end caps to display products that are approaching their expiration date. Rather than allowing these products to turn to shrink, the store owner can push sales by displaying them on end caps. Other stores use end caps to display impulse buy products like candy, energy drinks, snacks, seasonal gifts, etc.

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

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Maintaining and Caring For a Glass Display Case

Photoxpress_5018563Glass display cases are used in a variety of different businesses and situations. Sports teams frequently use them to show off trophies acquired by athletes, schools also use them for displaying students’ trophies and accolades, and retail stored use glass display cases to show off product to customers in a safe environment. Of course, these are just a few of the many instances where they are used. No matter what you intend on using a glass display case for, you must know how to properly maintain it. Here we’ll take a closer look into the basic maintenance steps required to care for a glass display case.

Watch What You Place On It

One of the biggest mistakes owners make when using their glass display case is placing heavy, abrasive objects on top of it. While it may not initially cause any damage, over time the abrasive surface of the object will slowly scratch the glass. Contrary to what some people may believe, there’s no easy way to remove a scratch from an authentic glass surface. You might be able to buff it out depending on how deep the scratch is, but there’s really your only option other than replacing the glass. To prevent this type of damage from occurring to your display case, it’s recommended that you avoid placing heavy objects on it.

The good news, however, is that glass is waterproof. You can spill drinks and other liquids on it without fear of it damaging. I wouldn’t necessarily advise owners to spill drinks on their display case, but it’s nice to know glass will hold up under the moisture.


Like all materials, glass must be occasionally dusted to maintain its elegant and sophisticated appearance. Allowing your glass display case to gather dust will take away from its natural beauty. Another area where authentic glass shines is its ease of dusting. The hard, slick surface of glass requires minimal work to dust. You can either run over your glass display case with a feather duster, or you can wipe it down with a lint-free microfiber cloth. Both of these methods should make easy work of even the dustiest display case.

So, how often should you dust a glass display case? There’s no easy answer to this question, as it depends on the quality of air surrounding it. If you keep the air filter in your home or store changed at least once a month, then you can probably get by with dusting your glass display case once every other week. On the other hand, if the air filter is dirty, your display case will require more frequent dusting.

Glass Cleaner

In addition to dusting, you should also get into the habit of using a glass cleaning product on your display case. Doing so will not only help remove dust and dirt, but it will also give your display case an ultra-shiny and clean appearance. Just give it a good couple of sprays with an ammonia-based glass cleaner followed by wiping it down with a clean paper towel.

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

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Comparing The Different Types of Retail Wall Fixtures

Photoxpress_2135925Wall fixtures are an excellent way to display products in a retail store without taking up an unnecessary amount of space. Rather than placing large, bulky fixtures directly in the middle of the store, owners can place space-saving fixtures up against the wall to take full advantage of their store’s ‘real estate.’ In turn, this allows store owners and managers to display a greater amount of product while maintaining a clean, customer-friendly environment.


Pegboard is one wall-based display solution that many retail stores and businesses use. Some of the nation’s top grocery store chains use it to display products, but other stores can take advantages of the versatility behind pegboard as well. It’s inexpensive, easy to set up and use, and you rearrange the product to maximize the available space. If a particular product doesn’t fit, just pull the hook out of the pegboard and reposition it in a manner so it does.


While pegboard is one solution for a retail wall fixture, slatwall is another idea. Unlike pegboard, slatwall is produced with more of an emphasis on aesthetics; therefore, it’s a better wall fixture for stores trying to achieve a well designed interior decor. From afar, slatwall looks similar to a sheet of authentic hardwood. Once you inspect it up close, however, you’ll notice there are several horizontal lines running down it. These ‘lines’ allow for the attachment of product display hooks. You simply snap the hook into the horizontal indention and fill it with the appropriate product.


A third solution for retail wall fixtures is gridwall. Some people assume that slatwall and gridwall refer to the same type of fixture, but this isn’t the case. While they share some similar characteristics, there are notable differences between the two. Slatwall is manufactured to mimic the look of hardwood, allowing it to easily blend in to some store’s decor. Gridwall, on the other hand, features a basic metal grid design (hence the name). You can find gridwall available in traditional metallic chrome, white and black colors.

There’s no single ‘best’ solution for retail wall fixtures. Since each and every retail store is unique, you’ll need to identify the needs of your store to determine which one will work the best. Consider the fixture’s ability to display your product along with its effect on the decor. Ideally, you want to choose a fixture that easily holds your product while blending into your store’s color palette and decor.

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

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Common Pitfalls To Avoid When Starting a Retail Jewelry Business

Rjewelry-01unning a successful jewelry store business isn’t an easy task by any means. Many newcomers to the industry are drawn to it for the large margins and profits. When it’s done right, you can have a long-lasting business that locals know and trust. Unfortunately, though, there are some common mistakes people make when starting a jewelry store that ultimately leads to their demise. To prevent these same mistakes from occurring to you, keep reading for a closer look into common pitfalls of starting a jewelry store.

Pitfall #1 – Not Offering Services

While the majority of your jewelry store’s revenue will come from direct sales, you can increase the amount of money your store brings in by offering various services to customers. If you walk into any major national jewelry store, chances are you’ll see just how many different services they offer. With so many stores taking advantage of this, common sense should tell you that it’s a lucrative venture. Instead of relying solely on sales, you can offer you customers services like ring resizing, laser engraving, jewelry cleaning, gemstone setting, repairs, etc. See what your competitors are doing through a little spying and offer similar services in your store.

Contrary to what some people may believe, you don’t actually need to know how to perform these services. If you aren’t familiar with these services, try hiring someone to come to come in and take care of this part of your business. You can offer them a certain percentage of all repairs done in your store, making it a win-win situation for both you and them.

Pitfall #2 – Not Establishing Customer Relationships

Having strong customer relationships is critical to running a successful jewelry store. If customers don’t know of trust you, they probably won’t come back, which will then result in lower profits and ultimately a failing business. The bottom line is that you need to treat each and every customer who walks in through the doors with respect. Make it a point to greet them with a friendly “hello” and say “good bye” or “have an nice day” when they are leaving.

Strong customer relationships will prove to be one of your most valuable tools as a jewelry store owner, so take full advantage of it when your customers are shopping around. Don’t be afraid to spark up a conversation with them. You more friendly you are with your customers, the stronger the relationship will be.

Pitfall #3 – Poor Pricing

A third pitfall that drags many jewelry stores down is poor pricing. When prices are set too low, you simply aren’t going to make enough profit to continue running a business. On the other hand, pricing your inventory too high will turn customers away. There’s a happy medium that you need to find to turn a profit while keeping your customers happy. Keep your inventory reasonably prices, but not so much that it results in a loss of store profits.

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

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Gondola vs Traditional Shelving


Shelving is an essential item that’s necessary for just about any retail store or business. If you plan on selling physical products to customers, you are going to need shelves to display it. One of the decisions you’ll have to make upon starting a retail store is whether to use shelves that are built directly into the walls or gondola shelving. While both of these options will allow you to display products, there are some notable differences between the two that shouldn’t be ignored. Keep reading and we’ll take a closer look at the differences between gondola and traditional built-in store shelving.

Gondola Shelving

Most seasoned and experienced retail store owners will agree that gondola shelving is the best all-around method for storing and displaying products. But what makes them such a popular choice? For starters, gondolas are constructed with easily adjustable shelves designed to fit products of any size. To adjust a shelf on a standard gondola, you simply lift up and pull out. You can then fit the shelf into one of the available notches either lower or higher on the gondola. As a result of these easily adjustable shelves, you’ll be able to fit a greater amount of product throughout your store, maximizing your overall “retail real estate.”

Gondolas can also be easily moved throughout the store, even once they are set up. There are a couple different ways to move a gondola, but the easiest method is to simply slide metal wheels under each end of the unit. Once the wheels are in place, you can then slide the gondola to the desired area in the store. Depending on the size of the gondola, however, you may need a couple extra people on hand to help move it, as some of the larger ones can be quite heavy. Because of their ease of maneuverability, gondolas are the perfect choice for large stores with lots of product to display.

Traditional Shelving

This type of shelving is built directly into the walls and isles without the ability for adjusting. As you can expect, built-in shelving offers less customization offers, making it more difficult to maximize your available store space. Sure, you can store items directly on the shelves, but unfortunately you won’t be able to adjust them to fit the dimensions of your product.

While some stores still prefer traditional built-in shelving, there are far too many benefits associated with gondola shelving. They are easily adjustable, you can move them around, and they are naturally attractive.

I‘s important to first survey the needs of your store or business or determine which type of shelving is right for you. Take into account how many items you’ll need to display and what parts of the store will be used for this purpose. Remember, gondolas provide the added benefit of being able to easily be moved around. If you aren’t happy with their location, slide the wheels underneath them and push them over to a different part of the store.

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

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Retail Jewelry Store Security and Theft Prevention

Photoxpress_5482646Security and theft prevention are two critical aspects of running a successful retail jewelry store. Overlooking or simply brushing off these aspects will ultimately result in a loss of profits. Far too many store owners believe they are safe from theft due to their location. The truth, however, is that no retail store is completely safe from theft. As an owner, it’s your responsibility to take the necessary actions to reduce the chance of theft in your store. In this post, we’re going to cover some simple and effective techniques for improving store security.

Before you even think about opening a retail jewelry store, you should first consult with an insurance provider. With the price of certain jewelry pieces exceeding into the tens of thousands of dollars, perhaps much more, you can’t run the risk of taking such a hard financial hit. Insuring your most expensive pieces of jewelry will give you the peace of mind knowing that you’ll be reimbursed financially in the event of theft.

Security Cameras

A state-of-the-art security camera system is necessary to help reduce the chance of theft. Just the sight of the security cameras alone is enough to dissuade some potential thieves from lifting items from your store. Don’t just choose any security cameras, though, but instead choose ones that send footage to a remote location, such an external hard drive. Doing so will keep the footage preserved an in tact in the event of a theft.

Also, it’s recommended that you strategically set up your security cameras to cover every square foot of space in your store. Maintaining a full bird’s eye view will make it difficult for customers to steal items without being seen on camera.

Glass Display Cases

Of course, we can’t talk about theft prevention in retail stores without mentioning glass display cases. These incredibly beneficial fixtures offer the perfect way to safely store jewelry in a way that customers can still view it. Although they are useful for a number of different store types, they work exceptionally well for jewelry stores. Glass display cases keep valuable items safely protected behind a sheet of shatter-resistant glass where customers are able to view it.

Another advantage of using glass display cases is their ability to illuminate product. Some of the models you’ll find come with built-in light systems. After plugging it into a standard wall outlet and flipping the switch, the display case will illuminate your jewelry, allowing customers to see intricate details that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Training Your Employees

Training your employees the basics of theft prevention and security is also important. Teach them how to properly store and lock up valuable jewelry items as well as dealing with customers. Leaving cases, safes and vaults unlocked is a bad habit that could result in theft. As a store owner, you must stress the importance of locking up your inventory. This alone will greatly reduce the risk of theft from happening in your store.

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

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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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