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.

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

Read more

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.

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

Read more

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.

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

Read more

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.

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

Read more

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.

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

Read more

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.

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

Read more

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.

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

Read more

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

Read more

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?

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

Read more

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.

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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.

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

Read more

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.

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

Read more

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.

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

Read more

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.

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

Read more

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.

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

Read more

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

Read more

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.

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

Read more

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.

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

Read more

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.

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

Read more

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.

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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.

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more