Our visual merchandiser and I just got back from a two-day makeover of a camera store in New England. The owner had really great front window space, but wasn't fully optimizing it. Here are five tips to consider when building an effective window display for your store:
Determine a theme… Let the theme of the window guide your merchandising decisions. You might base your theme on the upcoming season or new merchandise you want to spotlight—and be sure to consider which products and/or themes will make the most impact. This can be a fun and creative process. Think about involving your staff in a brainstorming session and consider rewarding the best idea with a store gift certificate. Or, hold an annual contest, and reward the employee who creates the best window of the year. You can even ask your customers to judge at the end of the year which one they liked.
Add Props… You can really add a lot of interest with creative props that tie into your window theme. In one of the store windows we just re-merchandised, we added back-to-school supplies: a desk, backpack, apple, notebooks, etc. In the other window (theme: travel/safari), we added a camera vest, trunks, maps and travel tripods. Your merchandise can serve a dual function as a prop.
Use the space you have… One of the key mistakes the retailer was making in his window was a failure to utilize vertical space. As you consider the window design, think about building height through a neat fixture, elements hung from the ceiling or larger pieces of furniture.
Have a key focal point… Create a key focal point for your design. Your display will be much more effective if a shopper's eye is drawn to one area rather than 10 different things. In the travel window, the human form and trunks were the focal point; in the back-to-school window, the desk does the job.
Optimize the curb appeal… The final test of an effective window display is to ensure that your window commands attention when seen from the outside. Remember: you only have five seconds to grab the attention of passing potential customer—make sure your window captures their attention!