September 6-8, 2013
Orange County Convention Center
Board Demo Day: September 5
Initial visual impact is arguably the most important component of retail merchandising. Customers entering a store are greatly influenced by the visual information they gather in the first split second.
Tricks Of The Trade By By Chris “Cheeto” Batten, Surf City,Wrightsville Beach, NC
Ok, most of us struggle with merchandising and the very idea of it has some of you reaching for a bottle of Tylenol and an adult cold pop. I’m not saying that those things are bad, but I prefer drinking my cold pops with friends and not with a fistful of Tylenol agonizing over how to make a display creative. Visual merchandising can be fun and the best part about it is we can all do it.
First Impressions Are Key, Even With SocksInitial visual impact is arguably the most important component of retail merchandising. Customers entering a store are greatly influenced by the visual information they gather in the first split second. One simple visual element, such as color, can catch a shopper’s attention and also subconsciously affect their mood.
At Surf City, we are not big on company build-outs or company racks because we like to be in control of how our store looks and feels. You don’t want to look like the other guy even though you are “selling the same widget” as my boss likes to say.
So, how do you make your widget—or socks in this case—different from that other guy? First, figure out where you want your socks to be displayed. To me there’s no better place to display your socks than with your shoe displays because it’s such an easy add-on to a shoe sell. A lot of people will have socks at the point of sale somewhere—which is fine if you don’t want to sell socks.
Look No Further Than Your BedroomNow that we’ve decided where the display will go, how are we going to display them creatively? Sometimes you need not look any further than your own bedroom. A lot of times making a display interesting is showing how the product will look in your home—kind of how furniture companies will set up living spaces to show you how it could look in your house.
Remember when you were a kid and your mom would yell at you about cleaning your room and closing your drawers? Well in our display we’re creating today, we are going to use an old dresser, and we want the drawers open. So take that, Mom!
The dresser can be one from your house or a flea market or a garage sale, but one that is not too big (not many of us have that much space). Make sure it has a little character. If you’re an outdoors store maybe rough it up a little or if you are a quaint little boutique maybe paint it a bright color that matches your store’s motif. Now pull the drawers out a little with each drawer pulled out a little more from top to bottom. Fold the socks in the drawer according to style and color. How do you organize your own sock drawer? Maybe go from light to dark or ROYGBIV (aka rainbow bright) order.
Step It UpNow blow out the display. Why not? On top of the dresser maybe find some foot mannequins to display the cooler sock designs. Maybe purchase the leg lamp from the Christmas Story to add a little uniqueness to your sock display—I would if it were me. Again, it all has to work with your store’s personality. Something a little less extreme but equally effective would be to put out a couple of boxes of shoes you’re selling in your store displayed with some of the socks from in the drawers.
Just taking a few moments to reflect on how you “merchandise” your own belongings and apply it to in-store product displays like this helps show the customer how an item will fit in their everyday life.
Customers are more likely to buy a product if they can imagine themselves using or wearing the product. Remember how you were just asking yourself what an “adult cold pop” is and how it had anything to do with merchandising? Well this is the part of the day where you reward yourself with one for being so darn creative.
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