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The Importance of Display in your Retail Store |  March 16, 2016 (2 comments)


Miami, FL—As we are getting ready for our annual trip to Basel, I just start to smile. Why? I am always so impressed and mesmerized by how the Europeans display their wares. Whether it’s Sprungli chocolate stores or even the pharmacy at the train station (I have a friend that can spend hours in there!), every thing is straight, meticulous, and pleasing to the eye. I get goose bumps every time I make a purchase. I don't care if it's a $10 box of chocolates. The care they take, the expertise of the box, the tissue paper, the bow, the time a clerk takes for the packaging, is a wow experience. The icing on the cake is that no matter what you buy, they shake your hand, thank you, and walk you to the door. Everyone and everything feels special.

Do you do the little things that make your guest feel special? It's becoming more and more important to give your customers that experience. That's right, we are back to “the experience.” In today's world we have visual stimulation everywhere. We need to transform your retail environment into an appealing and stimulating experience too. Shopping is vital to any business, big or small. Good retail display will increase your customer traffic. If this were not true why would multibillion-dollar companies spend so much money on their visual display? I've read many articles that can become very confusing and cumbersome, so I'm going to break it down into a few categories we should all think about and look at a little more closely: 

1. Tell a story. First, create a focal point. The focal point may be the largest piece of jewelry in your window, the brightest color stone or diamond, a moving object, a prop or maybe just placing merchandise on a strange or unexpected angle. Retail displays without focal points usually fail. Whether it is your name, or a slogan or just the product itself, something needs to be the focal point and that needs to be created--or at least emphasized—by your display. 

2. Don't mix messages. Consistency or continuity of the message you’re sending to your customer keeps brand awareness and familiarity high. When planning a retail display, it's a good idea to consider the overall environment of the store and keep displays within the boundaries of “your” specific look and feel. We all know, especially with a jewelry store, that lighting is essential. It is one of the most important aspects of in-store design. Lighting not only brings attention to a display, it warms it up and makes it more appealing. LED boxes, light panels, or any other illuminated sign holders will help your graphic stand out, especially in crowded areas. LEDs are perfect for accent lighting due to their long life, directional light and uniform brightness and illumination.
3. Keep it fresh. Successful retailers move merchandise on the floor frequently for two good reasons. Every floor relocation re-energizes the merchandise and keeps the products in front of frequent customers. Many retailers know that sales always increase after a floor move. Customers are intrigued by the action and when merchandise is pulled out of its normal place it takes on a new energy and appeal. Now if this freshly located product is in an innovative retail display, all the better! Remember, straight, neat, and appealing equals beautiful!
4. Time it well. Stores need to update their displays and fixtures immediately when a holiday is over. You need a well-thought-out time schedule. Keep merchandise moving freely in and out of the windows and throughout the store. Predetermined time slots keep the store looking fresh, new and exciting, and will keep customers coming into the store repeatedly. My feeling is if it's three days after Valentine's Day and love still rules in your store, you are conveying that your store may not be worth shopping in. We want to maintain the love aspect—after all, we are in the “love business”—but when Valentine’s Day is over the red hearts need to go so that your store looks current and fresh. When it comes to holidays and special events, the important concept is to coordinate so the timing creates increased sales, rather than having people come into your store wondering where the great pearl necklace is that they saw in the ad in your local paper.

With all these elements in place, your goal of creating effective visual merchandising is much more likely to be a success. Never forget great customer service. I believe all of you are at the top of your game when it comes to pleasing your guests. I just wish we could all give a little of that European flair to our guests. They should be so impressed that they get goose bumps like I do, because then they can't wait to tell their friends, not only about your service and displays, but also about the beautiful way in which everything was done to make you feel like the King or Queen or the Princess of a Magical Experience!  --Andie

Andie Weinman, president and CEO of Preferred Jewelers International / Continental Buying Group Inc., was born with the “Jewelry Gene” working in the jewelry industry since she was only ten years old. Her first job was as a cashier in the opening of a catalog showroom doing a fantastic job even at that tender age. Andie holds a B.A. in musical theatre and a B.S. in marine biology from The University of Tampa. When she realized that seawater and marine biology were not good on her hair and she wasn’t quite good enough to make it on Broadway, the jewelry business beckoned. Andie has picked diamonds, sorted color stones, shot waxes and performed a multitude of jobs in the manufacturing of jewelry.  Her negotiating experience and prowess has given her the reputation as being tough but fair in her dealings with vendors. In 2012 the Indian Diamond and Color Association awarded Andie the Prestigious Doyenne Award of the Year.

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Comments (2):

Well said!!

By Bill Sites on Mar 18th, 2016 at 2:07pm

Great article!

By Marie Helene Reinhold on Mar 18th, 2016 at 3:44pm

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