Tips for maximizing your fixtures

One of the challenges I most enjoyed as a Visual Specialist was when a co-worker asked for visual help saying, “there is no more room.” When I heard that, my pulse began to quicken, the coffee kicked in, and my competitive nature rose to the surface. What? No room? I’d just have to see about that!

There were definitely times where lack of space became an issue, but for the most part, I usually discovered fixtures just weren’t being used to their potential. After display work, this was my favorite problem to solve.

Before you begin moving product around, do a quick but solid study of your space keeping an eye on the following things:

  * product duplication
  * holes on fixtures, space on walls that is not full
  * product that is marked down but mixed in with full-priced product
  * for clothing; check size runs (i.e. do you have four large, but no small sizes?)
  * is everything where it belongs? (i.e. this is an example of how product category earns its living.)

Once you do this analysis, it’s time to get to work. (These jobs are best done when the store is closed whenever possible to avoid impacting your customers.) When I am working on a project like this, I tend to work in this order:

  1. Clean, removing anything that doesn’t belong. Re-categorize if necessary.
  2. Tighten up peg proximity if possible. Product should be so close as to almost be touching.
  3. Check the warehouse: be sure everything is represented on the sales floor.
  4. Get ‘like with like’ and merchandise smaller items at the top for hard goods, lighter colors at the top for walls (This does not mean put all your white shirts up top! It simply means to follow the basics of light to dark.)
  5. For hard goods, check what pegs you are using. Are they the best size for the product being represented? Swap out if necessary.
  6. Are you selling a product that can do double duty by also displaying merchandise for sale? For example, a gift shop I worked with housed their greeting cards inside a photo box.
  7. Be sure that any empty space is at the bottom!
  8. Decide how you want to merchandise mark downs (i.e. in a separate ‘clearance’ area or within category?). Separate and sign!

Your goal should be to have lush, not overcrowded, fixtures and walls, in addition to clearly delineated product categories. Maximizing fixture usage requires fresh eyes and a creative spirit alongside a desire to drive sales! If you are struggling with a fixture or wall, send me a picture and tell me “you have no more room.” I’ll rise to the challenge!

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