Once upon a time, store windows were magical and window shopping was an enjoyable experience, something the entire family could participate in. The store window once upon a time not only pulled us into the retail environment, but was a creative expression, and a work of art.
Today, all too often, the store window has become an afterthought. Many store owners I meet are either overwhelmed with the prospect of regularly changing their windows, worry about the expense of such creativity, or plop merchandise there without thought, just to have something for passer-by’s to see.
This is a missed opportunity, because when I explain what I do for a living to friends, I hear over and over again, “Remember when windows were fun? Why don’t stores do a good job any more?”
In a market where the competition for the limited consumer dollar is slim, it seems to me, that making the retail experience magical once again is a fantastic investment for every retailer.
Windows have the power to invoke happiness, or another positive emotion, and people who feel good tend to….you guessed it, spend more money!
Five tips to help you create magic with your windows:
- Plan ahead. Plot on your calendar when you anticipate changing over your window. Having a big promotion? Major sale? Community event? Be sure your window is reflecting and promoting what’s happening inside!
- Identify what story you want to tell, and take a few moments to list the items you want to include from your inventory and that might work well in this story. Indulge in a bit of blue sky thinking about potential props. Too expensive or not something you want to invest in? Is there another retailer you could partner with? Partnerships are a creative way to double expose product from different stores.
- Roughly sketch the layout keeping in mind the following: Lighting, color, seasonal elements, depth of display and height variations, etc.
- Get your customers involved: Invite and audition select customers to work with you on window design and development in exchange for an opportunity to spotlight their creativity! Maybe even invite customers to pose in your window as live mannequins.
- Generate community excitement: Host a window competition in your community, mall, or merchants association that is voted on by customers. Make it easy for everyone who wants to participate to vote and then host a collaborative celebration when the winner is announced.
Merchandising Matters wants to see your magical holiday-themed windows and will be hosting a contest of our own! Stay tuned for details!