Smart Retailers Change Things

One of the things I’m asked most often by retail store managers, sales professionals and customers is “Why do retailers change things so much?” I love this question.

As a visual merchandiser, I have studied more than balance, color and texture in visual storytelling, I have also studied consumer psychology and gobbled up as many articles as I see on the science of why we make decisions. Grabbing attention is a powerful sales tool.

Sometimes I answer the question with a story: “Think of your drive home from work, or any drive you regularly take. Have you ever arrived home and realized you can’t remember much of the ride?” Most people have had this experience and when they say they haven’t, I then ask if they can tell me every thing they saw on the way home. Most can’t remember more than one or two eye-catching details.

We all have a store or stores we frequent and over time we become immune to the things that remain the same. Changing product placement and display every so often can bring fresh life to items that are not moving, generate excitement and encourage our customers to explore a bit on their way to what they came for. 

On a recent visit to Basalt, Colorado’s Hollyann, I spent three days working with the team. Our goal was to create a solid change both in layout and in product presentation to provide a new customer experience. Here are some before and after images from that visit:

This table had a nice consistent product presentation, but it lacked the lovely energy of the Hollyann shopping experience. It was time for a change! In the image below, we took a stationary collection and boy did this pop!

The front of store table is, for most retailers, a natural place to seduce people passing by. While the before table (below) was colorful, the collection was no longer telling a story.

After a fun rework, the front of store table was a powerful and colorful pull to visitors and began selling instantly!

One of the big changes we made was to shift a few fixtures around. Our goal was to make things fresh and airy, like Spring. We incorporated clothing into an area that was primarily home goods, shifted two shelving units that house the store’s jean collection and created a store window that was lush, green and full of hope for the coming season. Take a look below:

Above, the jean shelves block the wall at the rear of the store and create a barrier. Below, the view is unencumbered.

Enjoy the fun displays Merchandising Matters created below and think consider how you can get ready for spring!

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