Dynamic Displays

Is your idea of an effective store display a stack of boxes with a sample item on top?  Does your sign shop consist of some 8 x 10 card stock and a black magic marker?  Do you light your store with whatever incandescent bulb happens to be on sale?   The last time you washed your store windows (outside and inside) did the Republicans have a majority in Congress?  If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, help is on the way.

Sharon Stevens and Betty Feather of the University of Missouri Extension Center have put together an excellent article, "Hometown Business:  Dynamic Displays."  The authors touch on every aspect of in-store merchandising from impulse item displays to the kind of lighting you use in your store. 

According to Stevens and Feather, there are five steps to making an effective display.  They are:

  • Attract attention
  • Arouse interest
  • Create desire
  • Win confidence
  • Motivate the purchase

Balance, emphasis, harmony, proportion, rhythm, and color all have an effect on how the consumer reacts to the merchandise in your store.  For example, some colors create a feeling of warmth, while others make the customer feel cool.  Strong, contrasting colors may attract attention to the display, rather than to the merchandise.  Lighter colors make a space look larger while darker colors have the opposite effect.

One area that we often overlook is lighting.  If they can’t see it, they won’t buy it.  Different types of lighting create different effects.  If the lighting outside your store is brighter than the lighting inside, glare on the windows may make it difficult to see in. 

One suggestion that I heartily agree with is this:  "When you consider your lighting needs, visit your local lighting retailer.  Ask about recent changes in the lighting industry, and look at what happens to color under different types of lighting." 

Those of you who are in the lighting industry will certainly support that statement.  There have been a lot of changes in lighting recently, with more on the way.  New types of lighting can make your store more visually attractive, and save energy and money at the same time.  If you’re in the business of presenting and selling merchandise, you owe it to yourself to illuminate your sales floor with the best lighting available.

Finally, the authors give some good advise on signs, including the use of color.  "Signs should look professional.  They must be clean and unblemished."  Excellent advise.

Don’t forget to check with your manufacturers for display materials.  Large signs, hang tags, and other materials available from your vendors at little or no cost will give your store a professional, uniform look.

By the way, don’t overlook your local university extension center as a source of information.  Most have web sites, similar to the University of Missouri (Go Tigers!), and also offer more personalized services.


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