Monday 23 November 2015


The Christmas window is in and the shop layout is ready, the next thing is to fine tune your merchandising.

There are a couple of things to check first. You need to know for sure what your top sellers are. These are an important part of your core retail offer so merchandise these products in your best selling spaces, the hotspots. 

The numbers on the images above relate to the plan on the previous blog post below.

1.  Shop window – the front page of your Christmas offer. The main purpose here is to get customers to stop and look, it's not about getting customers to see everything you sell.

2.  Entrance – customers want a clear view in but they also need to see a bit of visual in store wow factor to get them across the threshold.

3.  Open space – customers are reluctant to enter narrow or cluttered spaces so try to make the entrance area as wide and free from clutter as possible. You want customers to feel they can come in and look without feeling under obligation to buy.

4.  Display – the first display point, the most visible from your shop door, won’t necessarily be the best selling space but it’s one of the most important if you want to increase footfall. It needs to represent an essence of your retail offer with a bit of visual wow factor thrown in for good measure, and with a clear path straight to it! 
To achieve this the usual rules apply, limited colour palette, lots of levels and keeping the overall display within a pyramid shape.

5.  Hot spot tables and free standing units – firstly, think about your product category and the overall message. Use same products blocked together and stack these if appropriate, repeat product at lower levels (if you have the space and stock) and arrange products (and product stacks) rising in height from the front to the back with the best sellers easily accessible.
Most importantly, customers need to feel comfortable about removing a product without destroying the overall display, if they don’t feel able to touch they won’t buy.
Product drops or high units also need to tell a story so keep to a tight product edit with lots of partner products and a good selection of price points. Keep best sellers at eye level and just below, the top shelf for inspiring customers and block products as much as possible. If you can, limit the colour palette, it will make all the difference.

6.  Merchandise your lesser products in the least important selling spaces. Corners are often not great for selling as they feel restrictive to customers. This doesn’t mean corners should get little attention so go for visual impact.

7.  Last chance – don’t fall into the trap of trying to overuse your counter as a 'pickup' or 'up-sell' space. This is all about adding value for your customers so, at most, one featured product on the counter. 
Keep this area uncluttered, deliver exemplary customer service, engage your customer with a smile, offer free treats or a small gift appropriate to your business, free gift wrap, free delivery, you know the score... 
The back wall behind the counter can be an effective communication device; customers often look at this, particularly when waiting to be served. The use of mirror, as shown in this example, can work really well. Reflective surfaces have been proven to attract customers’ attention but, as in this case, mirror reflects the shop space so your customer may see something they’ve missed and, better still, go back for it!

A few more tips which you can adapt to suit your own retail offer and make the most of your opportunities to sell more in the run up to Christmas. Next week it’s all about your customers and how to inspire them to buy...

All the best

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