The frequently repeated pattern of calling diverse activities “merchandising” has prompted us to offer this website in the hope that it may serve to better define a few of the types of retail activities involved in making a retail store more attractive and productive.
There are many store interior merchandising display options
to consider. A sampling of these are listed below:
·Island Display at Main Door to Greet Customers
for Keep Promotions oCreate
Promotion Style Trend oWell
Platform to Enhance ·Counters / Display Cases
·Demonstration Cubes / Tables / Crates
·Enclosed Displays – Effective Shrink Protection
·T – Walls – Form Small Closets / Selling Areas
along a Wall
Common fixture types from which you can choose include:
·Costumers, Valets, Drapers
·4 – Ways
·3 – Parts
·C - Racks
·Cubes / Crates
·Wedding Cake tables
When employing fixtures considerations that you should be
aware of include:
·Matching the merchandise to the proper type of
fixture (e.g. Hard goods are displayed well on aisle shelving called gondola.
Hanging apparel looks appropriate on round or T-shaped hanger fixtures)
·Density – Fixtures should look full, but not
·Size – Small items look best on smaller scale
·Look / Feel in Store - Match the look of your
store with your fixtures. A store selling elegant clothing should employ
·Color / Finish – Your fixtures should not be wild
colors that clash with your store design colors.
·Height – Chest-level fixtures are effective.
·Condition – Fixtures should be well maintained.
Old rusty fixtures give a very negative message about a store.
·ADA Guidelines – Appropriate room needs to be
available to accommodate your shoppers. You should be familiar with ADA special
guidelines that are applicable to retail environments.
Studies done by retail experts have documented the fact
that shoppers, particularly women, will leave an area that is too crowded with
merchandise. Additionally, generally accepted ADA guidelines suggest that
aisles of at least 36 inches in width should be maintained. Our own studies
have shown that when an over- crowded area (narrow aisle) is opened up that
sales often increase as more shoppers feel comfortable looking at merchandise
and are more likely to buy. Handicapped shoppers requiring wheelchairs,
crutches, or walkers (among others) may find tight aisles and other tight store
spaces to be very difficult to navigate and need to be avoided. Parents with
strollers often cannot get into tight aisles and will seek other merchandise
that is more convenient to view.
Sources of Merchandising Fixtures & Equipment that
you want to investigate include:
·A GOOGLE search is your best option when looking
for fixture sources
of Sale Fixtures
·Retailers Closing Stores – Buy at Huge Discounts
·Used Fixture Dealers
Do not forget to ask your vendors for free or low cost
fixtures that they may provide and/or a fixture allowance to assist you to buy
fixtures to properly display the merchandise.
Point of purchase displays are also important and may be
composed of the following:
·Outdoor / Sidewalk
·Floor Fixtures near POS
·Accessories – Dump Bins, Wings, Ect.
Clearance goods often warrant a separate area in a retail
store, unless you intentionally choose to mix clearance items in with
full-price merchandise on your displays. Whenever possible, we suggest a
separate clearance area to draw attention to those items and reduce price
confusion if mixed in with full-priced merchandise. Examples of clearance item
·In-Aisle Among Regular Priced Goods
·Front of Store
If clearance items do not sell out, even at a drastically
reduced price, we suggest getting that merchandise out of the store. Look to solutions
like Off-price Jobbers, or E-Bay to sell them.
When our consulting practice is contacted by a small
retailer regarding “merchandising” assistance we often find that their
interpretation of “merchandising” can vary greatly. Some inquiries are focused on assistance with
their store design. Some want assistance placing and displaying merchandise in
their stores. Some want better looking fixtures. Some want assistance with a
retail strategy. All want more sales - and some want all the above.
The frequently repeated pattern of calling any of these
activities “merchandising” has prompted us to offer this website in the hope
that it may serve to better define a few of the types of retail activities involved in
making a retail store more attractive and productive. If you will permit us, we
would like to step forward and offer our basic definitions for the key “merchandising
A sampling of our perspective on these terms is described
in the pages on this website. Please do note that this website is not
meant to cover every aspect of these key retail activities, however, it is our
hope that the information that follows will assist the reader to further their
knowledge about the retail merchandising process and some of the key related components.
Feel free to call us more more information.
Note that our comments and this graphic are focused primarily on the key components of the physical "look and feel" of a store and do not address the many "operational aspects" of running a successful store - such as offering a high level of customer service, having a properly staffed store, and having competitive pricing - all of which are also very important considerations that should not be overlooked.
Retail Strategy –
Refers to the overall plan you employ to organize and operate your retail
store. Examples of potential components of a retail strategy include the
following: ·Corporate vision ·Corporate mission ·Brand strategy
does your Brand stand for
·Target customer demographic ·Advertising approach ·Financial plan ·Real estate strategy ·Seasonal plans ·How you will create a reality for the customer oLet
customer envision how they will use your merchandise
Store Design Characteristics
– Deals with the physical characteristics of the store. Examples of many of the
physical characteristics of the store you may wish to consider in a store design include: ·Exterior oCondition oLandscaping oColor oSignage oWalkways oLighting ·Entrance type oAngled oArcade oStraight oCorner oClosed
or open back oIsland oRaised
type oLighting oDepth
and height ·Front of interior oInside
signage ·Middle store area ·Back of store area ·Floors ·Aisles ·Ceilings ·Walls ·Color ·Restrooms / fitting rooms ·Cash wraps / checkout areas ·Customer Service desk ·General layout ·Traffic flow ·Fixtures ·Lighting ·Backroom (stockrooms) ·Office area (non-sell areas)
If you, the retailer, feel that you cannot adequately apply the various components mentioned, you may want to consider contacting a retail design firm. These firms typically offer very high quality design assistance. They are easily found via a Google search. The design options they produce are normally very attractive and are capable of making your store look very inviting and shop-able. However, do know that the fees charged for their service are often substantial. It is wise to have thought about specifically what you want, and do not want, before you contact a retail design firm to assist them in understanding what may be needed to please you, and how much you are willing to invest to create and implement a new design. They can typically assist with design suggestions that include all of the components mentioned above.
SUGGESTION: A very basic recommendation that may be invaluable in assisting you to improve your store design is to go visit your top three competitors and see how they have dealt with various design components. Note what you like and what you don't like, then return to your store and think about how you might apply some of the concepts that you observed in your store.
– Deal with the placement and display of merchandise for sale. Typically,
merchandising activities are more related to the items you are selling.
Examples of merchandising activities and related characteristics are as
follows: ·Merchandise categories ·Amount of merchandise you carry ·Metrics used to monitor your merchandising
activities (e.g. GMROI) ·Merchandising systems employed to control
inventory ·Sources of merchandise ·Buying activities ·Seasonality planning ·Markdown and clearance strategies ·Price points
Additional ways to get attention with your merchandising
·Color ·Effective lighting ·Use of lines & composition ·Varying the scale of your design components ·Contrast in your design ·Repetition of themes ·Humorous design components ·Tasteful use of mirrors ·Nostalgia ·Using motion in a clever manner ·Employing the element of surprise ·Various props
Promotions also play a role in your merchandising
process. Examples of promotions tied to specific events / holidays include:
·Christmas ·Valentines Day ·Easter ·Summer ·Fall ·Winter ·Fathers Day / Mothers Day ·Back-To-School ·Fourth of July
Additional information, that may be useful to smaller
retailers in particular, concerning these points can be found on the other
pages of this website. These pages are listed in the top-right Sidebar of this
If you feel that your business could benefit from
assistance from our consulting team, please feel free to view our main company
You may also call our office at770-754-5008.