Windows of opportunity
to your questions on visually merchandising your storefront windows to enhance sales
By Erinn Morgan
COURTESY OF FASHION OPTICAL DISPLAYS
displays hold a special meaning for consumers. How else could one explain the hordes
of shivering spectators lining up on New York's Fifth Avenue for a mere glimpse
of the fantastic holiday windows every year? The reality is that your store windows
are truly an area of opportunity not to be ignored.
have seven seconds to catch a pedestrian's attention as they are walking past your
store...to cause them to slow up and perhaps walk over to your window to look at
it and to make the decision that all shoppers make: 'Should I go in or not go in?'"
says Steve Kaufman, editor of the Cincinnati-based Visual Merchandising and
Store Design magazine (VM+SD). "Some retailers use that window as an opportunity
to tell that shopper 'We have our spring line in,' or 'We have a big sale,' or 'We
have some really great merchandise.'"
Here, we present tips from the experts for successfully merchandising
your windows to pique the interest of passersby. Whether you are located on a main
street, in a strip mall, or in a major shopping center, your windows can pack a
punch that directly relates to your bottom line.
What types of optical
products work best on display in dispensary windows?
Sunwear and accessories like nice frame cases work best because they are more substantial
than a rimless wire frame.
Not to say you can't have them, but make sure there is something
noticeable in the window.
designer and certified
Fashion Optical Displays
IMAGE COURTESY OF BRIGHT
Q What really grabs the attention of passersby
in a storefront window?
two things that are so important are lighting and motion.
One of our customers is a doctor in Costa Mesa, Calif., who uses
several motion pedestals in his windows to attract those passing by.
The pedestals are battery-operated and make about three revolutions
per minute. Because they are moving slowly, they attract people's attention. He
also uses halogen lighting to accent the frames in the window.
Dacie Lewis, owner,
A Bring things up
to the customer's eye level. Some window displays have floors in them and sometimes
the store owner doesn't realize it's a mistake and lays product low. Raise them
up on a table, chairs, or interesting stands.
Mindy Miles Greenberg,
owner, M Windows Visual + Display
in New York City
Displays at the customer's eye level catch
Floating boxes in windows catch the eyes of
PHOTOS COURTESY OF VISUAL DYNAMICS
Floating glass shelves or floating boxes [a cube with four wood sides and two glass
sides with a jewelry- box feeling] in a clean background are really eye-catching.
Something like a large poster behind the display can really make
an impact at street level.
Jennifer Liu, head designer, Ennco Display
Good looking and eye-catching displays. You need something large enough
to give someone a reason to walk over to your window and see what's in it and, even
better, something to make them want to come inside and buy it.
A nice showcase or étagère with glass shelves and colorful
merchandising accessories is eye-catching.
What type of
display fixtures are best to use?
half-windows or ledge-style windows, use risers and frameholders to raise merchandise
and create variation in height in the display. If security is an issue for your
dispensary, a locking countertop showcase is advisable.
For full-length windows, you will find a regular showcase or pedestal-style
showcase most helpful in drawing focus to your displays.
Margaret Furman, display designer,
Visually merchandising your product is showing the shopper how this product can
look on them. That's why mannequins are so good. They can show a shirt, sweater,
skirt and scarf. The same thing applies with glasses.
Show your shopper how it looks. Utilize a large graphic, which
is popular today, of somebody wearing these glasses.
Or you could use a mannequin head that will give passersby a feel
for how the sunglasses might look on someone's face.
Light and motion are key in displays
OF MAGIC DESIGNS
Q How often should
a dispensary change its store windows?
Four to six weeks is a good rule of thumb. After this, the window starts to get
dirty and buggy, so change it.
Also, look at a calendar and break it up by fashion season. Focus
on sunglasses in the spring/summer, and also in January when people go away on cruises.
Some retailers also take the lightbulbs from the window and place
them in store fixtures when changing window displays. This ensures that the lights
in the window are always working and fresh.
Mindy Miles Greenberg
At least once every one to two weeks. If there is any kind of foot traffic from
neighboring businesses that may pass by every day, you could do it more often.
If what you had the first week doesn't bring people in, then it
probably won't the second week. Keep changing it, and it will also show that your
optical is on top of things.
A rule of thumb: Change with the seasons and acknowledge major holidays.
Say it your way, optically, if you can. For example, for Valentine's
Day, say "Eye Love You!" and build your display around that.
Q What if you
have multiple windows?
of the windows in your dispensary should be fairly similar in theme. They should
match and look balanced or have some relative symmetry to them.
Q What are the
biggest challenges with window display for an optical shop?
It's hard to sell the value of things like eye exams or customer service through
You could have a blurry sign there, and as the customer gets closer,
it says 'Just kidding, but maybe you should have your eyes checked.'
One of the challenges with eyewear is that it is a small item,
like jewelry. To show a small item in a big window is not effective.
Optical retailers can consider jewel box windows, such as those
that jewelers like Tiffany's use.
A The drive-by store
has a different set of needs than those of a walk-by store. One successful concept
is big window displays that have a catchy theme going on.
They only need one or two frames on displayit's the props,
theatrics, and color that grab the attention of the person driving by.
Mindy Miles Greenberg
makes an effective window display? Here are a dozen tips from the professionals
on creating alluring retail windows:
it simple. Don't try to put in everything at once. Focus on one product or theme.
it clean. Make sure your displays and product aren't dusty or dirty. Minimize sun
fading with clear UV films on the store window.
Change displays frequently to keep the look fresh.
lighting is crucial, both during the day and at night. Use lights to highlight
individual items or signs. (Movable track lights work well.)
repetition of shapes and colors to attract attention.
Cluster items in groups of three or five. Odd numbers are most pleasing to the eye.
Vary height and depth of items to carry the eye throughout the display. A pyramid
or triangle is a pleasing shape.
motion to catch the customer's eye.
Use light, bright colors in your display area
you have multiple windows, balance the display between them to give the entire storefront
a coordinated look.
products you have elsewhere in the store, not one-of-a-kind items.
the theme of the window display with other displays inside the store.
Eyecare Business, Issue: September 2005