Posted in Design & Display

Top Mistakes of Visual Merchandising

We get around a bit in retail land and it’s part of what we love about the job. We get to see a great deal of good and bad along the way.

Given the work we do with the retail supply chain (brands, landlords etc) we are often called in to ‘help’ some of their suppliers; i.e. the retailers.

Given these circumstance, we prefer to provide advice that can actually be implemented in the short-term, rather than esoteric ‘strategic’ suggestions.

I find that we repeat the advice at store after store. I wrote the eBook (sold HERE) but still we see the same thing over and over, and just scanning through our latest Visual Merchandising Advisory Report that Moonyeen pulled together (over 40pp) I felt the déjà vu – and was wondering if anyone is paying attention – or whether they wanted to go broke?

Below is the list of the most commonly given advice I give to struggling retailers. I pass this on to you, so that you don’t end up getting a visit from us, because, quite frankly, sometimes I feel like the Grim Reaper…

  1. Fill the holes. (If there is nothing there, it can’t sell.)
  2. Don’t split your categories – unless you are cross-merchandising for a pre-determined purpose.
  3. Put the RIGHT product at eye-level. (Hint: it is not necessarily the most popular.)
  4. Use signage to communicate effectively
  5. Open up the sight-lines so that the customer can see.
  6. Get your adjacencies right – and that means the way the customer shops, not because it suits you that way.
  7. Get rid of that stupid sign that says ‘the camera is watching’ – and try and have a sales assistant that actually serves AND get rid of that stupid sign that says ‘you pay when you break it’ and encourage the customer to shop.
  8. Displays are NOT about ‘themes’. Accessorising is not a substitute for a display; so DISPLAY what you want to SELL.
  9. Give your display a ‘focal point’ – something that draws the customer’s eye; because if it isn’t seen it will never be sold.
  10. Clean your friggin’ shop

BONUS TIP: don’t always sell your discounted rubbish at the front of the store – sometimes there is a reason why it never sold in the first place.


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