Merchandising Know-How: GlobalShop '05 -- Visual Stimulants

In my last two columns, I've shared with you the things I found at this year's GlobalShop held in Las Vegas. While much of what is displayed at the show isn't useful for the independent retailer, anyone could walk away with plenty of good ideas to spruce up their store. Now's the time to step out of your box and try some new display and fixturing methods -- things you might think are too mainstream for an outdoor store, but really aren't.
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In my last two columns, I've shared with you the things I found at this year's GlobalShop held in Las Vegas. While much of what is displayed at the show isn't useful for the independent retailer, anyone could walk away with plenty of good ideas to spruce up their store. Now's the time to step out of your box and try some new display and fixturing methods -- things you might think are too mainstream for an outdoor store, but really aren't.

Here are a few companies I found at GlobalShop that fit the bill:

You've probably seen Dazian Fabrics' stretch fabrics used as front or rear projection screens at entertainment venues. The Color Stretch Shapes can be stretched over forms and illuminated from within to create interesting tube shapes and spirals or backdrops and design elements.

For the first time, Dazian has developed something small retailers can use in its Color Stretch Shapes in four silhouettes -- squares, triangles, stars and rectangles. The forms are held together at the corners with grommets and can be hung or stretched. A 5-foot by 5-foot square or triangle costs $89.95 All the shapes come in 16 different colors and each shape is available in one color or two-color combinations.

The shapes would make perfect backdrops in a front display window, especially if they were illuminated by a colored uplight. If you're fortunate enough to have a video projector, you can use the shapes as a screen to project images anywhere in the store. They would also attract attention if "flying" from the ceiling. To find out more about the Color Stretch Shapes, contact Dazian Fabrics at 877-232-9426 or www.dazian.com.

One of the most impressive products at GlobalShop was Interlam's wall panels. These 4-foot by 8-foot and 5-foot by 10-foot sheets of MDF are machine routed into interesting patterns -- waves, circles, squares, woven patterns and much more. It's hard to describe the beauty of the assorted designs. Currently, 50 patterns are offered. The company also creates panels of solid wood -- walnut, maple, cherry and ash -- as well as metallic finishes. Visit www.interlam-design.com or call 276-251-5300 to find out what I'm talking about. If you want to add some interest to your store and have a wall that needs refurbishing, you've got to check out Interlam.

Two more resources you should know about are Great Big Pictures and Autograph Foliages.

Great Big Pictures is a purveyor of wonderful oversized color prints (up to 72 feet x 168 feet) and a whole range of graphic services. It has facilities in Madison (800-236-8925) and Milwaukee, Wis., (800-236-8920) and Chicago (312-649-9370). On the web, visit www.gbpinc.com.

Autograph Foliages has a 257-page catalog of artificial trees and greenery at affordable prices. I especially like its line of pine, spruce and cedar trees. They are perfect props for window and in-store display areas. For a catalog, call 800-659-6151 or go online at www.autographfoliage.com.

Sharon Leicham is the creator of The MerchandisingHUB, the author of "Merchandising Your Way to Success" and "How to Sell to Women" and is a regular columnist for SNEWS® writing on merchandising and marketing topics. You can access all of her columns by going to www.snewsnet.com/merchandising, where you will find tons of information targeted at the needs of the independent specialty retailer. You can email us with questions and comments at merchandising@snewsnet.com.

For more retail training support and know-how, be sure to check out the SNEWS® Business 101 tools and stories, including our 10-part Retail Merchandising Training series produced by SNEWS®, including a useful online calculator for performing the most common retail merchandising calculations -- free to All Access Subscribers.

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