When attending visual merchandising shows like GlobalShop, I'm always looking for those fixtures, props and unique materials that are apropos for outdoor retailers. It can't be things that are too over the top, too expensive or too â€œdepartment store-ish.â€ At the last GlobalShop in Las Vegas Sharon Leicham was pleased to find the following visual merchandising tools that she thought outdoor retailers would find helpful.
Finally someone has answered the demand for mannequins in active poses. At GlobalShop, Joslin Displays introduced a series of male and female mannequins in a variety of sports poses, including runners, divers, soccer players and tennis players. The best part is the price -- $213 each. And if you're in the market for 50 or more, the price goes down to $178. At either price, these are a bargain. Check them out at www.joslindisplays.com.
Decorative Wall Panels
The most impressive products at the show were the textured wall panels from Interlam. Available in wood and metal finishes, these panels would make the perfect â€œfocal wallâ€ in a retail store. They come in many different patterns, from embossed squares to three-dimensional waves. They are hard to describe, and you really need to see them for yourself at www.interlam-design.com.
Translucent Wall Panels
My favorite find at GlobalShop was the unique wall panel product from 3 Form. The company has perfected the ability to encapsulate natural layers like thatch, perforated metal, silk, crushed glass and fossil leaves -- to name a few -- within polymer skins to create translucent panels. There are virtually thousands of color and texture combinations available. The panels can be cut and drilled with common hand tools and are available in sheets 4 feet by 10 feet. Made of eco-friendly polyester resin, the panels are made of 40 percent recycled content. These would make perfect backgrounds for window displays or add interest to the front of a cash-wrap counter. View the collection at www.3-form.com.
Lots of companies offer holiday trims and decorations, but Elevations has been in the business a long time and earned the reputation for having a large variety of decorative items, not just for holiday but for all year. In addition, the company offers interesting display shelving and freestanding fixtures. They are worth checking out at www.elevations.com.
â€œGreenâ€ Shopping Bags
Bags Inc. offers a large variety of bags of all kinds, but the ones that caught my eye were those in the company's â€œBack to Basicsâ€ series. These are brown kraft-paper type moisture-resistant, recyclable bags made from recycled products. How much more green can you get? I liked the rough, organic texture of the bags and think they are something you should investigate at www.bagsco.com.
What is Displaywall? It's a slotted wall panel from Marlite that mounts over slatwall, drywall or slotted standards. In other words, it can hang on top of slatwall to emphasize and highlight products or hang from slotted standard attachments that you might have installed to hold shelving. I like this idea because it can make a boring slatwall look new again. The panels come in different groove sizes and centers as well as a variety of colors. Take a look at www.marlite.com.
Trees, Trees, Trees
I like trees in displays, in windows, on top of racks or on tables. They add a â€œnaturalâ€ feeling and remind me of the outdoors. Trees are not just for holiday decorating any longer; they're great props, and some of the best and most inexpensive are from Autograph Foliages. A 7-foot pine tree goes for $37.32, a 3-foot tree for $11.60. And if you buy four trees you get 40 percent off. (A very good deal.) These are good-looking trees, and I urge you to check them out. While on you're on the web site take a look at the company's offering of fake rocks. They go well with the trees. The website is www.autographfoliages.com.
Shoes are hard products to display when taken off their slatwall perches. Cahill showed a great displayer that is perfect for shoes and cross-merchandising them with accessory items. The shoe displayers are mounted on a platform with casters so the display can be moved around as needed. You can find it at www.cahilldisplay.com.