Merchandising Know-How: What's in the box?

Have you ever noticed how much more valuable objects seem when they are under glass? Think about the exhibits you've seen in museums or galleries where artifacts are placed on covered bases and encased in glass boxes.

Have you ever noticed how much more valuable objects seem when they are under glass? Think about the exhibits you've seen in museums or galleries where artifacts are placed on covered bases and encased in glass boxes.

You may be wondering what that has to do with an outdoor store, but think about it. You have valuable GPS units, knives, eyewear and climbing hardware that could benefit from being placed on display somewhere in your store other than in the counter display case. But theft is always an issue. So boxes make a lot of sense -- they protect the product, thwart theft, enhance value, attract attention and, ultimately, result in sales.

Acrylic display boxes are perfect ways to show some of your more pricey items, but you could also place simple items like colored water bottles, camping stoves or hiking boots in them.

Here's what to do do. Find some spots in your store where you could place a display box, such as the end of the checkout counter, the floor of the footwear area, atop a map case or on a clothing rack. Measure the spaces to see what size box they'll accommodate, then gather the products you would like to display and measure them so you know what width and height box will work. Order the boxes and you're ready to go.

I've found a great Internet resource for acrylic boxes with and without bases at the Display Case Shop at I've ordered from the company recently and was pleased with the quality, price and delivery.

Sharon Leicham's merchandising column appears twice a month in SNEWS. Leicham is the author of Merchandising Your Way to Success and How to Sell to Women and is a frequent contributor to trade magazines writing on merchandising and marketing topics. She recently launched a website,, with information targeted at the independent specialty retailer.


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