Merchandising Know-How: What's the Big Idea? - SNEWS

Merchandising Know-How: What's the Big Idea?

It’s easy for me to tell you that there are good merchandising ideas everywhere. But when it comes right down to it, you may look at a display window or trade show exhibit and not see the good idea to be found there. So I thought I’d show you some ideas I’ve found and suggest ways to use them.

It's easy for me to tell you that there are good merchandising ideas everywhere. But when it comes right down to it, you may look at a display window or trade show exhibit and not see the good idea to be found there. So I thought I'd show you some ideas I've found and suggest ways to use them.

This footwear display idea turned up in a book showcasing retail stores around the world. The footwear displayed on the slanted board got me thinking about using a similar board in a display window or in a footwear department. The lumber is easy to obtain and paint. It might be fun to add footprints to the surface (you can do this by dipping the sole of an old boot in a bright paint color and “walking” it down the board). (see shoe display to right)

Another idea I found utilizes a log, drilled to accommodate old chair backs, for a couch. It's a brilliant idea and one that would be perfect to use in the footwear department of an outdoor store because it's natural and fun. This unusual seating was found in the lobby of a trendy New York hotel. (see log seating photo below)

I like the idea of positioning partial walls behind window displays to set them off and still allow sightlines into the store. This wall is embedded with long metal spikes that could be used to hang apparel, hardgoods and accessories. Using pitons would make the wall even more interesting. The side of the wall facing inside the store can be merchandised the same way or fixed with shelving or slatwall. (see wall merchandising idea photo below)

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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