Merchandising Tour: Give your store pop with these color tips from Winter Market

Color makes the world go round and it sells product. It wasn’t hard to pick up color trends among the booths at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2010. See what shades you should be incorporating into your sales displays.
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Color makes the world go round and it sells product. It wasn’t hard to pick up color trends among the booths at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2010. Lime green was a favorite hue of many exhibitors for its ability to catch the eye and liven up the flat ambient light in the exhibit hall. The show floor was an explosion of color from the aforementioned lime and bright greens to subtle shades of burgundy, teal, orange and red -- many in combination with each other. Take a look at this rundown of winners we found on the SNEWS® Merchandising Tour:

Terrasoles’ lime-green walls mixed with orange table linens set off the ruff-hewn wood of the booth and created an eye-catching display. The lime-green headers on the company’s POP fixturing also gives retailers the opportunity to bring that green into their stores.

More lime green in combination with sky blue, orange and multi stripes was found in the carpet tiles of the SmartWool booth, giving the writing area a blast of lively color, as well as a nice surface under the feet. Carpet tiles are a great solution if you want to establish a special area in the store for display or special merchandising without going to the cost and trouble of installing a new floor surface.

Granite Gear’s stuff bag assortment added a jolt of color to its exhibit walls. Note the display bags along the top of the slatwall with the inventory arranged below. This is the way you show multiples of the same color vertically. It is a more pleasing arrangement and makes it easier for customers to shop, as color is the first thing that attracts people to an item.

SmartWool’s aisle displays moved away from the bright flooring to a more subtle display of smoky blues and burgundy. Its displays of hats and scarves were brilliant in the way they combined items that either contained or complemented the color in the focal point – the hat. In one display, blue was the dominant color and in another it was burgundy. These displays would work in a window or above an accessory wall.

This little display from S4 at the corner of the booth caught the eye not only because of the bright red but also the repetition of color in the boards and the eyewear retainers. It is always a stronger story if you use fewer colors in a display. Too many muddy the impression. This display is clean, fun, bright, and gets the point across. I also liked the way the red-and-white stickers were scattered on the floor by the display.

A few extra tips: Play with color, but also understand how to use it effectively. When showing apparel on a four-way rack, don’t show more than two to three color families. On the wall, use the same guide in each 4- to 6-foot area.

Next time, we’ll talk about lighting and show examples of what worked -- and didn’t -- at the show. Stay tuned.

Would you like to join Sharon Leicham, author of "Merchandising Your Way to Success" and merchandising editor for SNEWS®, during Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010 for the third Outdoor Retailer Merchandising Tour program, co-sponsored by Outdoor Retailer and SNEWS. Currently, we are planning one hour-long merchandising tour of select exhibitor booths and displays designed for retailers and one hour-long merchandising tour focused on the needs of exhibitors. Email merchandisingtour@snewsnet.com to put your name on a contact list for more information and to ensure your name is on the registration list for the next Outdoor Retailer Merchandising Tours, Summer Market 2010 -- spaces are limited.

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