Merchandising Tour: Securing small items display ideas from Winter Market

Small items can be difficult to merchandise well and even harder to keep secure. There were plenty of fun and creative ideas at Winter Market, which our SNEWS merchandising editor and tour guide, Sharon Leicham, will outline in this second of six articles from the show's Merchandising Tours.
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Visual merchandising ideas abound at all Outdoor Retailer trade shows and Winter Market 2010 was no exception. The SNEWS® and Outdoor Retailer Merchandising Tours at the show gave retailers an opportunity to gather display ideas they could take back to their stores. If you weren’t able to attend one of the tours, I’ll take you through some of the creative ideas I spotted. When viewing these ideas, remember not to take them literally but adapt what you like and what would work for your product mix and store environment.

Here’s an idea I thought would be perfect for showing small items that can “walk away” if not secured in a glass case. Button International Co. sells buttons at the show. So, instead of filling bins with buttons as I’ve seen done before, the company suspended its product selection on monofilament line inside acrylic tubes anchored to a wooden platform and topped with a lid. When I saw this display, I immediately thought it could be adapted to sunglasses, watches, knives or any small-sized items, and then placed adjacent to the cash-wrap counter or even in a display window.

This display could easily be constructed by drilling holes in a wood base, so the tubes stand upright. The lids on the tubes secured the monofilament lines, but it would be easy enough to rig up a line without a lid. Start your acrylic tube search at www.busada.com where you’ll find a number of different tube sizes. Give it a try.

It is always a good idea to add some humor in displays. I liked the refrigerator in the Bula booth. The company took an old fridge, painted it a bright green and attached display hooks to the outside, then hung various winter accessories. Get it? Winter + refrigerator + cold + warm hats? Back stock was stored inside. Needless to say, it was eye-catching, original and unique. It attracted attention to the product on display and put a smile on the face.

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Another great display idea came from Joby, manufacturers of flexible camera tripods called Gorillapods (they sort of look like long-armed gorillas). The tripods mount to just about anything and, at the show, were shown clinging to some very clever and illustrative objects like a golf club, a bike seat, a piece of bamboo and a ski pole all mounted on a wood base. This was a clever way to convey the multi use of the product without shouting it. This idea would work with headlamps and watchbands or anything that can wrap. If you like the idea, look around your store to see what products would benefit from this type of display.

Since we're talking about things mounted on bases, I want to mention the Vibram sole boot display. Too often, retailers show boots and shoes sitting on platforms on the shoe wall or on tables in the footwear area. This doesn’t really show the soles of the shoes, especially when the sole is an important aspect of the footwear. Vibram’s display consisted of boots mounted upside down on pipes with the soles facing out. Instead of pipes, you could also try using a short slatwall face-out arm to mount a boot with its sole facing out. Besides showing an important part of the boot, it also breaks up the repetitiveness of the shoe wall and makes it more interesting.

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Stay tuned for the next installment in the merchandising tour article series where I’ll give you more ideas found at the show. And contact me in the SNEWS Chat Room if you need help finding sources for display materials.

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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