My Favorite Toy Store

As a child, I loved going to the toy store to see what new storybook dolls had arrived. Now, as an adult and a merchandiser, I love going to the GlobalShop trade show to check out the new fixtures, props, lighting and gadgets.
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As a child, I loved going to the toy store to see what new storybook dolls had arrived. Now, as an adult and a merchandiser, I love going to the GlobalShop trade show to check out the new fixtures, props, lighting and gadgets.

GlobalShop is a merchandiser's dream. Incorporating five shows under one roof, it's the nation's largest trade show catering to merchandisers, store planners and shop owners. It showcases everything from floor and wall products to music systems, fabrics, foliage, fixtures, holiday trims and decorations. I've been going since the show's inception (it moved from Chicago to Las Vegas this year) and I'm always on the lookout for simple, inexpensive solutions to the merchandising needs of the small and medium-sized retailer.

Overall, the show had a distinct '60s modern feel and manufacturers were presenting clean, minimalist designs. While companies like Alu showed stark, white display cases, other firms like Earth Works showed flooring in natural distressed wood. Brightly colored acrylic merchandise towers, shelving units and wall panels were everywhere. It's clear that color in fixturing and accessories is a major theme this year.

Visually compelling were creations that stretch, twist and wind fabric around lighting fixtures, walls or lightweight metal frames for towering sculptural shapes, moveable dressing rooms or columns lighted from within. Former tent maker Moss is now working with clients like Sephora to add these fabric sculptures to their retail spaces.

Even inexpensive technologies can update a retail environment. Scent Air Technologies offers to envelope your store with pleasant aromas that make customers linger longer -- and increase the chance of more sales. How about the aroma of coconut during the summer season or pumpkin spice in fall? Don't dismiss the effectiveness of scent and its affect on consumers.

This is only the tip of the iceberg of what I found at this year's GlobalShop and I'll review more of my favorite finds in upcoming articles.

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. Her website, www.merchandisinghub.com, has information targeted at the independent specialty retailer.

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