Think of window displays as free advertising. When you change your windows on a regular basis people start looking at your windows more often, knowing they will be entertained. If you change your windows infrequently they become wallpaper. People know they are there but rarely glance at them knowing it’s the same old thing. Stale windows make the merchandise inside the store seem as old and tired as the goods in the window. 

One frequently asked question is “how often should I change my displays?”  Any window or interior display is going to feel and look stale after two weeks. Although it may seem daunting to even consider changing out your displays every two weeks, it is very much worth the work.

Successful retailers make frequent floor moves for two good reasons. Every floor move re-energizes the merchandise as well as gently forcing repeat customers to see new items. Many retailers know that sales always increase during a floor move. Customers are intrigued by the action and when merchandise is pulled out of its normal resting place it takes on a new energy giving it more appeal. Of course you’ll have a few regulars complaining that they can’t find their incense sticks or their seed packet greeting cards but they will discover new items in their quest to find the old.

A few ways to make changing displays and windows easier are:

1. Add a horizontal grid in your window parallel to the floor and above eye level so it can’t be seen from the street. Ensure that it’s hung securely just in case you want to hang something from it on the heavier side. A grid allows you to creatively hang props and merchandise easily using a lower ladder. If your window allows it and you have a clever handyman put the grid on a pulley so it can be raised and lowered as needed.

Some fun things you can hang from a grid include: origami creatures, holiday decorations, crystals, decorative hanging fabric lights, silk flowers, window ornaments, greeting cards, feathers, incense packages, hats, gloves, small holiday lights or, whatever you get into your store in bulk that can hang without pulling down the ceiling.

2. Think about the windows in advance. Keep a folder with advertisements that inspire you with interesting display ideas. Lots of display professionals also work with advertising agencies and the ads are excellent visual images.

3. As you drive to and from work check out garage sales and trash day treasures. Pick up things that can work in your windows. An old birdcage spray painted glossy red makes a great holder for all sorts of merchandise. Pick up a few blackbirds or cardinals from a hobby or crafts shop and have them flying free, out of the cage. Thanks to your handy grid and some 2 lb. fishing line – that will be a breeze! Old tables, chairs, lamps, bicycles, pots and pans – almost anything can be painted and used as a buildup or creative prop.

4. By keeping your window displays simple you can change them more often with less effort. There is no need to show the entire store in the window. Pick a theme and stick with it! The thought pattern “If it’s not in the window, how will people know we carry it?” is a sure way to create clutter in your window displays. Have some faith that if customers are attracted to your windows they will be curious enough to come into the store. No one expects Nordstrom’s to put everything they carry in each window any more than they expect that from you.

5 Special Events Calendar – Get a special events calendar (a sample can be found at) for ideas for your windows. There are all kinds of celebrations, campaigns and national awareness months for your target audience. Everything from Barbie’s Birthday, Jazz Appreciation Month, National Candy Month and Spiritual Awareness Month.  Use these as opportunities for joint promotions with related organizations or vendors. Don’t forget to include regional and ethnic events.    

This article (with the exception of item #5) was provided by retail design specialist Linda Cahan She is a favorite contributor to the Mannequin Madness blog
















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13 years ago

Bravo!!! Simple props that can be arranged , repainted, leaned and bundled to create totally different yet interesting windows are for example PVC plumbing pipe-sold in very long lengths it can be cut on site for no charge at time of purchase-I like to first paint them gold metalic gold and angle them floor to ceiling aound mannequins to add to ladies fashions, summer paint each one a different summery color and bind them like wheat stalks-place next to colorful swim or spring fashions-colors co-ordinating with the paint-

also shop antique store for stained glass window panels, they will loan them to you for a mention of their shop in a small card in the window-I like to also find those old deco style ice tray looking in ceiling lighting fixtures, those are great to hang from the ceiling grid beside and behind your mannequins or forms-use your imagination-most of this stuff is cheap if not free-a little paint goes a long way!!!

Lokard Desmock
Lokard Desmock
10 years ago

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