If you own a retail storefront you have to create a WOW factor with your window dislays to get shoppers to stop, look and come inside. What is the best way to do this?

Your window displays are like a scene from a play – this is why window shopping is often referred to as street theatre. I saw this very informative article in Display and Design ideas written by Janice Davis of Janice Davis Design in New York about how adding theatrical flair inside and outside the store can increase your retail sales. Here is the article:

The marriage of retail and fantasy is not new.  Mention New York at holiday time and the always-wondrous windows of Lord & Taylor spring to mind.  Tourists and New Yorkers alike line up for their dose of fantasy as each window frames a mini-theatrical production where dolls in period costumes dance in stunning settings that transport the onlooker to a Christmas out of Dickens.  They ooh.  They aah.  And then, they shop

Theatricality once limited to Christmastime is now popping up in stores, restaurants, and libraries employing all manner of themes, and for good reason.  Several good reasons, actually, such as that a theatrical environment will:

1 Make your store stand out from the rest.  In a competitive retail environment, there needs to be a reason that shoppers will choose your store over others.  A theatrical theme – having your shoppers walk into another world rather than just another store – is a can’t miss way to differentiate yourself from other retailers selling similar or competing merchandise.

2 Appeal to your customers’ “Inner Child” (we all have one!).  We look to books, movies and plays to make us feel part of another world.  We love theme parks because fifteen minutes of feeling like a Pirate of the Caribbean or being beamed into the future is just plain fun.  Instead of giving your customers a place to buy goods, draw them into an enchanted forest, or a knight’s castle, or a state fair.  It will not only get them in the door, they’ll return and bring their friends.

3 Create a romance that surrounds your products and enhances their desirability. You already know that something displayed well will sell better than something displayed poorly; now go a step farther and imbue each display with the magic that comes with the overall experience of being on a desert safari or in elegant Italian palazzo.  Now it’s not just a necklace – it’s a necklace that makes your customer an adventuress or a countess!

4 Make a joyous shopping experience something they’ll want a souvenir of.  Giving shoppers an enjoyable time under the sea or in your 1920s speakeasy will greatly increase the chances that they’ll want to take part of the fun away with them.  If a candy store is just a store, they may only buy something if they’re hungry.  But if they’re in an enchanted forest where the sweets are stored in tree knotholes and in the windows of a gingerbread house in the woods, who can resist continuing the fun by buying some sweets to take with them?

5 Create a buzz!  The word on the street that your store is a must-see will be worth more than any print ad or billboard.  Themed stores are a sure-fire way to catch the attention of the media – they’ll be writing and talking about your store rather than taking your advertising dollars.  A creative enough approach may even get you mentioned in tourist offices and on bus or trolley tours!  Don’t open just another store – open another world. 

For more tips like this and examples of eye-catching store window displays, look for my upcoming book “From So What? to Sensational! -making the most from your retail window displays.”

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