Part of the fun of running, owning, or even working in a shop is putting together the displays. This is a creative task—one that really lets you use your imagination. If you’re wondering how to get started creating a great window dressing, here are some tips for creating an inspiring storefront display.
The Type of Store You Have
Make sure your display is true to the stock you carry. In other words, if you sell vintage clothes from the 1920s and 1930s, don’t fill your window display with Daisy Duke shorts and crop tops. If your store caters to the under-12 set, show off your cute tops for kids to let busy parents know what they’ll find inside.
Whether it’s fashion, jewelry, or books, there are always awards that make something special.
If you’re running a bookstore, for example, try displaying books that have recently won major awards, or feature books that have been made into movies—it’s never too early to think about Oscar nominations.
Make sure you’re aware of controversies and accolades around a particular book. If there’s a Harry Potter craze, for example, make sure the books are well displayed so that everyone knows you have plenty.
Feature the Season
Naturally, clothing stores should be displaying coats, scarves, boots, and gloves during the winter months, but how about rallying around Rocktober or Movember?
Even if you don’t sell music, you can display old LPs in your window along with rock inspired clothing during Rocktober and you can show off your supply of scissors, shaving cream, and razors as a way to celebrate the end of Movember. Take advantage of the coolest celebrations from each holiday. Check out these classic and unique favorites:
- January: New Years
- February: Valentine’s Day
- March: Saint Patrick’s Day
- April: Arbor Day, Easter
- May: Mother’s Day
- June: Donut, Cake, and Ice Cream Soda Days
- July: Canada Day
- August: Friendship Day
- September: Back to School
- October: Halloween
- November: Thanksgiving
- December: Holiday Cheer
An interactive storefront, especially if you have exciting merchandise, can spice up a window display really quickly. If you have a toy store, run an electric train on a track in the front window that’s sure to bring in kids and their parents alike.
If you sell ballroom dance clothing, set up a movie screen with ballroom competitions amidst the ruffled shirts and sequined dresses.
Even if people just come to look, it will make your store a destination much like the elaborate holiday displays at the department stores on 5th Avenue in New York City.
It’s Okay to Borrow Ideas
People are always looking for the hottest celebrity outfits. Take advantage of their passion by displaying your closest equivalent to an Oscars gown or an Inauguration outfit.
Use whatever is timely and popular for your borrowed inspiration. Who wouldn’t be drawn to a store that offers up the possibility of looking like a movie star or a fashionable head of state?
Some merchandise is sensitive to the elements and you may not want to display the real thing in the window. Whether you’re selling food, expensive jewelry, or delicate clothing that may fade or fall apart over time, consider getting a professional photographer to create colorful posters with all your best sellers.
A picture is worth a thousand words—and will keep your merchandise from getting ruined in the window.
Be Price Transparent
Putting a mannequin in the front window with a great, on-trend look is a good start to ensuring people come into your store.
The more you accessorize, the easier it is for people to see what you’ve got. Give your display an extra edge by arranging large price tags, so that customers can see exactly what the individual pieces cost.
Arrange an easel with a poster board that adds up the individual prices and shows the grand total.
A customer in a hurry—or one who just doesn’t have the patience to figure out a complete outfit—will appreciate the freedom of knowing exactly how to put an outfit together without trying to calculate the cost.
Getting An Extra Edge
These are just a few tips you can use to get your window dressing to look amazing. Use your imagination and whatever is at your fingertips to create a storefront display that is inviting and enticing to shoppers. Once more ideas, check out the Mannequin Madness Pinterest board which is categorized product type, holiday and season so you can find lots of ideas to emulate.
Gracia Smith is a small business owner and a freelance fashion writer from Playa Vista, California. With five years of experience running her own clothing store, she has culminated the insider knowledge to help others in providing the best experience for their customers. When she is not busy working in her store, she enjoys learning about new ways to market her brand.