Display Tables – Store Fixtures

Judith Bell and Kate Ternus in their book, Silent Selling: Best Practices and Effective Strategies in Visual Merchandising, fourth edition, pages 117 and 118, give us their take on the impact and importance of tables as a store fixture.

“The single most important fixture in the retail industry is the table. Tables of some type greet shoppers at the entrances to most stores or departments. Such display tables may be permanent fixtures or temporary installations with a mission. They can be circular and skirted to the floor, rectangular and as substantial as any fine wooden furniture, or combined, as in a multilevel grouping of nested serving tables.

A table is an ideal introductory fixture because it has a low profile. It shows merchandise effectively at the front of a department while providing clear sight lines into the rest of the area, where more merchandise is presented. Tables set out in midaisle also offer a great way to rest or feature new items or offer regular products at special prices, enticing passers-by to stop and shop on impulse.

Sale tables are effective during clearance periods because customer are conditioned to finding bargains on temporary tables. However, do not over use the bargain table device. If you do, your bargain table strategy will lose impact and credibility with shoppers.

Special sale table tops that look like shallow boxes on legs are called “jumble” or “dump” tables because they will hold all types of sale items that might normally slide in all directions when shoppers sort through them. Stores that have tracked sales results for products presented on tables versus round racks have often found that tables are more productive. Perhaps it’s the possibility of discovering a treasure that draws shoppers to them.

Tables that look “jumbled” or “shopped” must be sorted, inspected for lost tickets or damage from rough handling, and rearranged periodically to keep the area attractive-looking and to assist shoppers in their search for legitimate values.”

Bell, Judith and Kate Ternus. Silent Selling, Fourth Edition, Pages 117 and 118. © 2012 by Fairchild Books, a division of Condé Nast Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Fairchild Books, a division of Condé Nast Publications, Inc. www.fairchildbooks.com

About the Author: Visit Carlson JPM Store Fixtures, your Ultimate Retail Resource, to find the retail solution perfect for you.

RoundTables       NestingTables1


To Sign or Not to Sign… that is the question – Store Fixtures


Sign Holders & Signs

Sign holders & signs provide a great opportunity to illustrate how to apply the design principle of “balance” to your store. In this case, using signs on clothing racks. Not every rack needs a sign but every rack needs to communicate your store’s message. When you use too many signs, your message can become confusing or give the wrong impression. For example, if you are running a dollar store a lot of signs are expected. If you are running a mid to high-end ladies’ or men’s apparel store, too many signs may affect the perceived value of your merchandise, giving your customers the wrong impression.

Some racks tell their “story” with a mannequin display showing the products they hold. They don’t need a sign unless you have a promotion involving them or if you need to communicate special or additional information about the products featured.

Sale” racks should always have a sign holder with a sign to inform your customer about your promotion. If you are using a round rack with a glass topper or wood topper, place a “Sale” sign in a flat based sign holder and set it on the topper, if your rack doesn’t have a topper, use a tubing clamp to attach the sign to the top of the rack.

Most 2-way or 4-way racks have a sign holder insert at the top of one of its uprights. These inserts accept 3/8” threaded sign holder stems or 3/8” swedged stems. When a rack does not have an insert, you can use tubing clamps and magnetized clamps to hold the sign holder stem and attach it to the rack.

Sign holders are available in clear acrylic, metal and a combination of both. A good design practice is to use the same type of sign holder throughout your store as well as having the signs be consistent in design, fonts and proportion. An exception to the rule is to use a metal floor sign holder at the store entry.

The most common sizes for floor sign holders are 22” x 28” and 14” x 22” while 5-1/2” x 7”,
7” x 11” and 11 x 14” are the most used sizes of counter top sign holders. You can buy counter top sign holders by components (build your own sign holders), or as complete units.
Flat shovel base sign holders with adjustable stems are available so the sign stands above the merchandise shown with it. The shovel base requires product to be placed on it to keep the sign holder from tipping over. These signs are great to display with books, cookware and any type of product that can sit on the base.

Clothing usually speaks for itself; housewares on the other hand, allow you to get creative with signage. When shopping for furniture, home accessories, electronics, kitchen & bath products, shoppers are more open to read copy and learn more information about the product displayed, information may include product details, tips for use, suggested accessories, fun facts, etc.

Smaller retailers have more freedom and flexibility to reinforce their store image through consistent use of sign holders and signs selections. Remember, you can get as creative as you want with your signage as long as the merchandise you sell supports your efforts without overdoing it.

About the Author: Visit Carlson JPM Store Fixtures, your Ultimate Retail Resource, to find the retail solution perfect for you.

Mannequins Part 2 – Merchandising

Selecting Garments for Mannequins
Judith Bell and Kate Ternus in their book, Silent Selling: Best Practices and Effective Strategies in Visual Merchandising, fourth edition, page 343, offer suggestions in selecting garments for mannequins especially in a grouping:

“Choose garments for a single end use, by fabrication, style, and then color for each grouping of mannequins you plan to use. Example: a group of mannequins wearing garden party prints in bright cottons or a group of mannequins in pastel cashmere holiday sweaters. Choose garments that make just one statement. Fashion impact comes from repetition and congruity. You’d never want to confuse shoppers with mixed messages in a single display. Instead, underscore each statement with a strong presentation, endorsing that specific end use.”

They also add the following:
• Choose items that are stock in quantity, so that the mannequin will not have to be redress immediately.
• Repeat the colors in the garments with appropriate accessories for a tied-together look. Choose accessories to clothe the mannequin from head to toe.
• Effective presentation of earrings, watches, hats, handbags, briefcases, day planners, hosiery, and shoes –even eyewear– can teach shoppers how to accessorize fashionably and trigger additional purchases for the store. At the same time, you must practice restraint.

Positioning and Propping Mannequins
When reviewing for this article, we realized how important the placement of the mannequin can be. In Silent Selling: Best Practices and Effective Strategies in Visual Merchandising, fourth edition, page 348 – 349, Bell and Ternus address this point as follows:

• Positioning mannequins with props in a triangular shape is more effective than positioning them in a straight line. If you look at Figure 13.19, you’ll see a mannequin grouping in a triangular format that creates a three-dimensional presentation with more depth and greater visual interest that would have been accomplished if the mannequins were all at the same height.
• Probably the most important thing is to realize is that grouped mannequins, frequently used in odd-multiples (3-5), must relate to each other in theme, in color story, and in physical proximity. The group must also relate to the props selected in exactly the same ways. They should all touch somewhere-either physically or optically.
• Place floor fixtures that stock items (such as 2 way racks, 4 way racks or round racks) next to the fashion mannequins on editorial platforms (or on the floor). Customers want to take a closer look at garments in their sizes immediately after they see them in the eye-catching displays. Don’t make them search through an entire department for the garments you have featured.

Bell, Judith and Kate Ternus. Silent Selling, Fourth Edition, Page 343 and 348-349, and Figure 13.19. © 2012 by Fairchild Books, a division of Condé Nast Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Fairchild Books, a division of Condé Nast Publications, Inc. www.fairchildbooks.com

About the Author: Visit Carlson JPM Store Fixtures, your Ultimate Retail Resource, to find the retail solution perfect for you.

Mannequins Part 1 – Store Fixtures

Mannequins are the “silent salesman” in your store. They pitch your latest merchandise (show them coordinated with the apparel and accessories you sell), letting your customers know they can be “in style” with this choice.

A large department store usually owns hundreds of mannequins, some are outdated and don’t see the sales floor unless they are doing a nostalgia or retro event.

When buying your mannequins ask yourself:
– Is the look of this mannequin going to be outdated quickly?
– Can it serve many purposes in the store?
– Does it work well in a store window, entrance or sell floor?

When deciding on which series of mannequins or individual mannequin you should purchase, it is important that the choice represents your store image and effectively showcases your product lines. For example, if your store image is classic select a non-trendy mannequin. The mannequin should feature a timeless style of hairdo and body stance. If your store’s fashions are trendy, you may have to invest in new mannequins more often to stay up to date with the latest looks and poses. An alternative would be spray painting your headless mannequins in exotic colors or designs to make it a pop statement that fits a current trend.

Realistic mannequins are attractive and durable. They vary in price, style, material and durability. Prestige Mannequins are our high end mannequin collection. They are made of fiberglass and feature a high end look and longer durability. Valueline Mannequins offer great quality without high cost. They are made of fiberglass, they are a more economical option but still durable and attractive. Men, women and children mannequins are available in both collections in various finishes, poses and hair styles. We also offer headless models.

Jersey covered body forms are a popular choice. They are versatile and fit trendy or classic environments well. They are made of cream jersey-covered polyurethane foam. We offer jersey body forms in kits so you get all you need in one box including base, neckblock. They are available in male, female and child.

Soft-sculpture mannequins, affectionately called “Flexi Kids” work wonderfully in children’s stores. These forms are covered with a cream colored fabric and come in various children’s sizes. These forms are fully poseable.

An attractive merchandised mannequin on the sell floor entices customers to immediately check out the garments displayed in their size. Place a 2-way rack or 4-way rack with these items near the mannequin for fast and easy access.

About the Author: Visit Carlson JPM Store Fixtures, your Ultimate Retail Resource, to find the retail solution perfect for you.

When it is OK to “toot your own horn” with Trophy, Perimeter & Aisle Showcases – Merchandising

The reason why companies and businesses have an internet presence, advertising brochures and marketing campaigns is to promote to the world “who they are” and “what they do”. But, some companies miss the boat when it comes to raise awareness of their companies in their own home such as their corporate headquarters, branch offices and plants. These are the places where employees, visiting clients and vendors need to see what the company is all about.

Visual awareness of a company’s identity is important. Guidelines for visual presentation in
non-retail spaces step in by way of a wall display case or a perimeter showcase. A great example is the way schools & colleges use trophy cases (also called a wall display cases) outside the school offices on the main traffic areas such hallways, lunchrooms, gyms, etc. to show off their school awards – academic and/or athletic.

Hospitals, large and small commercial businesses, government entities and anyone that wants to promote a cause, a message, an identity, achievements, etc. will greatly benefit from “visual awareness”. To “sell” it, you need to “showcase” it.

The selection of the right display case starts by first deciding what you want to show. Make a list of those items and their size. Are you showing an award? Think about displaying the award with the reason why you received it, pictures of the event, other related memorabilia, etc. Now things are getting exciting!

Planning where you want to place the case requires additional considerations:
– If you are thinking about a reception area, you may want it to blend with the surrounding furnishings. If it will be subject to harsh manufacturing conditions or high traffic areas you might need a dark finish. Carlson JPM can help you pick the right showcase, just call!

- The back panel of a wall case can be glass, wood, slatwall or mirror depending on its placement in your location and whether you want the back wall to hold lettering or hang items from it.

- Do you have a company poster or article about the company you want to incorporate into the display? Does it need to be resized or framed? Think of the flow of the items being displayed. Balance and color also play a role in creating a professional looking visual display. Check out the Carlson JPM blogs which discuss these aspects of visual presentation.

- A wall case can be 15”, 18” or 20” in deep. Standard widths are 48”, 60” and 70” and they are normally 72” high (78” with optional crown). Halogen, fluorescent and LED lighting options are available.

- They include four glass shelves mounted on metal brackets into wall standards in the back wall. These shelves are adjustable and 12” deep. The glass area in a trophy style case is 60” high with glass front sliding doors.

Once you have your wall case and before placing your product in it, draw a planogram of the space to get a good idea of how you want your memorabilia to be displayed. Don’t over think it at this point. All you need for now is a quick idea on what your main message is going to be and then you can adjust accordingly.

When multiple branches are being fitted with showcases, a finalized planogram and digital image of the finished display will make it easy for the other locations to replicate the effect.

So, have fun showing the world your accomplishments, who you are and what you do, all well-presented and available for anyone to see.

About the Author: Visit Carlson JPM Store Fixtures, your Ultimate Retail Resource, to find the retail solution perfect for you.

Rhythm as a merchandising strategy – Merchandising

Drifting in a “sea” of store fixtures is what occurs when you forget about the design principle of rhythm. Utilizing the various components of rhythm – namely, heights, lines, forms, shapes and color, you can create a flow or rhythm to your store moving a customer from item to item, grouping to grouping or from a single display to a department.

How do you create this rhythm? In her book Silent Selling, Best Practices and Effective Strategies in Visual Merchandising, Fourth Edition, Pg. 70, Judy Bell suggests:

“To create visual rhythm, heights of fixtures can be varied. An even stronger sense of rhythm can be created by adding displays or graphics to the tops of key fixtures in a department or shop. If you drew an imaginary dot-to-dot line connecting low to high points looking at a store layout that effectively conveyed a sense of rhythm, you would see a zigzag pattern.

Examples of repetitive or sequential rhythm include:

- A grouping of three mannequins dressed in jackets of the same style and color with different accessories to give each basic jacket a unique look.

- A series of signs or banners suspended from the ceiling or angled out from columns lining the main aisle of the store.”

When entering a store or a department within a store, fixturing should graduate in height from front to back and if square footage allows from mid-front to sidewalls. Tables, followed by two-way racks, followed by four-way racks or rectangular racks with a basket topper would create a height and form variance.

The tables could have neatly folded same color stacks of shirts. If you are selling giftware on the table, you can vary heights with acrylic risers and cubes. The table itself could have a wooden riser for a second tier of merchandise or a display form.

If you are making a presentation of a new product, make sure your customer can see where it is…allowing him/her at least five to ten feet of space from entry of the store or department to adjust and get into the “buying” frame of mind.

Signage or graphics is not only informative for a customer but can create rhythm. Graphics can be as simple as colorful arrows or dot-line-dot as long as the graphic is in keeping with your store image.

A display on a diagonal, creating steps up the wall, also provides rhythm in motion. You can use body forms on staggered shelving to get this effect.

Curved lines added to counters and custom fixtures work well in lingerie, high-end jewelry, bridal or women’s apparel stores. Remember, repeating elements throughout an area create rhythm. Your eyes travel with the element quietly selling the products featured. 

Happy rhythm making!

Bell, Judith and Kate Ternus. Silent Selling, Fourth Edition, Page 70. © 2012 by Fairchild Books, a Division of Condé Nast Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Fairchild Books, a division of Condé Nast Publications, Inc. www.fairchildbooks.com
About the author of this article: Visit Carlson JPM Store Fixtures/Shop Our Catalog, to find the retail solution perfect for you.

7 Ways To Transform Your Store in 2012 – Merchandising

NEW YEAR. NEW LOOK. NEW BUSINESS. These quick tips can help your store recover from the Holidays & bring new business:

- Get your Clearance merchandise ready for year-end activities with signage, pricing and

   tagging systemsdump bins, display tables, slatwall and wire merchandisers.

- Replace old or damaged racks, fixtures and hangers.

- Replace missing slatwall or wire hooks and damaged shelving.

- Update your cashwrap flow lines with retractable belt posts.

- How effective is your loss prevention system? Do you have security mirrors or cameras,

  door chimesrack security devices or locks for your cases?

- Clean your carpets and floors.

- Go behind the scenes. Sort and organize your paperwork and backstock.





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