How to create killer consignment store holiday windows

October 6, 2017

Your store’s holiday windows are your biggest billboard

Store windows. When deciding to buy or lease your store’s location, the windows were probably one of your biggest considerations. How large is the front window? Is it street level or eye level? Can I use it to display my merchandise effectively? Many times, a store’s front window is their best advertising. Make sure your consignment store’s holiday windows rock. Here are a few tips to get you going.

Determine the purpose

Before any merchandising can begin, you need a plan. Are your holiday windows a showcase for specific merchandise or are they a teaser to bring shoppers in? Your overall goal should be decided ahead of time. If building your store’s brand and enticing the customer is your plan, then individual items aren’t the focus. This is especially good for consignment and resale shops with ever-changing, one-off merchandise. If your goal is to feature specific holiday merchandise you’re hoping to move quickly, make sure you’re prepared to make changes to your window in a snap. Whichever purpose you choose, be well prepared and organized ahead of time.

“Propping” up

Use items in "3's" for holiday windows“Propping” is using additional props to achieve a creative effect. Remember, there is strength in combining uneven numbers (3, 5, 7, etc.).  For instance, if your items are small, create the same display 3 times. Or, use 5 similar side chairs to create a repetitive, uneven numbered display. If you only own 2 mannequins, add a 3rd item at the same height to balance the image. Props can range from easily recognizable to the absurd. They’re determined by your overall store image/brand. Make sure that all items in your holiday window displays are for sale. There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a gorgeous display and finding out there’s a secret NFS sticker on the back of the best item.

See what your shoppers see

Just as there is a flow in your store’s layout, your holiday windows should have a definite flow too. Your ideas may look phenomenal on paper or in your head, but once they hit the front window, you need to view it as shoppers do. Visually overlapping merchandise keeps the shopper’s eye focused on the display. Avoid empty (or negative) areas between items. Position merchandise in the front and the back of the window to add depth. This doesn’t mean every inch of space should be filled. You want the shopper’s eye to travel easily to the main point of the window. Tell a story. By all means, pay very close attention to lighting. To avoid shadows, light your displays from the sides of your windows.

Mix it up

Consider a vertical merchandising display where you literally go from the top of the ceiling down to the floor. Or, use your merchandise to build a pyramid. Mix up materials. For instance,  incorporate burlap with stainless steel or distressed wood and satin. The contrast in textures makes it more interesting and a little edgier. Include wall decals, large letters and bold graphics.  Color is the key to pulling it all together.

First appearances matter

Chipped and damaged mannequins don't help holiday windowsTake a critical look at your holiday windows. They speak volumes about what a shopper will find inside. If your mannequins are chipped and dirty, what does that say about your store? Often, window displays are one of the last things decided, but the first thing a shopper sees. If funds are the issue, read How to create beautiful holiday window displays on a budget. Well-done holiday windows drive traffic into your store and increase sales. Plan ahead and you’ll reap the benefits.

Deb McGonagle

I have been a writer for various forms of marketing for over 40 years. I've written my share of radio and TV scripts, magazine and newspaper ads as well as direct mail brochures and newsletters. Currently, as the Marketing Director for Traxia, home of SimpleConsign software, I've moved into blog posts, eBooks and website text. It's been an ever changing and ever challenging journey but I've loved it all along the way.