4 crazy examples of “innovative” store merchandising

April 27, 2017

Store merchandising that will surprise you

Traxia’s office is smack dab in the Midwest. We’re nowhere near sophisticated stores like Dolce & Gabbana or Prada. In fact, our little hamlet was one of the first locations to close their Macy’s. We’re in a shopping desert! So, I decided to see what new store merchandising trends look like. Interesting, very interesting.

Botanical art meets fashion effect

An “interesting” store merchandising trend mixes botanical art with high fashion. The trend is to emphasize the importance of protecting our resources and our planet. Now, I don’t know about you, but I get a headache just looking at this picture much less walking into the store. The over-powering colors and prints are the opposite of everything a designer is told to do when store merchandising. I keep hearing retail merchandisers yelling, “Pick a focal point!”

Store merchandising should always have a focal point

 The crime scene effect

The clothing brand CLOT decided to open a pop up shop in Los Angeles. The theme was a bloody crime scene described as a torture chamber or butcher shop. The whole idea is pretty ironic to me considering the word “clot” refers to the blood flow stopping. Granted CLOT’s brand is for a much younger crowd, but store merchandising that uses bloody walls and ropes hanging from the ceiling is a little hard to swallow. Their website claims, “CLOT promotes creativity and inspiring perspectives in hopes of bridging the gap between East and West.”

CLOT's store merchandising used fake blood on the walls

Pepto-Bismol pink effect

This New York shop definitely prescribes to the less is more theory. Although successful store merchandising suggests using a bright splash of color on a few walls, they’ve taken the Pepto-Bismol pink a bit too far in my opinion. The shop does have several interesting design features, but they totally overpower the merchandise. “What merchandise?” you say.

Pepto-Bismol Pink is not good for store merchandising

 The doggie boutique effect

Believe it or not, this is a store for your pampered pooches. Yup, canines only. The shop, Cyriano Dogwear Outfit, offers bags, beds, clothing and many doggie accessories. All items, I might add, come with an embroidered label. I must admit, the store design is sleek and beautiful. I have a hard time believing they would allow my lumbering, tail-thrashing black lab inside though.

Store merchandising for a dogs only shop

 Store merchandising trends you can actually use

Although these may be the “new” trends in design, there are still some very basic principles every shop should follow.

  • Plan before you create – Decide which items you want to feature and how you want to display them before you begin.
  • Go with the flow – Understand your traffic flow and plan your design space accordingly.
  • Lighting is #1 – It doesn’t matter how creative your design is if no one can see it. Invest in quality display lighting.
  • Use props and graphics to highlight your merchandise – whether it’s vertical merchandising (from ceiling to floor as in the crime scene above) or horizontal merchandising (arranging colors or groupings from left to right), tell a story.
  • Read Summer merchandising displays that will create an impact.


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