Top tips for retail displays from Furore’s Nicolle Aston

  • News
  • September 2, 2015
  • Sarah Dunn
Top tips for retail displays from Furore’s Nicolle Aston
  1. Street appeal is important for both houses and retail stores. Create street appeal with strong lighting; simplicity; displays which are proportional to the distance from which the majority of customers view them; use of colour; symmetry and balance.
  2. Hold the customer's interest. "You have a couple of seconds to prove that you have something worthwhile on offer," Aston says. She suggests placing a special offer or a 'shopper stopper' item which shakes, shimmers or moves in the window or prominent place in store.
  3. Use punctuation marks or 'hotspots' to break up displays. Aston says retailers should space the most prominent items through the store in a way which pulls the customer's eye through the general displays. "When everything is screaming for the customer's attention, the scream becomes a dull roar."
  4. Face your audience. Decide where the majority of people are approaching your display from, and then turn it to face them. Make sure the angles on the products are uniform.
  5. Use the 'cone of vision'. Shoppers are most likely to see products when they are sitting within a cone-shaped field of vision which starts at just above the eyebrow and ends beneath the knee. Height varies, adds Aston, but this broad area is your most reliable selling zone.
  6. Arranging items in a pyramid or triangle shape and layering the items forwards will maximise the impact of your displays. A 'waterfall' or S shape also works well. Aston says customers can sometimes be reluctant to interfere with elaborate displays by taking an item, so she recommends retailers place a simple stack of items nearby: "Admire me here, buy me here."
  7. Repetition is an attention-grabber. Repeating products works well when the pyramid shape is inappropriate. Volume of stock gives customers confidence in the product and stimulates buying behaviour, says Aston.
  8. Communicate with the customer so that they understand the purpose of displays. If it's 'Buy one, get one free,' does the customer know this? Make sure appropriate signage is ready before the display goes in.
  9. Group with colour. "The collective use of colour will always draw the eye," Aston says. Limit colours to one or two, single out the most prominent one and place emphasis on it.
  10. Group like with like. Aston says grouping associated items together is persuasive and will boost sales, particularly with women: "It's the handbag and the shoes."
  11. Vertical displays encourage customers to look outside their cone of vision. This strategy will only work when you have good volume of stock, Aston says, but it will successfully alter customer behaviour.
  12. Add embellishment with props. "Props bring a bit of retail magic back into retail - a bit of theatre, a bit of entertainment," Aston says. She warns that the product must be the focal point.
  13. Demonstrate the product. "Get the product out of the packaging and into the customer's hands as quick as you can."
  14. Let there be light. Aston says store lighting must be on, not to "Arctic" and shining on the product. She recommends retailers check that their lighting in the window is clean and working correctly before investing in windowdressing.
  15. Identify everything. Put a price on every product, Aston says, as customers need that information to make purchasing decisions and become "really annoyed" without it.
  16. Make sure hanging posters, signage and all other display elements are professional. Consider setting rules or getting a template for your signage, and discourage artistic interpretations.
  17. Limit counter displays. Aston says it's tempting to load up the counter with impulse purchases, but the customer needs space to make their purchases.

Aston recommended Zen Genius' visual merchandising channel on YouTube for retail inspiration.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

Sponsored content

Christmas music: to carol or not to carol

It’s that time of year again when retailers across the country ask themselves whether they should start playing Christmas music.


Gem Retail Hotlist: Allbirds' Tim Brown is our Retail Visionary

  • News
  • December 11, 2019
  • Catherine Murray
Gem Retail Hotlist: Allbirds' Tim Brown is our Retail Visionary

In the Gem Retail Hotlist, 'Retail Visionary' is one of our most special awards. This year we awarded it to Tim Brown of Allbirds. Here's the scoop on this innovative sneaker brand.

Read more

From concept to closet: New Zealand’s apparel industry in 2019

Held at the end of August, New Zealand Fashion Week is an annual focal point for local designers and those interested in their products. But ...


Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

2020 vision
What does the next decade have in store ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Gem Retail Hotlist: Introducing Hunting Ground

  • News
  • December 10, 2019
  • Jai Breitnauer
Gem Retail Hotlist: Introducing Hunting Ground

At the Gem Retail Hotlist, Hunting Ground picked up the 'Hottest retail business under two years in operation' award. Here's how they did it.

Read more

Black Friday – The results are in

  • News
  • December 9, 2019
  • Makayla Wallace-Tidd
Black Friday – The results are in

Black Friday 2019 was predicted to be the biggest sales event of its kind since the tradition was introduced to New Zealand around 11 years ago. So how did retailers do?

Read more

Gem Retail Hotlist: Moore Wilson's shows us how it's done

  • News
  • December 9, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Gem Retail Hotlist: Moore Wilson's shows us how it's done

Wellington heritage grocery Moore Wilson's took out the award for 'Hottest retail business over 20 years in operation' at the Gem Retail Hotlist. Here's how they've managed to keep it fresh.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit