Gear 2014: Showroom of dreams

Publish Date: 
Aug 28, 2013
By Beth Dolgner

BUILDING GEAR AND apparel displays that attract attention — on the showroom floor and on social media — does not have to mean spending a lot of money or time.

Usually, it just takes creativity, planning and a new look at old things.

OEMs can be eager to contribute to displays because they recognize the value in setting a scene that draws attention. As Gregory Rushin, sales manager at Off-Road Express West in Waterford, Pa., says, “With all this factory help that’s going into making displays bigger, better and more productive, we try and utilize as much as we can from the factory. If the brand gives us a great POP, we don’t put it in a closet. We use it.”

Rushin ought to know what works: Off-Road Express West is known for its engaging displays, and even won the Best Display award during the 2013 Dealernews Top 100 competition.

But not every display can or will revolve around an OEM piece. Coming up with fresh designs sometimes means looking at old pieces in new ways.

Certain older displays from manufacturers can be disguised as long as there are no traces of former branding left over. Often, the makeover simply involves the generous use of spray paint.

Jennifer Robison, national retail specialist for Tucker Rocky Distributing, compares remaking purpose-built displays to Halloween costumes: A few inexpensive tricks can create the perfect disguise. “If you’re not carrying that brand anymore, you may not want to repurpose it because it’s obvious what you’re doing. But something that doesn’t have a specific brand tie can be remade with spray paint,” she says.

Sometimes, finding a great prop for a display takes just a few dollars and a lot of imagination. Utilizing old elements for a display is not constrained to purpose-built pieces. Rushin, for example, says Off-Road Express West gets a lot of use out of a cardboard dowel that was left over when they installed new carpeting.

“That was used as a tree in one element, and we’ve used that so many times as a log, a tree, a telephone pole,” he says. “I can guarantee nobody can say, ‘Oh, that’s what they used last year.’ It was just a piece of scrap lying around after we did some carpeting in the showroom.” (Continued)