Visitors walking into the main entrance of the New York Cycle World International Motorcycle Show head toward a black curtain parted slightly, the opening of which is blocked by a customized Ducati monster.
The opening was there by design — all the better to give customers a slight glimpse of what appears to be a full Ducati retail store.
The idea was to pique their interest and lure them inside to check out and, hopefully buy, pieces from a well-merchandised collection of Ducati branded apparel and gear setup as part of Ducati New York's presence at the show.
Dennis Diaz, the dealership's parts and accessories manager, said the store decided to set up at the show as a way to capture some of the enthusiast traffic drawn to the large show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
In order to do so, Diaz said the dealership stocked up mostly on casual gear, the kind of product that lends itself to easy or impulse buying by typical showgoers. The idea was to not display anything that retails for more than $250. This meant T-shirts packaged for quick sale, as well as some leather jackets, bags, hats and gloves.
"This makes something that many see as exotic become affordable," he said.
In setting up the booth, the dealership worked with Reginald Harper, who specializes in visual merchandising and retailing display. Harper said that getting the merchandising correct is imperative to selling products.
This involved bringing in glass display cabinets to highlight some of the smaller items, shelves and body forms for displaying shirts and T-shirts, as well as hanging racks, wall racks and flat table tops that were fronted with remnants of large Ducati-labeled cardboard boxes.
Harper says that it cost about $800 — including the rental of the booth curtains — to set up what was essentially a retail store.
Throughout the show, the booth saw a steady stream of customers coming through and buying. Diaz added that his booth's proximity to Ducati's main vehicle display was fortunate thanks to the crowds exiting the fashion shows the OEM was holding several times a day. As he was talking, the booth started to fill up. Ducati's show had just ended.