The Retail Doctor's Visual Merchandising Checklist

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√ Does your storefront make a simple, yet powerful statement? A quick glance should tell you what the merchandise is about, what type of merchandise you carry, or the services provided.

√ Does your merchandise make a color statement? Put together a display using a single, dominant color.

√ Have you created focal areas? Group together collections that will create and maintain the consumer's interest. Be sure to provide sufficient space. It's natural to want to display the maximum amount of merchandise; however, if customers can't focus on individual products because of visual clutter, they will leave frustrated and empty-handed.

√ Have you mass-merchandised lately? Maximize your mass displays by angling, stacking, patterning and using color.

√ Have you "romanced" your merchandise? Merchandise should be embellished with tender loving care. Get it off the floor and display it at eye level, where it will sell better and faster. If you sell clothing, steam it; if you sell glass items, get out the glass cleaner.

√ Does your store encourage activity? Displays should lend themselves to action.

√ Is the customer aware of your merchandise and your services? Visually let your customers know of the conveniences and services offered at your dealership.

√ Is your lighting effectively and properly targeted? Use lights to create warmth, but don't be afraid to use fluorescent, track and spot lights to sufficiently display the merchandise.

√ Do your signs sell the merchandise? Signage is the silent salesperson. Use them to educate your customer.

√ Does your store packaging lead to a customer's repeat visit? All bags and boxes should display the store's logo somewhere. And your business card can double as a gift tag.