Show 'Em the Way


Most product displays cater to people already in the industry. Because of this, oftentimes only longtime riders can understand the use of the products. What about future customers and new riders? These are the folks your focal points should be targeting.

Countless times you've heard such phrases as "Immerse the consumer in the lifestyle." This simply means help consumers relate better to the products. Through the use of various focal points in several departments, you can increase interest, make better product/customer associations and ultimately increase sales.

Wall Displays

In every wall display that promotes a product category (street, dirt, kids, women's, etc.) combine a summary of your product selection with upsell items, graphics and props.

Take, for example, sportbike gear. To make it easier for an employee to achieve balance and symmetry, choose the center of the wall for your focal point. Select several types of riding jackets, layered with tees or shirts, and create a 3-D display of items that look different from the normal straight-out arms and waterfalls. Do this by using a 48-inch-long hangrail and by angling the jackets toward traffic flow. Frame the area with a shelf just under the jackets. This is a great place for boots, gloves, helmets or add-ons such as tank bags.

Top all this off with the visual stimulant — a lifestyle graphic of a sportbike rider having a grand time. People respond to such graphics, especially newbies who want to fit in with the experienced crowd.

The final touch is signage: "Men's Sport Gear, "Street Sport," etc. Choose your own department labels. Just keep them uniform throughout the store — and also movable for when you rotate departments.

Use the same procedure for hard parts. Let's stick with sportbike accessories. Again, claim the center space for the focal point display. Take two 48-inch-long shelves, one on top of another. On each end of the top shelf you might set a couple of sportbike luggage pieces facing toward the center, where you can place some bling: a wheel, exhaust, etc. If you go with a windscreen, choose a tint with some pizzazz.

For the lower shelf, associate the rider with the product and also cross-market by bringing in a piece of apparel. Maybe set on the shelf a half-torso mannequin dressed in your newest sport leather jacket and wearing a helmet with a popular graphic. If you have one, add a picture of a bike. Finally, your sign: "Sportbike Accessories."

After you do a few displays in various departments, you'll see consumers being drawn to them. Plus, for customers who like package deals, you've put together a striking picture. Upselling becomes a snap.

Feature Tables

Use tables to create freestanding focal points that act as stop signs in your traffic pattern. There is a large variety of tables, but I use mostly two- or three-tiered ones. They give me different layers on which to present complementary products. These mini focal points can display:

  • special event products,
  • new products or items on sale,
  • gift ideas at a specific price point or for a certain holiday,
  • or a choice offering of related products that coordinate in color, theme and use.

Again, feel free to use half-torso mannequins. With apparel you can fold some items and show color coordination and add-ons. Next to the table you can place a two-way or four-way on which to hang a size run of the items worn by the mannequin. Look around your store and select lifestyle items, down to the hats and casual accessories. Don't forget table signage — and maybe a graphic in a picture frame, or holiday-themed props.

These techniques help paint the vision for new and future consumers. Keep your displays fresh and interesting. They need routine housekeeping and frequent changes. If you need help in acquiring feature tables or mannequins, contact me.

Christy Michaud is a retail merchandising specialist at Tucker Rocky Distributing. E-mail questions and comments to Michaud via