Posted by: Diane Capuano
There are few things more attention-grabbing in a paint and decorating center than a creative, well-executed display. As part of PDRA’s “Retailer to Retailer” initiative, here are the thoughts from two retailers about how they do their store displays and their display philosophies.
Stockton’s Paint of Bellingham, Wash., uses a variety of ever-changing displays, with owner and manager Casey Gordziel believing that they are critical to sales. “When creating a display, I always try to remember that the arrangement is a silent salesperson. I use it to draw attention to new products or slower moving products,” she said.
“Many times after I replace a display with new products, my regular contractors will stop and ask me what the new display is all about. It opens the dialogue for me to educate and sell the products,” Gordziel continued. “The goal is always to have an increase in sales for the specific products just arranged in a new display.”
Stockton’s mostly uses end-cap displays to feature select items but window displays also get a lot of attention. “Our store is located in downtown Bellingham, so there is a good number of people that walk along the sidewalk in front of our window” Gordziel explained. Consequently, Stockton’s staff try to ensure that window displays are as eye-catching as possible in the hopes of capturing a paint sale today from someone who just happened to be walking by yesterday.
Gordziel and her husband, Chris, typically are the creative minds behind the displays. “However, we appreciate ideas and inspirations from our employees,” she said. “More minds equal more creativity.”
The couple purchased the long-established store last year and received local media attention for the updates they brought to it, including putting a fresh coat of paint on the interior. In the last year, the updates have included store displays, which are changed at least once a month because, “If you wait too much longer, (the store) starts to feel stale,” Gordziel explained. “Of course, displays can be changed more often in the off-season than during peak summer selling.”
Gordziel’s favorite display? There are a couple that stand out, she said, including one that was in the window at press time. As she described it, “Currently we have a window display with empty paint cans hung by fishing wire that appear to be tipping over. We then placed satin fabric so that it looks like it’s pouring out of the cans, to appear like paint. In the center of the window, we arranged a pyramid of paint cans with a sign attached, letting customers know about a sale going on.”
During the holidays, Stockton’s hit on another inventive display. “We created a 5-foot Christmas tree completely out of paint cans,” Gordziel added. “Then we decorated it with lights. It was the only tree we needed for the season.”
Wade Sturkie, owner, E.D.’s Paint and Decorating, Lexington, S.C., takes full advantage of supplier-provided displays at E.D.’s Paint and Decorating. These include the latest displays from his main paint supplier and vignettes from a well-known brand of window treatments. The store also has several windows but Sturkie prefers to feature products with eye-catching posters rather than with vignettes.
Sturkie changes the displays as often as they are updated by suppliers. As an example, he noted that his main paint supplier offers a display for a line of paints that ties in with a well-known home-furnishings retailer. “(The supplier) comes out with a new selection of colors for each season, so that display changes quarterly,” he reported. His window treatment displays, meanwhile, change about twice a year.
One of Sturkie’s favorite displays of late has been for a new line of “green” paints. “We carry that whole line. It’s approximately 20 different paints, from flats to semi-glosses and everything in between, and the display is just impressive-looking. If you’re into ‘green’ products, then you’ll gravitate toward that,” he explained.
Sturkie added that he uses a combination of the Internet and in-store displays to hook his customers. “I find that most people find us through the Internet; few people use Yellow Page anymore. And then the displays actually play a huge part once they get in-store,” he said.
While Sturkie believes that most customers come through his door intentionally to purchase paint or another product, he does get some browsers. Accounting for probably 20 percent of walk-in trade, browsers are mostly likely to look closely at displays, Sturkie said. For these walk-ins, displays can play a key sales role—”once they get their foot in the door,” he added.
Sturkie isn’t convinced that display merchandising alone ever nails down a sale. “To me, paint is a select product. When you’re ready to paint, you’ll come to the store and pick a color and carry it out,” he said.
Still, he acknowledged that good-looking displays help him keep up the store appearance—which, by the way, gets rave reviews from fans on the store’s Facebook page. He noted that no one likes to shop among messy displays. “We’re in a small, upscale community, so I try to keep the store looking upscale, too,” he said, “by keeping shelves and aisles neat and stuff off the floor.”
Tags: Store displays