3 Unexpected Places to find Merchandising Inspiration

Posted on: November 20th, 2014 by Rob Baumhover


HME Retailers,

How many times have you walked into your favorite clothing or department store to see a new or different display than the last time you were there? As a retailer, keeping your store looking fresh is vital to keeping your customers engaged and interested in their shopping experience (and ensuring they keep coming back for more!).

It’s important to make regular adjustments and shifts to your category displays and product placement, but sometimes it seems like updating your visual merchandising is easier said than done. Are you often stuck wondering which items you should be moving, how often, and where you can get some inspiration? Here are a few ‘out-of-the-box’ places for HME Retailers to explore to get some merchandising insight:

Pinterest.com is a website that allows users to share and explore information on a number of topics including health, fashion and recipes, but it can also be a hub of knowledge for small business owners. From advertising ideas, to event planning, to setting up an eye catching window or product display, retailers can find links to a number of helpful websites. Search some of these taglines to find great merchandising tips on Pinterest:

“Merchandising ideas”
“Small business merchandising”
“Product display ideas”
“Window displays”
“Retail displays”
“Small business retail”

The stores of your competitors are a great place for merchandising ideas because they carry many of the same types of products and serve the same customer base. Ideas you notice in these stores can often be directly implemented in your own store with the same expected effect. When scouting a competitor’s store, ask yourself these questions:

Can you pick out their best-selling category just by how it’s merchandised?
Does their fixture placement direct you to a certain area of the store?
Where do they place impulse and seasonal products, and how are they displayed?

Local Specialty or Boutique Stores:
HME stores have a lot in common with specialty and boutique stores in that both carry somewhat ‘niche’ product lines and serve a fairly targeted customer base. Take a field trip to locally owned clothing boutiques, novelty stores, party supply stores, or gift stores. Visiting a specialty store that’s not your direct competitor will give you an opportunity to ask questions of managers and staff. Here are some questions to keep in mind:

Where in the store do they place their top sellers?
How do they decide on product moves?
How often do they remerchandise?
Where do they find inspiration for their window and product displays?
What’s currently working for them in terms of product display? What would they change?