Christmas Tree Alternatives for Small Retail Spaces and Store Windows

Welcome November! Online voting has closed for the store display contest with Paddywax Candles and Gifts & Decorative Accessories magazine. The submissions were amazing and the top three moved on to the judges to determine the grand prize winner, which will be announced in the December issue of the magazine. You can still view the stores that entered in an album on the Retail Details blog Facebook page.

Meanwhile, we get so many requests for ideas for Christmas tree alternatives to use in small retail spaces and store windows, so we are sharing some of our favorites. Looking for more? Check out the Retail Details pinterest boards and @RetailDetails on Instagram, too!










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Stay Display Inspired!

VOTE for your favorite store displays!

20+ stores entered the Stores That Shine store display contest and the submissions are fabulous! Online voting is now closed and the top three entries are in the hands of the judges. The grand prize winner will be announced on December 1.

You may vote once per day through November 1, 2015.


Contest details: Retail Details blog and Gifts & Decorative Accessories magazine partnered with Paddywax Candles to co-sponsor the Stores That Shine store display competition. Over 20 retailers sent in pictures of their store displays and now it’s time for you to vote. The winning store will receive $1000 msrp in Paddywax Candle merchandise, a magazine feature, a visual merchandising consultation and a three year subscription to the magazine. The winner will be announced in the December issue of Gifts & Decorative Accessories.

Halloween is hip to be square!

In the retail world, the changing of seasons is a really big deal in the US. In the fall, it means the marking down of anything “summery”, unless the store is located in a coastal area. While unpacking and pricing Christmas products, Labor Day comes and goes and retailers must decide how to merchandise for Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas at the same time! Retail_Details_blog_ABC_Simplicity_store_window_halloween_2015-1

Sometimes Halloween gets lost in the mix, but not at Simplicity ABC in Kirkland, Washington. The store windows are filled with fun!Retail_Details_blog_ABC_Simplicity_store_window_halloween_2015-4Big, bold, square Halloween icons are the feature of each window, with some spiders and ghosts strategically placed for good measure.Retail_Details_blog_ABC_Simplicity_store_window_halloween_2015-2Have you ever noticed that Jack-o-lanterns can be in any shape? The triangle eyes are the key. If you put triangle-shaped eye holes on a ghost sheet, you would expect to see a pumpkin when you pulled the sheet off, right?Retail_Details_blog_ABC_Simplicity_store_window_halloween_2015-3Paper plates as googly eyes on the mummy. Simple. Superb. Kudos, Simplicity ABC staff! Thanks for making us smile. And, extra thanks to our friends at Crystal Media for turning us on to these fun windows!

Happy Halloween, retail friends. It is no longer just about costumes and candy. It’s the second-biggest decorating holiday of the year — right behind Christmas. But ,don’t skip Thanksgiving, as those are some of our favorite displays to see!

Want more display ideas? Follow Retail Details blog and Becky on instagram, facebook, twitter and pinterest. Stay display inspired!


NY Now Trade Show Booths part three

Many vendors, sales representatives, artists and manufacturers attend trade shows to gain exposure for their products. Booth costs vary by location within the show, square footage of the booth space and the amenities provided. Some designers build entire storefronts and others simply set up a table within a white-curtained booth. Creativity is key to an effective booth, regardless of the trade show set-up budget. Smart retailers take note of display ideas and techniques used at the shows and find ways to incorporate display trends in-store once the show season is over. I walked the aisles of NY Now at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and gathered pictures of some effective booth designs and trends in visual merchandising. Enjoy and stay display inspired!aug2015craftholicnynow1I’m always on the lookout for unique ways to display plush animals and dolls. A display dilemma that many retailers face, it is one of the most requested topics during the years I have been writing this blog. The playful simplicity of the Craftholic booth is eye-catching and the circles and stripes actually reflect the patterns on the plush toys.aug2015craftholicnynow2Creating a similar “stripe” wall in a retail setting would not be difficult. Not only does it work well to display multiple sizes of plush animals, it could be used to display clothing, throws, tables linens and would be especially fun for a pillow display.


Plush company, sigikid-usa “pulled” the focal point of their booth display all the way from California…

aug2015sigikidusanynowThe owners of sigikid-usa, along with their 5 year old son, left California at the beginning of summer and pulled the branded teardrop trailer all the way to NY for the show, stopping at retailers along the way. I was fortunate to follow their story on behalf of Playthings/Gifts & Decorative Accessories Magazine and you can click here to read the article about the journey.


Before leaving the plush theme, I must mention one of my favorite display ideas spotted at the show. The display cubbies in the Elegant Baby booth were filled with floating products, playfully suspended by thin rope in various configurations. Sometimes the best ideas are so simple, yet create superb results!aug2015elegantbabynynow
Booths may come with a small sign showing the booth number or it may be placed on the floor, but in most cases, vendors are required to provide their own signs. I use the word in plural, as it is important to show brand identity from several angles since you want to catch the eye of attendees coming from either direction.aug2015spitfiregirlnynow The brand name at the Spitfire Girl booth is a great example as it is easy to read and is included in a spot that includes products and a theme that represents the line perfectly.


Tinsel Trading had an easy-to-read sign at the NY Now show and an interesting display theme that was practical and functional!aug2015tinseltradingnynow3
aug2015tinseltradingnynow1Most of the booth displays were created from corrugated cardboard.
aug2015tinseltradingnynow2Lightweight, yet surprisingly sturdy, cardboard is easy to work with and provides great texture in visual merchandising, too!


Some booth builders and display designers arrive a few days in advance of a show and head straight to thrift stores and Ikea to purchase tables and fixtures and props for trade show booths. Other vendors ship in elaborate booths designed by a corporate team. There is much to be learned from all of these efforts. A key component of an effective booth ambiance is the vibe of the area and how it relates to the product being sold.
Note how the hutch in the Drumming Beetle booth, represents the country feel of the soft fruits and vegetables on display in the baskets. Sometimes you need a large piece to display smaller items.aug2015drummingbeetlenynow


Desks become useful display tables, especially when they have several shelves. Sometimes they even have a drawer for brochures and business cards. Also of note in this Kobo Candles booth was the use of relevant props and clear branding. This corner was so inviting.aug2015kobonynow


Another of my favorite displays was this tabletop house-shaped installation at the Ore Originals booth.aug2015oreoriginalsnynow


At trade shows, just like in a retail setting, you cannot count on overhead lighting to show products at their best.aug2015OlivinaNyNowbooth
The Olivina booth is a lovely example of product lighting done right. The lights are adjustable and extend far enough from the wall to illuminate an entire bank of shelves.aug2015olivinanynow2


Before concluding this wrap-up of the booth displays at the Summer NY Now show, I’d like to remind readers to watch for display inspirations in the lobbies of trade shows, too. Many shows have special areas that spotlight new products and featured sections like eco-friendly or fair trade products or products that win awards like Best New Product.
Vendors can opt for space in the lobby to give a preview of new products and lure you to visit their booths inside the show. Easy Tiger used the space to place their signature card vending machine.aug2015easytigernynow2A sucker for renovated vending machines, the lure worked and I visited their booth to see what fun, new products they have, shown here:aug2015easytigernynowI have enjoyed watching Easy Tiger grow over the years and I hope to visit their home office in Kansas City, MO, someday. I hear it is located in an converted chemistry lab which sounds like it is right up my alley! Perhaps I can add it to the next retail roadtrip itinerary.

I hope you are inspired by the posts of some of my favorite displays from the NY Now show. It was a busy summer with seminars, writing assignments and speaking engagements at various gift shows. The highlight of the summer was a retail roadtrip that included dozens of stores in CT, NY and MA. Stay tuned for lots of display ideas found along the way. I invite you to follow the blog on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, too. Those links are in the sidebar of this blog post.

Stay display inspired!