Retail Display Shelves Best Practices

Today’s post celebrates a few stores that are “getting it right” with store display shelves. Stay display inspired!

London Avenue Designs, Rockford IL, visual merchandising, retail store, store displays, retail design

London Avenue Designs in Rockford, IL.

I love the shelves at London Avenue Designs in Rockford, IL. The unit is a beautiful design and ideal for the layout of the space and size of the wall. The placement of products is strategic – note the use of multiple (mostly in threes) and the use of plants. The branches are a focal point to catch customers’ attention and pictures inside the frames draw them in for a closer look. Heavy and bulky items on the bottom shelves anchor the display and the smaller items are neatly placed at eye level and within reach. This is a lovely store display fixture and the tall ladder to the left is a nice touch, too!

Art of Home, Cambridge, Ontario, visual merchandising, retail store, store displays, retail design

The Art of Home in Cambridge, Ontario

Message pillows are best displayed more like signs or artwork, as shown at The Art of Home in Cambridge, Ontario. Side by side, the matching shelf units feature a nice mix of soft lines with a few home decor products mixed in for visual interest. Art of Home Cambridge, Ontario, visual merchandising, retail store, store displays, retail design

Did you notice the “We Customize” pillow? Bravo! Nice touch. No sign needed.

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Stay display inspired!


Retail Roadtrip Atlanta, GA part one

The last few months have found us in Atlanta, GA several times for business and for pleasure. Of course, when your job involves store visits and showroom visual merchandising, business IS pleasure! What a nice surprise to find so many new shopping destinations in the city.


The Merchant at Krog Street Market

First stop: Krog Street Market. Located along the BeltLine trail, the mixed use space is designed to be as authentic as the 1920’s warehouse it’s built into. It’s called a food hall, but is home to some very interesting retail offerings, as well.


The Merchant at Krog Street Market

A supplier of industrial chic wares, general gifts, stationery, and home furnishings, The Merchant carries brands like Rifle Paper and Fishs Eddy. One of the first displays I noticed was this intriguing set of ladder shelves:


In for a closer look, the rope accents are perfect to complement the beautiful wood of the thin shelves. The orange is just the right shade to catch customers’ attention.


The Merchant at Krog Street Market

The main building retains some of the industrial, warehouse feel, but with added modern touches in the food and retail spaces.


Krog Street Market food hall, Christmas 2015

Mosaic patterns in the wood add warmth to the communal eating area (pictured above). Some of the retail areas appear to be pop-up shops and others have more permanent fixtures, like the lovely space of Mama Soap Co:


Krog Street Market is the second location for The Merchant. We visited The Merchant at Howell Mill on a different day. The expectations were high, having seen the newer location, but we were not disappointed in the least!


The Merchant at Howell Mill, Atlanta GA

This location also has a giant hanging canoe and I was in awe of all the beautiful vintage props in both of their stores. Here’s a closer look at the ornament display:


I could write an entire blog post about the vintage pieces in this store and maybe I will after gift show season! The cubbies in this area were so perfectly charming and one of my favorite areas of the store:


Did you notice that the tree has no ornaments or items for sale? That would normally be a visual merchandising no-no to give up such prime selling space, but the designers utilized display space so well throughout the stores, that I got over it. I found myself really digging the white lights trees, having seen the impact at both of their stores.

Before leaving the West Side area, I noticed a Shop Local store window. (Cue the sound of screeching brakes!)


Crafted Westside

Inside Crafted Westside, vignettes filled the large space. Some were individual artists and others were cross merchandised with complementary product lines. All merchandise seemed to be artist-created, few duplicates and with a nice variety of products and price ranges, this is anything but a craft show moved indoors!


Crafted Westside

Most of the fixtures reflected the handmade vibe and such a cute sandwich sign out front, too:


Next stop: Ponce City Market, so stay tuned for a history lesson and some superb visual merchandising inspiration soon!

Meanwhile, if you are attending AmericasMart this week for the gift and home show, I’d love to meet you. I am moderating a panel of super-star retailers on Saturday, January 16 at 2PM. Details on the website under the events tab.

Not going to Atlanta this time? I’ll be in NYC at the end of the month, presenting a seminar about retail trends at NY NOW. 

Follow Retail Details blog on social media to see display images from the trade shows. Links to my social media sites are in the blog sidebar.

Hope to see you soon. Stay display inspired!


Retail Details celebrates display props. Cheers!

NOTE: Click here or go to “Display Contest” under PAGES in the sidebar of this blog  to read about the Retail Details Store Display Contest. We are still accepting entries through the end of November.

Loopy Mango, Retail Details blog, store display, display propsThere’s an eclectic little shop on Grand Street in New York City and they are quite well known for their interesting store display props. Loopy Mango  is a lifestyle and accessories boutique in SoHo which features a curated collection and ranges from designer and vintage clothing, shoes and jewelry to antiques, home goods and furniture. Here’s a picture of one of their recent store windows (below) that confirms my decision to bump this shop up on my “must see” list for my next visit to the city. The motorcycle is fun, but I love the irony of the bunny in the basket and the bird (pillow) in the cage. I can’t wait to visit the nearly 2000 square feet of pure loopiness.

Loopy Mango, Retail Details blog, 10-25-10

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I have been on a quest to visit shopping areas that consist of indy-owned businesses. I found such an area in Dallas and it’s called the Bishop Arts District. Located just a few miles from downtown, the area consists of several blocks, which the nearly 50 local merchants call “the BAD”. Since I am always on the lookout for unique displays, I would be remiss not to mention one of the stores I visited there, whose displays were outstanding: 

Indigo 1745, Retail Details blog, 10-25-10Indigo 1745 is a men’s and women’s boutique, specializing in premium denim and sportswear. Owner, Denise Manoy credits her husband with most of the visual merchandising ideas and creations, including the store name letters on the wall, as pictured here. If you look closely, the letters are made from frames, tiles, wood and foam core and adorned with textures of lace, paint and denim.

Poppy Arts, Retail Details blog, 10-25-10Is your packaging part of your holiday visual merchandising plan? Poppy Arts, in Columbia, MO, used their boxes as part of this window display. They added black ribbons and red poppies, along with their logo sticker on plain kraft boxes. The box bottoms serve as jewelry displays. Poppy began as a small, specialty art gallery and now represents over 200 artists.  

Rebekah Brooks store, Retail Details blog 10-25-10Red birds and holly berries, with a little bit of greenery, creates a holiday feel on these display shelves at the Rebekah Brooks  retail store in Northampton, MA. The shop sells handcrafted jewelry made in their studio in Western Massachusetts and they also sell unique gifts. Shown here are before and after pictures to exhibit how effective a few small, simple props can be.

NEWS: It is with great excitement that I announce that I have taken a job as a prop shopper for a new company called The Display Lab, opening soon. Nothing will change here at the Retail Details blog. I’ll still be writing, editing and choosing the pictures for Retail Details. I will continue to handle most of the social media and correspondence, but I will have help with some marketing and blog advertisers (two of the top sidebar ad spots are available, by the way). 

Join the visual merchandising conversations with the Retail Details blog on Facebook and Twitter, too.

You can submit your store display pictures to be considered for blog inclusion or email me at

Stay display inspired!

Retail Details blog, Becky Tyre, Swirl Marketing~Becky

Store display ideas, inspirations and props

Tuni Winter Park Orlando Florida Go Magic

GO MAGIC! Tuni - Park Ave, Winter Park, FL (Orlando)

GO MAGIC! I’m not much of a sports fan, so it took me a few minutes to realize the relevance of the brooms in this store window display at TUNI on Park Avenue in Winter Park, Florida. Apparently, the Orlando Magic basketball team “swept” the semi-finals and move on to the final round of the Eastern Conference NBA playoffs, which start today. I was visiting Orlando a few weeks ago and every direction I looked, I saw signs of support for the local team. I saw more GO MAGIC signs in people’s yards than I expect to see the week before a national political election. TUNI’s windows are alwaysworth a visit and they are normally filled with lovely clothing from Tibi, Nanette Lepore and – if it’s my lucky day- some Cynthia Vincent wedges (sigh). I

Pitter Patter children's, Retail Details blog

Pitter Patter - Bath, Maine

applaud the Orlando area for their community spirit and kudos to TUNI for getting my vote for the best GO Magic window.

This display rocks, literally. A music theme is a simple display to create. The props are easily located and music is never out of style. This display at Pitter Patter children’s store in Bath, Maine, does not need props, though. The onesies and shirts set the theme and too many props could distract from the merchandise.

Speaking of music displays, several drums and guitar amps are the perfect props for the rock band t-shirts folded neatly on the tiered tables in this next picture.

There’s a store in Illinois with a rockin’ decor. You can’t tell in this picture, below, but they have great rock star artwork and even have vintage Rolling Stone Magazines on their coffee table. With a large selection of jeans for men and women, Cityblue Apparel & Denim in Chicago displays one of the best ideas I have seen in a long while.

Cityblue Apparel & Denim, Retail Details blog, Chicago, IL

Cityblue Apparel & Denim - Chicago, IL

 They use polaroid pictures to show what the jeans look like when “on”. You may be surprised what information a simple picture can provide: low rise or mid rise, loose fit or skinny, low or high pockets, straight leg or boot cut. They have these polaroids by their jean displays in both the men’s and women’s areas. I suspect this tool works well for their male customers, especially those who like to shop by waist size and not have to try anything on.

Props, ideas and inspirations: Retail Details blog, store display ideas

Notice the base for this eyeglasses display. It is simply a 12″ x 12″ sheet of mosaic tiles.  They are available in various colors and finishes. I’d like to see them lining the bottom shelf of a jewelry display case, perhaps in a shiny, irridescent finish. The mesh backing is easy to cut to custom fit the area you are trying to cover.

While at the home improvement store, you could visit the garden area to create this display for Store display ideas, Retail Details bloggrouping small items. The tiered metal piece adds height and the small terra cotta pots will not topple easily. Shown here, they are displaying beauty products in sample sizes, but it could make a nice display for loose beads and other crafting supplies, makeup brushes, wine bottle stoppers, etc.

If you have round racks for apparel in your store, I hope that you utilize the top space as a 360 round feature area. Store fixture companies sell rounder toppers in glass, wood and colored mica. Patty at the Wandering Wardrobe, in Springville, Utah, gets some of the selling space back by creating accessory displays above the clothing on her rounders.

Wandering Wardrobe, rounder display, Retail Details blog

Wandering Wardrobe - Springville, UT

 This spring display uses a clear vase to feature a pair of shoes and a scarf. One common mistake is when retailers try to put too much merchandise on the rounder topper and it looks cluttered. If you really need to pile stuff up there, get the round wire basket topper instead. The round basket topper works best for loose items or for a clearance area.

Millers Too, Retail Details blog

Millers Too - Bonner Springs, KS

Small step ladders are a common display prop.  Millers Too in Bonner Springs, Kansas, uses one to create a display of cleaning products. They have a nice sign from the vendor that ties the display together. It creates it’s own small department, which works well for gift, accessory and home decor stores. Ask your sales reps or contact vendors for signage and other promo materials. Sometimes they have entire display fixtures available for a nominal fee or possibly free with a sizable Retail Details blog, earring display, ladder displaypurchase.  Showrooms are a great source for such ideas.

Here’s a similar step ladder, but this one has been decoupaged and some hook lace added to create an earring display.

Retail Details blogThis one’s just to make you smile. It’s an actual store display for the Poo Pourri bathroom spray deodorizer. (Full size toilet).

When I walk up and down the aisles of trade shows and wholesale markets, I look for display ideas and inspirations. I went to the ASD Gift Show in Las Vegas and found a number of great display pieces that retailers could purchase at wholesale,  just by meeting a small “minimum”. Here are a few that I found at the DeLeon Collections booth. Most of their products are sold in threes, but the larger items (like the red derrick) are sold singly.Retail Details blog, store display props Product showrooms in the merchandise marts are a favorite source for display ideas. You can ask the sales reps, showroom managers and vendor representatives for display ideas, signage and literature when you order their products.  Your sales reps may also have ideas from the many other stores that they visit. Many permanent product showrooms have a display team, so take note of their display ideas.  Thanks to the Just Got 2 Have It showroom in the Atlanta Americasmart for allowing me to share these two:

Just Got 2 Have It showroom, Retail Details blog

Just Got 2 Have It Showroom - Atlanta, GA

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Stay display inspired!

Retail Details blog, Becky Tyre, Swirl Marketing~Becky