Surprise Elements in Displays

I frequently stumble on store displays that make me stop and take note and well… take pictures, of course. When I step in for a closer look, I am occasionally thrilled by a surprise element. That happened recently in the charming town of Franklin, Tennessee.

anthropologie store display The staggered display tables at the Anthropologie on Main Street in Franklin were merchandised beautifully with a nice element of plants and an attractive height feature hanging above for visual interest.

Anthro Visual Merchandising

Here’s the view from above. Stunning from all angles.

Store display Anthropologie

When I got close enough to touch it, the flowers were made from paper cupcake liners, as I had suspected, but on closer look…

Anthro display franklin tn

The buds are actually balloons! Wow.

Leave a comment with your thoughts. Do you love Anthropologie displays as much as I do?

Stay display inspired!



Display Tips: taking visual merchandising clues from products

For many gift retailers, the summer equals trade show season. Buyers are off to market centers to place wholesale orders. In addition to viewing new product introductions, taking advantage of show specials and educational opportunities, the savviest retailers spend some time “at market” gathering display inspiration and noting ideas for visual merchandising to create once the new merchandise arrives in-store. In planning showroom and booth displays, professional merchandisers and designers look to the products for simple display techniques that will catch the eye of potential buyers. Here’s a simple “before and after” table display I designed for Transpac Imports inside AmericasMart.

Assignment: Create a dynamic display for the introduction of Transpac’s Talking Totems.

Talking Totems at Transpac Imports showroom at AmericasMart Atlanta

Talking Totems at Transpac Imports showroom at AmericasMart Atlanta

These colorful, meaningful message totems were to be displayed in the everyday section of the showroom, but they also were being introduced in holiday and Halloween versions in different areas of the showroom.

Challenge: Create eye-catching table displays that were cohesive enough for three locations in the showroom, but stood alone as feature displays.

Answer: Look for common colors or patterns throughout the everyday, holiday and Halloween versions of the products. The answer was clearly a black and white stripe.

Visual merchandising, Talking Totems "before" shot at Transpac Imports showroom at AmericasMart Atlanta

Talking Totems “before” shot at Transpac Imports showroom at AmericasMart Atlanta

When I arrived, the talking totem table was in place, ready for the transformation. My supplies included round table cloths and some custom risers. Here’s the “after” shot of the every day line of talking totems:

Talking Totems "After" shot at Transpac Imports showroom at AmericasMart Atlanta

Talking Totems “After” shot at Transpac Imports showroom at AmericasMart Atlanta

The bold, black and white stripes were perfect for the every day line, as well as the holiday and Halloween selections. I added red and black risers for varying heights within the display and I placed some gold risers in the holiday display. I used a woven, silk rope curtain tie-back to gather and secure the tablecloth around the pedestal tables. Honestly, steaming/ironing the tablecloths was the most time consuming part of this project.

I feel like the black and white choice was ideal to spotlight this fun product introduction and a great example of letting the product styling “speak to” the visual merchandising decisions. Buyers: Take notes and take pictures of the products you order, looking closely for clues to display ideas and the vendor showrooms are an amazing source for inspirations.

If you want to see some fun display ideas – and great products – visit the Transpac showrooms this summer at the shows. I enjoyed creating some of the visuals in their Atlanta showroom in Building 1, 19th floor #19-D12.

I hope to see you at the summer gift & home shows. Watch the Retail Details blog Facebook page for information about the panels and seminars I will be presenting at the shows. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, too.

Stay display inspired!


Anatomy of a trade show booth

I had the pleasure of interviewing Alejandra Remijio about her work on the Danica Studio trade show booth at NY NOW. You may know Alejandra as a designer of one of a kind and limited edition table linens, but she is also a talented retail visual concept designer in New York and beyond.

Danica NYNOW booth

Danica Studio booth at NY NOW

Q (Becky): How closely do you follow a plan-o-gram in booth setup?

A (Alejandra): To execute the set up, I used a booth layout schematic for the fixtures and photos to place the merchandise. This particular layout was patterned after the booth in Atlanta at AmericasMart. It’s very important to keep the look of your brand consistent, so your customers can recognize you at these big trade shows.

Danica NYNOW booth before

Danica NYNOW booth: a blank slate!

Q: General tips from a VM expert?

A: No matter what kind of job I’m hired to do, I always bring my own tools – scissors, tape, twine, glue etc. Know your clients brand vision and always remember the ultimate goal is to sell merchandise. Also, tell a story with the product and have fun!

Danica NYNOW booth

Q: What are the main benefits and features of the perimeter racks?

A: The racks are a great way to display a lot of merchandise in a small area. With these fixtures, the upper as well as lower part of the space is being utilized. Also, the shelves have various heights which allow you to stack product, feature larger items and incorporate different vessels to showcase the merchandise. These custom racks have rungs at the top where hooks and various other creative merchandising techniques can be used.

Danica NYNOW booth

Danica Studio custom racks

Q: How does the merchandising plan for a table differ from racks?

Danica NYNOW booth

A: Merchandising a front table is always a lot of fun! It’s an opportunity to attract first time customers, as well as feature new and best selling products. Having catalogues and other marketing materials available on a front table encourages the customer to take one, with the hope that they will follow up at a later date.

THANKS Alejandra! View her table linens at Copper Colored Gal Designs or email her for visual merchandising inquiries.

Becky’s notes from the booth visit:

Notes: Alternating vertical and horizontal stacks is an eye-catching visual merchandising technique.

Danica Studio NYNOW booth at Javits Center

Danica Studio NYNOW booth at Javits Center

The signage in the booth is clear and consistent and located on each wall.

Danica Studio NYNOW- Javits Center

Danica Studio NYNOW- Javits Center

Feature items with a common theme in one grouping to encourage sales of an entire collection. Create a “display story”.

Stay display inspired!

In other news – The next retail road trip will be to the Nashville, TN, so if you know of any unique, clever indie shops we should visit, let us know! Also, the full print article about the remodel of the Naples Soap Company Key West retail store is available to view online at the Gifts & Decorative Accessories magazine website, click here to read it. ~Becky

Retail Roadtrip Atlanta, GA part two

We have been fortunate to visit Atlanta several times of late. This post is part two of three, celebrating the retail revival happening in Hotlanta right now! (To view part one, click here.)

Ponce City Market Atlanta Georgia

Ponce City Market. 

Formerly a Sears, Roebuck & Co. distribution center and the largest brick building in the Southeastern United States, Ponce City Market is a historic ten story, 2.1 million square foot structure. The building is being restored as a mixed-use development with offices, retail and residential spaces.

Ponce City Market Atlanta GA

As you enter from the parking garage, you pass through an original freight elevator. We applaud the developers’ efforts to stay true to the history of the building.

Ponce City Market Atlanta GA

Retail areas include interior and exterior entrances. It’s almost impossible to distinguish old from new, as the industrial theme continues throughout.

Ponce City Market Atlanta GA


The interior is vast with columns at every turn.

Ponce City Market Atlanta GA


Bellina Alimentari Market made the best of the columns for display space, constructing custom shelves that wrap around just inside the entrance from the food hall.

Ponce City Market Atlanta GA Bellina


Williams-Sonoma embraced the columns in their visual merchandising, as well:

Ponce City Market Atlanta Williams-Sonoma store display


In an interesting visual twist, one wall of the Williams-Sonoma shop is actually an interior window, that looks right into a neighboring restaurant:

Ponce City Market Williams Sonoma Atlanta



Ponce City Market West Elm Atlanta

Bold textures were a theme at West Elm; in-store, above, and in the store windows, below.

Ponce City Market West Elm store window ATL visual merchandising

One of my favorite display surprises, were these “vinyl” shingles on the roof:

Ponce City Market West Elm Atlanta


ANTHROPOLOGIE – The store displays at Anthro, never disappoint. Sometimes the simplicity is stunningly effective:

Ponce City Market Anthropologie Atlanta

And, sometimes the complexity of the logistics have us looking very close…

Ponce City Market Anthropologie Atlanta, GA

But always intriguing, Anthropologie’s display design teams are some of the most talented in the retail visual merchandising business!

Ponce City Market Anthropologie Atlanta, GA

Here’s another view of the Anthro table:

Ponce City Market Anthropologie Atlanta, GA

Stay tuned for part 3 of the Atlanta Retail Roadtrip, with much more from Ponce City Market…

Ponce City Market Atlanta Georgia

I’ll be in NYC at the end of the month, presenting a seminar about retail trends at NY NOW on January 31, 2016. I’d love to meet you if you are at the show!

Follow Retail Details blog on social media to see display images from the trade shows and retail visits. InstagramFacebookTwitter — Pinterest

Stay display inspired!