Connecting Through the Art of Window Display

Whether you’re in a large city or small town, maintaining a display program is important to your business, to celebrate the change in season, create visual interest, show new product, and tell meaningful stories.

For store owners, visual managers and merchandisers, looking for new and innovative ways to keep your program fresh can be a challenge.  Creating an experience for your customers is more important than ever in today’s fast-paced internet world.

Even going to a museum to “see” an exhibition is no longer enough.  With the influence of the Millennial Generation’s shopping behaviors and need for constant stimulation, we find ourselves seeking new ways as business owners and marketing professionals to generate excitement, brand awareness, and most importantly, an experience for our guests.

One way Chicago retailers tell stories and interact with the public is through a window design contest in conjunction with the Art Institute of Chicago’s summer exhibition, Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926 – 1938.  It’s a unique way for a cultural institution like the Art Institute to create an experience outside of the museum walls, but also for retailers and store owners to find inspiration in an exhibition celebrated worldwide.

A window shopping experience that is completely free and open to the public creates brand awareness for even the smallest boutique, drives business, and celebrates the visual side of the retail industry.

No matter what city you are in, it is important to connect with “the man on the street”.   To stimulate and inspire the local community.  Tell a story they can connect with.  Your window should change on at least a seasonal basis.  This is your first impression, your chance to grab that Millennial shopper and slow them down for a moment.  Make them “think” about what is in your display, and why?

If there is an opportunity in your city to connect with a local program such as Project Windows (or even create one on your own),  you just may find a new way to refresh your rotation, both inside the store and in the windows.

Aligning your own brand with an artist, an institution, or other boutiques doing great things in your area can ultimately drive traffic and get your name on the tongues of new and potential customers looking for something truly local and unique.


Contributed by Retail Minded contributor Amanda Wolfson

Photo Credit: Provided by Amanda Wolfson with permission to use. Akira | Chicago. 



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