Tips on How to Keep Your Store Merchandising Fresh & Fun

By Amanda Wolfson.

Coming off of a recent store renovation for a major national department store, I got an insider’s look at what is important in giving a retail store a makeover and keeping its aesthetics modern and fresh – no matter how large or small your store may be. Among the things that stood out?

Mannequins are still important as ever, as is artwork, color, and traditional visual merchandising.

There are endless mannequin manufacturers out there, starting at just $99 a pop. One of my go-to’s is Find the style and budget that is right for you, and choose something that speaks to your store’s demographic and style. Glossy or matte, egg head or no head, shoes, no shoes, male, female – what is the aesthetic you want to express? If you have space in your store or windows, using mannequins in groups of 2 or 3 is ideal, and choosing a variety of poses adds interest. Seated mannequins are great, as well, to create levels and even utilize a chair or bench in the store. It is ok to mix dress forms and mannequins within your space. Be sure they are styled at least once a week, with the newest merchandise.

Repainting can be a big task, so consider painting an accent wall instead of the entire store. Create a “feature wall”, with a fresh coat of paint, along with a gallery of framed prints, such as those you can find at or from your favorite local boutique. If painting is not your thing, an abstract graphic from floor to ceiling makes a major impact and is very modern. Stick to a specific color story, and don’t be afraid to go BOLD. A resource I often is

Artwork is always welcome in a retail setting, to inspire and delight your shopper. Think outside the box, it doesn’t have to be 2-dimensional. Metal sculptures or even glass terrariums are great ways to create visual interest if you’d like to try something new. Try a clear glass hanging wall terrarium, for example,  for real or faux plants. To carry this theme throughout your space, add table-top sculptures or terrariums. This creates a ‘bouncing ball’ effect, where your eye is lead from one vignette to the next.

Lastly, all retail spaces need daily upkeep in order to maintain and provide a pleasant shopping experience.

Traditional visual merchandising serves a true purpose. All hangers should match or at least coordinate, and face the same direction. Tuck your tags for clean lines. Merchandise by color (light to dark, left to right), and bring trending merchandise toward the front of the store. If sales associates have extra time, organizing your product by size is the icing on the cake to make for a wonderful shopping experience, both for visual and practical purposes.

Contributed by Amanda Wolfson. Wolfson provides prop and photo styling services to luxury hotels, corporate clients, start-up brands and publications, and is passionate about using two of her favorite things, color and composition, to tell stories. With fifteen years of experience, beginning as a visual merchandiser on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Wolfson has built lasting relationships with her clients, as well as leaders in the retail, design and advertising industries. Amanda Wolfson Productions was born from a growing demand for her expertise in the merchandising and styling worlds. 


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