27 March 2010

Saturday Special: 15 Visual Merchandising Tips

Gift & Home Today invited Christi Finch to share her ideas about store displays. Christi has worked on the wholesale and retail side of home furnishings. A 2005 graduate from Texas A&M University, she is studying for a masters in merchandising and marketing at the University of North Texas. 
Contact Christi at christifitch[at]hotmail[dot]com. Follow her on Twitter: @christifitch

When you think of visual merchandising in your store, you need to imagine it is like meeting someone for the first time – you want to make the best impression possible.
Customers entering a store are greatly influenced by the visual information they gather in the first split second. Think of what grabs people’s attention: bright colors, new shapes or groupings.
Use these simple tips to keep those first impressions fresh and new:
  1. Keep the merchandise looking full even if you don’t have the stock available.
  2. Use a visual triangle shape when merchandising. Keep the sides somewhat symmetrical and the center or item towards the back tall.
  3. Place new merchandise front and center.
  4. Never block any piece of merchandise with another.
  5. Organize merchandise in a shippable manner. Do not make it too cluttered.
  6. Avoid covering tables or massing-out decorative items on furniture.
  7. Merchandise items to give customers new ideas.
  8. Be ready for anything. Have a backup plan if the merchandise in your display is sold. Know what you will replace it with next.
  9. Keep it clean! Insure that the merchandise looks as new as the day you received it.
  10. Replenish and restock as merchandise levels diminish.
  11. You want the display to be as fresh for the last person who sees it as it was for the first person.
  12. Make each display approachable so your customers want to touch and feel your merchandise.
  13. Double-expose the merchandise because this helps customers visualize your merchandise in different settings.
  14. Keep bulk or excess merchandise in close proximity to the display they are featured on.
  15. Know what looks good. After all, this is your store, and you know it better than anyone else.

26 March 2010

Vote in Homeworkshop.com's Imageglow Design Challenge

Homeworkshop.com invited its readers to submit original designs that could be used on a candle, made by Imageglow. It received 350+ entries from all over the world in its
"Imageglow Design Challenge."
A panel of judges (including me) narrowed the field to three. The winner receives a case of candles and royalties. That's a really good prize. Take a look at the finalists, then cast your vote. Voting ends Sunday, March 28.

Colorful Danish-designed housewares



Urban Butik is the North American distributor for Kahler Design, a Danish design studio. Among the many items shown at the Housewares Show in Chicago is the Mano teapot (top photo), available in turquoise, white and black. 
The Bulbino vases (second from the top) hold one stem. They are sold in pairs of one large and one small. The Cammeo boxes (above) are held together with rubber bands. Each comes with six bands to match the season.


Retailers: Contact the manufacturer for prices and minimums.

Shoppers: Ask your favorite independent retailer to order this item for you.

25 March 2010

Folding table and chairs for casual dining


The Brianna collection from Innobella by Meco is a new line of folding furniture to be exhibited at the High Point furniture market in April. The table and chair collection features clean, classic lines in a Chocolotto finish with black accents. The newly designed integrated folding mechanism is patent-pending.
The legs, frame and top skirt are made of solid hardwood. The center section is covered with a black faux-leather finish. The table measures 30 inches tall, 32 inches wide and 46 inches long. It folds to 3.25 inches.



Retailers: Contact the manufacturer for prices and minimums.

Shoppers: Ask your favorite independent retailer to order this item for you.

Happy anniversary to Gift & Home Today

Gift & Home Today  has been publishing for one year now. This is our 387th post in the last 365 days.
Our mission is to present a new product every day (well, Monday through Friday at least), to connect buyers with sellers, and spread news of the gift and home furnising industries.
That's me on the right, celebrating a birthday with my cousin and sister back in the days of the Johnson Administration.
Thank you for reading and contributing to this blog. Suggestions are always welcome.
Jim Carper, founder, editor, publisher

24 March 2010

Colorful salt and pepper grinders


There is PopArt and then there is PepArt. These pepper mills are designed exclusively for William Bounds by artist Robert Wilhelm. This is the first mixed-material PepArt design that combines painted wooden tops with metal bodies. The mills stand 9 inches and 12 inches tall. They are suitable for sea salt or peppercorns. The company exhibited the mills at the Housewares Show in Chicago last week.

Retailers: Contact the manufacturer for prices and minimums.

Shoppers: Ask your favorite independent retailer to order this item for you.

23 March 2010

Accessories for the bathroom


Simplehuman had a vertical tension pole. It turned it on its side and introduced a shower caddy (top photo) at the Housewares Show in Chicago last week.It fits spaces 55 to 73 inches wide. The aluminum rod is rust-proof and corrosion-resistant.
The company also introduced wall-mounted shampoo and soap dispensers (photo above). They come in single, twin and triple compbinations. The dispensers install with specially formulated waterproof silicone glue and double-sided adhesive tape.


Retailers: Contact the manufacturer for prices and minimums.

Shoppers: Ask your favorite independent retailer to order this item for you. 

22 March 2010

Tableware by Alyson Fox



Ink Dish launched a new collection of tableware by Austin, Texas, artist Alyson Fox at the Housewares Show in Chicago last week. The dinnerware is microwave- and dishwasher-safe porcelain. Fox, who has been called a "darling of the design blogs," is working on a clothing line with Caitlin Mociun.The items will be available in April.
See Ink Dish on Facebook and follow on Twitter: inkdish.

Retailers: Contact the manufacturer for prices and minimums.

Shoppers: Ask your favorite independent retailer to order this item for you.
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