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Winter 2015
Fixture Fixation

Flat sales? Your boring old fixtures might be the problem. Learn how to fix the problem handily.

Fixtures play a strong role in visual merchandising, which in turn has a direct influence on sales, not to mention the overall success and perception of the retailer.

If you plan to be in business, look like you mean business. Visual merchandising is the direct link between the store’s personality (brand) and the product.

Sadly, too often, specialty retailers resort to a variety of mismatched fixtures obtained from salvage companies simply because of price and its ability to display the product. This often leads to a combination of different finishes and styles that creates an atmosphere associated with that of a thrift or consignment shop. This affects the overall value and perception of the retailer and the merchandise displayed.

Fixtures should enhance and work with the merchandise displayed, communicating a uniform theme throughout. This is easily achieved by utilizing fixtures of the same or complementary family of finishes and styles. This harmonization creates a powerful statement that when accompanied by graphics, signage and other support props, spurs sales.

Color and curves

RuffledBumSimplicity is often the best approach. The Ruffled Bum, a clothing line for toddlers and preschoolers, utilizes color and curves in this display to complement its signature ruffled design. The fixture also allows for departmentalization, which supports the theme in concert with color and graphics.

Rural route

Cowgirl Tuff reinforces its “western chic” theme by incorporating distressed wood, farm and country elements into the merchandising and fixture plan. This creative approach helps to drive home the storyline and build an emotional connection with the product. The use of pipe floor and wall fixtures, along with tin bins, crates, masonry block shelving and wooden pallets, adds to the overall charm and energy of this space.

Quick Tips

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  • Have fixtures purchased at a salvage store? You can still dress them up by applying common graphics (wood grain/color) to the surfaces to help create uniformity.
  • Create your own unique fixtures by embellishing and adding elements to existing ones. A visit to a local hardware store might be in the cards.
  • Explore salvage, antique and thrift locations for unique merchandising props/fixtures that complement your brand. For example, an antique claw-footed bathtub is a great storage fixture to display soaps.
  • Hire a merchandiser to train your staff on techniques that will help to maintain the look as new merchandise rolls in.

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In fine spirits

Vom Fass guides you through a European village with its vineyard flair. The fixture plan carries common wood tones and finishes that create a calm and relaxed atmosphere for shopping. The barrel fixture’s shape and wall positioning draw customers in and create a great guest interaction zone. The focus is on the product while the fixtures help carry the theme.

Brett Beaudette

Brett Beaudette serves as Lead Retail Designer and Design Manager for Mall of America, in addition to owning his own design consulting business, Ideal Productions & Design. Beaudette specializes in creating unique and successful inline, kiosk and RMU designs and merchandising strategies. He has been featured on HGTV and Travel Channel specials for his mall holiday décor and store design sets, and can be reached at brett@idealpd.net.
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