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Winter 2011 Color Makes a Splash!

Regularly updating your merchandise displays is a great way to draw customer attention; and one of the simplest ways to do just that is by the judicious use of color.

As a common-area merchant you have a three- to five-second window of opportunity to grab the attention of the potential customer. So your product mix and display need to engage customers in a visual dialog.

Correctly merchandising the RMU or kiosk can mean the difference between success and failure. Improving the visual display and merchandising of an RMU can dramatically increase sales—even overnight!

Tricks for “Before and After”

Create a schedule for replacing, altering or changing the visual merchandising of your RMU or kiosk on a regular basis. Implement new visual presentations so they connect with consumer sentiment: seasonality, upcoming holidays, sporting events, even new trends in popular culture to stop them in their tracks.
When planning a new display concentrate on what changes will have the biggest impact and what new ideas will grab the attention of the consumer. The best visual displays always employ creative use of color, light, sound, and movement.

You can choose to add new display fixtures along with graphics, props, and flat screen monitors emphasizing product features. Additionally, changing product location on the RMU is a simple technique to highlight different merchandise (and regular customers will assume new merchandise has arrived).

Perhaps the most striking way to achieve a new and spectacular change in your display is by the judicious use of color. Just as a new coat of paint can change the look of and liven up a room, adding color or colors to merchandise displays will immediately impact the presentation. Always use color as a primary means of altering the display and making the biggest visual impact.

Execution of example

This example shows a toy product concept on an RMU. Observe how dull the toys appear in the “before” image. This is because they blend in with the RMU’s background. Worse, the color of the wood used to make the toys is the same as the RMU’s, which makes the toys fade away even more efficiently.

Notice the effect of adding a red panel to the top surface of the RMU. The strong contrast and bright primary color enhances the display and draws the customer’s eye to the products. Red fixtures are brought in to complement the new presentation and they too showcase the products in a manner that is hard to miss.

Color evokes feelings as it relates to a product’s presentation so choose the right color for fixtures and background.

Make sure the color you choose relates to the theme and the merchandise. For instance in our example, the bright red relates well to basic children’s toys.

As the example illustrates, use of color to draw attention really makes displays pop and that can make a real difference to your bottom line.

Sharon Loeff

Sharon Loeff, of the Scottsdale, AZ-based consulting firm, Shopworks, has been involved in the specialty leasing industry for more than thirty years. For more information, visit

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