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Is Your Store Visually Appealing?

Avatar photo by Casey Woods, Executive Director | June 29, 2015

The Holidays are right around the corner (only 92 days until Christmas, can you believe it?). Is your store ready for 4th quarter? There are some very simple steps you can take to have a clean, visually pleasing store that customers enjoy shopping in! Some of these may seem like common sense, but it’s good to have a reminder of the basics.

Keep your Store Tidy

Nothing turns off a customer like a cluttered or dirty store. Keep your store clean and your merchandise organized.  Merchandise should not be on the floor or ground level. If customers have to bend over to pick it up, it is too low.

Deep clean once a month. Take a Sunday afternoon or evening with the store is closed and dust baseboards, clean fixtures, etc. You’d be surprised how much can accumulate!

Your store should always look full, but not cluttered. If you are low on inventory and are waiting on a new shipment, shuffle some things around so that racks or shelves aren’t empty.

Keep clothing racks Neat and Organized

A cluttered rack can be overwhelming. Take the time to size your racks (smalls in front, mediums in middle, etc) and make sure they aren’t too full. If you have cascading racks, keep no more than 2 hangers per hook, and keep the same number of hangers on each hook.

Multiple types of hangers on a rack can make it look junky. Stick to one type of hanger for a cleaner look. While wooden hangers are nice, they can also be expensive. Plastic hangers are fine, as long as they are the same color. Wire hangers tend to look cheaper, so steer clear of those.

*Crafty Hint- A fun way to perk up your hanger situation is to wrap them with fabric. Its very easy and livens up a display! CLICK HERE for a tutorial.

Change it up!

Change your displays often. Move merchandise around. Putting it in a new location can give it new life. While you should always put your newest merchandise on display, find ways to incorporate older inventory as well. For example, pair an older necklace with a new top.

Place complementary products together. If you sell DVD players, DVDs should be close by. Selling shoes? Socks should be next to them, etc. Pairing these items together can help increase the total sale.

Put a Price Tag on Everything

Price is a large factor in deciding whether to buy an item. Customers like to make those decisions without having to go up to the counter and find out how much an item costs. Make sure every item is priced and clearly marked. You may not always be available to answer questions and could miss out on a sale.

Show how to use the Products in Real Life


Mannequins are a great way to show off your merchandise. They can show a customer how to style an outfit and what it will look like with other items in the store.

If a customer comes in and says “I love your shirt! Where did you get it?” I hope your answer is “here!”. Try as much as possible to have your staff wear your items, but also use them. Your staff is your best selling tool. If they know how the product works, fits, etc they can answer questions and help encourage a sale.

Stage your items. Customers want to be able to envision where a piece will go in their home. When trying to sell large items or furniture, give them an example of how they could pair it and how to stage the room.

Start now to get these small things under control before the stress of the holiday season hits. It is easier to maintain during busy times rather than to start from scratch. Remember, Pinterest is your friend! If you are feeling like you don’t know where to begin, or just need a little bit of inspiration, Pinterest is your answer. You can find many different merchandising ideas as well as lots of fun DIY ideas to spruce up your store there.
For this article and TONS more info, check out this week’s Emporia Main Street E-newsletter!

About the Author

Casey Woods, Executive Director

Before accepting the director position in March of 2009, Casey worked in both retail and agricultural jobs in the family businesses. A lifelong resident of the Emporia Area, Casey was a ten year volunteer for Emporia Main Street prior to his appointment as director. During that time he served as the board president and chair of the Economic Vitality Committee.

Casey also serves as a partner in PlaceMakers, LLC, a consulting firm that routinely works with both large and small communities, and their businesses, to promote sustainable economic growth through community and economic development practices. Casey consults with businesses, organizations and communities to understand their market capacity and fill vacant spaces. He has been involved in two projects that included crowdfunding as a part of their overall business funding strategies, Radius Brewing and Twin Rivers Winery & Gourmet Shoppe.