Set the scene to help store stand out
Home & Textiles Today Staff -- Casual Living, January 6, 2012
There is diversity between specialty retail stores across this country that offer a range of casual living products as well as high quality service to their customers. This difference is displayed in the store's product selection, color palette, merchandising mix and retail artistry.
A very important step that you can engage in as a specialty retailer is to differentiate your store from your nearby competitors and big-box rivals. Distinguish your store by conveying your key principles, your company's culture and communicate a captivating story. One method to accomplish this is through branding, and another technique is through visual merchandising. It is of the utmost importance that you accentuate the luxuriousness and romance of the merchandise that you offer.
Now is the most favorable time for casual furniture retailers to set in motion this strategy. During this juncture when you are changing your floor layout from holiday to spring, just as everyone is imagining warm weather, spring flowers and balmy ocean breezes, you want to create a multitude of settings that can be accomplished with preparation and planning, utilizing vignettes to impart the story that you want to tell.
The key element to any vignette is the story. Once conceived you add the elements that will furnish the desired effect. The elements are the details that enhance the plot. One key feature is the fabric. Choose a color that strengthens the storyline as you contemplate texture and coordinates. Accompany the fabric selection with a stylish outdoor area rug. Draw attention to a seating scene with attractive outdoor throw pillows and an outdoor throw blanket. Add a coffee table book relating to outdoor cooking, entertaining or faraway places.
Creative displays oft en utilize the visual effects of height, layering and cross-merchandising, which will contribute to the success of your store as you create retail expressions.
January is the perfect month to create a firepit or fireplace vignette in your store. Envision a cold winter day, followed by great conversation and a hot cup of coffee or hot cocoa while relaxing in rocking club chairs around a firepit or fireplace. Setting the scene with warm tone fabrics such as deep oranges and browns, soft cozy throw blankets in coordinating colors, an outdoor area rug to add more warmth, mugs of steaming hot cocoa and some jazz music playing in the background. The aroma of hot cocoa in your store will draw your customers into this special space.
Reflect your diversity in the store's blend of products from wall décor, permanent botanicals, decorative candles, sculptures, decorative pillows and tabletop accessories. As you appeal to the customer's senses, you will create an emotional attachment to your store, vignette or outdoor living space, which will encourage them to stay longer and return over and over again.
Dallas-based Into the Garden sets the scene by creating a refi ned rustic outdoor dining table top.
Sunset Patio in Scottsdale, Ariz. showcases an outdoor lounge with Asian -inspired accessories.