“How To Visual Merchandise And Create Killer Retail Display Windows” by Bob Phibbs via Retail Doctor Blog plus intro to outstanding window graphics vendor who is providing a very special discount for BRA Retail Members

“How To Visual Merchandise And Create Killer Retail Display Windows” by Bob Phibbs via Retail Doctor Blog plus intro to outstanding window graphics vendor who is providing a very special discount for BRA Retail Members

Visual Merchandising is something many retailers feel challenged by.

What to put in the store window? What to put with it? How much to put in the window?

These are great questions to ask yourself. After all, your window is your brand.

It’s a physical elevator speech of why a customer should walk through your doors.

While there are similarities to visually merchandising your in-store displays, store windows seem to be the bane of most retailers.

Forgotten, alone, filled with odds and ends…and littered with dead flies.

Yet proper retail merchandising techniques make your windows a destination on your Main Street, shopping mall, and town. 

I interviewed creative director Beth Hnatio-Pumphrey about how she uses these techniques to create award-winning and selling windows in Frederick, MD. She told me, “You can have a lot of fun with a small amount of merchandise. You can use brightly colored props to draw people toward your window. I always think of it as drawing mosquitoes to the light…if it is bright, then customers will be intrigued.”

You can watch her interview here.

18 Tips To Visual Merchandise Your Brick And Mortar Store Windows:

  • Plan one month in advance. A killer retail window display takes time to create and for display ideas to come to you.
  • Create a theme. Whether it is a season or color, a theme helps unify and speak to your target audience.
  • Put in a setting. A beach, a bedroom, a picnic, or another setting helps engage the viewers’ imagination.
  • Choose props to frame your display. A few select pieces you buy or make – along with your window dressing – help draw attention.
  • Only a few key products to show off. A window is for items that might not sell as easily on a shelf as others, so make sure to give them space.
  • Find one focal piece that “pops” – probably a higher price point. That means it is colorful or has a bold pattern to attract interest.
  • Have multiple layers of height. Like a good display, you want the customer to discover various items in your killer window.
  • Keep your display at eye level for passersby. View your window display at all angles, including from a passing car.
  • Design so they can look into your store. Don’t block the entire view from your display window into your store because people attract people.
  • Limit your palette. Just like too many patterns on a person are distracting so are too many colors in your window. Focus.
  • Use at least three colors. While an all-white window might seem chic to you, it won’t draw interest like adding a bit of red and black to your window display design.
  • Include the faces of customers. Accompanying testimonials, seeing your items in their hands, and any other way you can add interest with actual customers is a plus.
  • Feature customer wants. Your higher ticket items that might not sell as quickly garner more interest than what customers need.
  • Clean it. Thoroughly clean the inside, outside, and floor of your display windows before installation
  • Light it like it’s a chrome bumper on a classic car. Lighting makes your products pop and draw interest.
  • Avoid holidays in the middle of the month. Unless it’s month-long, your windows can be outdated and make you look out of touch if you change them the day after, OK.
  • Don’t overfill. Your windows are not your stockroom. Use them to highlight your best, not as an end cap.
  • Change monthly. Just like when you are merchandising displays, they have a shelf life. Keep storefront window displays changed to keep customers (and yourself) engaged.

Two more points to avoid…

  • Avoid SALE! SALE! SALE! SALE! “Nuff said.
  • Remember you don’t want your sidewalk to be dirty, your planters filled with dead (or dying) plants or other garbage in front of the display windows you’ve spent so much time assembling.

In Sum

If your storefront display is looking a bit tired, if the merchandise is not at eye level, and the visual merchandising choices seem random to a potential customer, they will walk on to some other brand or retailer who intrigues them through their display design.

Using these visual merchandising points to create retail display windows for your shop, you’ll sell more and entice potential customers to come in and explore all you have to offer.

In many cases, board and lifestyle specialty retailers do not have sufficient space adjacent to the windows to curate actual product for the type of dynamic window displays. That is where eye-catching window graphics come into play. We, at Board Retailers Association are pleased to announce that Wright Global Graphics has come on board as a Major Supporting Vendor Partner. Learn more by playing the video and reviewing the description and special discount details below:

Wright Global Graphics is a powerhouse in creative branding, label manufacturing, retail displays, and signage. They build and energize B2B and D2C brands across a range of industries including surf, skate, and snow. They can help your retail or showroom connect your brand to the consumer and transition them from casual shopper to interested buyer. They produce a wide range of indoor and outdoor large-format products and signage – all designed to create an informative and creative retail environment. Their family-owned and operated company has served customers worldwide since 1961.

All BRA Retail Members will receive a 20% discount on the initial order of any Wright Global Graphics products or services through June 30, 2023. Be sure to email Doug Works (BRA Executive Director) via to be introduced directly to Kim Cobb (who can help you with all your window display, in-store graphics needs and more) or simply click on the following link:

We at Board Retailers Association are here to help you to succeed by providing resources and programs as well as introducing well vetted Supporting Vendor Partners that enable you to lower day to day costs, increase margins and create more remarkable customer experiences. We provide a voice for our Retail Members and will never share your information. BRA has been “protecting retailers and a lifestyle” for 20 years (since 2003). If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($100/yr.) Membership via this super simple join form