SIA Newsletter

Ali Levy’s Merchandising Tips: Working Through the Creative Process

Merchandising_102214Creative block. It happens. While I absolutely love the work of visual merchandising, sometimes I get stumped for ideas. Fortunately at this time of year I am flooded with ideas because new fall/winter product is arriving on a daily basis.  But as the season goes on it becomes harder and harder to come up with something new.

When I’m not sure what to feature in a window display, I take the following into consideration:

  • What time of year is it and what is the main product push?
  • Are there any specific promotions going on that can guide my display decision?
  • Is there a local event happening that I want to promote via window displays that have a community/shop connection?
  • What’s new and hot and needs to be put on display ASAP?
  • What are other outdoor and snow sports shops doing and how can I differentiate our shop visually?

Then using these questions I get to work planning, ensuring I rotate hard goods and soft goods. Which leads me to share my most recent window revelation. Explaining it will hopefully give you some ideas for working through your own creative process.

The skis that just arrived at the specialty outdoor shop where I work struck me instantly with the beauty of their top-sheet graphics. With Halloween on the horizon, the Icelantic skis begged to be featured in a spooky – almost mysterious – sort of window display. The graphics feature incredibly lifelike yet mythical animals, with distorted features and piercing, haunting eyes. I knew this was going to be fun to put together. Read more.
Ali LevySIA is working with visual merchandising consultant Ali Levy to provide retailers with some fresh merchandising ideas for increasing sales and interest from consumers. Levy’s impressive resume includes managing retail, buying and trade show/retail merchandising efforts for some of the industry’s biggest names including SmartWool, Cloudveil and Marmot. For more information about her company, contact Ali at or visit her website,