Earth Day is April 22 this year. In honor of this important landmark, I once again turn to the almighty dumpster as a receptacle, not for junk, but rather a treasure trove of castaway items just waiting to find new homes. I presented a DIY Displays on a Budget session at this year’s SIA Snow Show and have pulled together some of my favorite nuggets of creative and inspirational ideas for you this month. Also, take a look back at the great 2015 SIA Snow Show merchandising inspiration with the Merchandising Guide Addendum: Snow Show Highlights.
I hate to sound like a broken record here – but dang if I don’t find some of the best things to use in displays in the trash. Wood pallets are a common material used by many a retailer because they can be transformed into useful stages to display a multitude of products. They look great as is in their natural state or you can spray paint and/or decorate them for more pop.
By attaching pallets to walls – you can make use of space where you can’t typically install slatwall or other wall hanging systems. This process also opens up new display areas in spots that occupy dead retail space. Never waste empty wall space again.
Mother Nature’s Display Outlet – How may we help you?
Wood is a favorite display material because its easy to source and can be transformed in numerous ways – for very little cost.
You can find crates of all sizes online from craft supply sites, or scour local businesses for any extras they may be looking to get rid of, like natural grocers. Hit up yard sales too.
Raid your own attic – or someone else’s.
Do you have some used furniture stowed away in an attic or storage unit? Dressers, tables and chairs all make great display pieces in a store. Hit some yard sales on the weekends and see what deals you can score.
Books: Not just for reading.
Books are a terrific item to merchandise with. You can buy loads and loads of books for next to nothing at places like The Salvation Army and Goodwill stores. Books provide color, height and visual interest.
Make each display an Earth Day display.
I’ve never had the luxury of having a large display budget in any given position during my merchandising career. I have always worked on a shoestring. So I scour Dollar stores, thrift shops – and yes – on occasions – dumpsters. Trying to create something out of nothing is a challenge I welcome with open arms. Because at the end of the day I know I have made something truly unique. I’m not always successful, mind you. Some of my creations looked more like a 3 year old’s art project (not that there is anything wrong with that!) But overall it always brings me great satisfaction to know I wasn’t wasteful with money or materials. Plus sharing DIY display ideas with other stores and colleagues means we share a sense of a greener community.
Wishing you a Happy Earth Day! What will you do to make your day a bit greener?
And don’t forget to check out this month’s Merchandising Addendum, which is all about the 2015 SIA Snow Show – recapping some of the show floor’s most innovative displays of all shapes, sizes and budgets!