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By: Ali Levy
November 12, 201

Ali LevyTips from merchandising guru, Ali Levy,

Different strokes for different folks.  When we talk about merchandising, we are talking about appealing to a variety of consumer group and appealing to their senses.  Some people enjoy roaming – others have an agenda and are looking for a specific item and are in and out.  Some folks feel overwhelmed when they walk into a department store and prefer a smaller shopping environment with a more intimate feel.  Destinations like H & M are jammed with product – music pumping, where shopping is practically a competitive sport and there’s a demographic that thrives on that.  Often times you will see bored parents or partners sitting by the front door checking their email.  Then there are more sedate scenarios with soft lighting and easy listening on the speakers – creating a relaxed atmosphere.

Holiday AddendumThe Holiday Addendum to the Merchandising Guide applies this theory to holiday decorating.  There are stores that really get into it and others that couldn’t be bothered with hanging any more strings of lights than they have to. Then there are customers that may find holiday decorations overkill, Christmas music nauseating and the scent of too much cinnamon too much to take; we all respond differently.  For some, holidays are a nostalgic time and for others, an obligatory couple of weeks to be frenzied and forced to get into the “spirit”.  Therefore, holiday decorations need to appeal to these different personalities; not too religious, not too vulgar, nor too smelly.  The Holiday Addendum offers solutions with color schemes and themes, along with where to find decorating items and tips on how to execute them without blowing a gasket. The November Newsletter, conversely, addresses the growing trend of merchandising specifically towards men, who are catching up to women in terms of dollars spent in retail.  No surprise that men and women like to shop differently – it’s just another curveball to throw at retailers as they focus on constantly keeping up with the ever-evolving world of today’s retail consumer.