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Retail Tips: Displays and the importance of keeping it fresh

October 20, 2016 | 0 Comments

Who’s ready to talk some trash?  I’m not talking Presidential debate trash – but wallet friendly display ideas that come from unexpected places, like, uh, the trash. Personally I get excited when I see a dumpster full of junk.  I don’t see junk per se, rather possibilities. Like transforming discarded furniture into display tables, bits and pieces of industrial looking hardware that could be used as wall hooks, or sometimes even old fixtures, reimagined with a fresh coat of paint.

By putting your creativity to work, your shop is never boring – a must for survival in today’s competitive brick and mortar versus online retail landscape.  A reasonable goal is to change your displays either weekly or bi-monthly. If you do this constant rotation of stock, customers become shoppers by seeing something new every time they step into your store. 

To be fair – painting a wood pallet or sifting through the local Goodwill store for treasures does take time.  Commit to putting someone in charge that likes to do this kind of work and has a flair for it.  And keep in mind that you can refresh these display ideas simply with a new coat of paint or modify them with parts and pieces found in your storage area or a hardware store.

So let’s get started and let the trash talk begin!



Wood is seemingly always available.  It’s inexpensive – sometimes free and reflects and outdoor vibe.  This is a clever way to dress up the uber useful wood pallet. Chalkboard paint comes in a variety of colors so you can paint over it for a fresh look next time you use it.

Build your own fixture out of plywood. This is simple and effective yet displays a capsule collection from one of your brands. 

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Good merchandising encourages multiple add on sale opportunities.  By using climbing rope – like in this picture – you can attach a small wood crate and fill it with cross merchandising items like hats, gloves, etc. that compliment what’s hanging on the rack.  These crates can be found at most craft shops or online. 

 I use ladders a lot in merchandising.  Get two either the same height or offset as seen here.  Paint the ladders if you have time. Add shelves.  A great display idea for cheap.  And it’s modular.



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I collect old ski magazine covers and framing them is a fun way to spruce up dead wall space. I also love to troll vintage markets and thrift stores because you never know what unique treasures you might find.  These can be cool to add to displays.  Vintage never goes out of style and connects old and young alike to snowsports.


Sticks and stones

These photos explore interesting uses for rocks and other organic materials.  You can also paint rocks, spray with adhesive glue and add glitter to make them more “snowy” like.

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Whether you experiment with a wall using chalkboard paint, commission an artist friend to create a mural inside or outside, or simply choose a bold, statement color to freshen up a wall, paint is one of those low commitment – big bang for your buck improvement options.

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Curb appeal

The outside of your shop deserves as much attention as the inside.  You know that saying about judging a book by its cover. Well the same goes for the exterior of a shop if it looks bland.  If you have free reign over the exterior of your shop (barring any local rules and regulations), it’s an opportunity to wow – on a budget and attract new customers.

So, while seeking out discarded items worthy of a second life, or breezing through a craft store for new decorating ideas for your store, the time investment will far outweigh the end result.

You can do a lot with displays on a budget and seasonally update them to keep them fresh.  It’s a sustainable practice that sets a good example for your community and your loyal customers.  Trash never looked so good.


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