Deck the Windows All Year Long

TREND WHISPERER – A blog by Sherri Scheck-Merrill

There’s nothing quite as iconic and mesmerizing as storefront windows this time of year, which is why I selected the “glamour of windows” as this week’s trend!

It’s no secret exciting window displays are good for any business. Anything that catches the attention of a windows_1potential new customer is a great thing. A window display can be a terrific thing as it can make the difference of someone walking into your business or simply walking right past it.

Over the past several years, I’ve noticed how retailers have brought back the traditional family shopping experience in bricks and mortar retail settings, creating some extremely magical and breathtaking displays that are borderline theatrical, let alone technologically over-the-top advanced. In retail, the success generated from the parade of windows has shifted from what used to be referred to as “creative merchandising” intosophisticated works that could rival a Cirque de Soleil show.

In NYC, this year’s themes range from a “Floating City” to a “Year of Holidays” (not just the wintery ones), which go above and beyond a colorful light show or multi-use display of flat screen projections. My favorite window unveiling was so dramatic it included the unexpected performance of acrobatic dancers descending an iconic building. Many window designers went all out, featuring rotating casts of performers and sleigh rides, one of which actually took children on a virtual NYC tour leaving them feeling spellbound,as though windows_2they were really in the air flying through the city.

If you happen to have a business with an underutilized window, the following is a simple tips-list to file away until next Fall because I can guarantee the glamour-of-window-dressing trend is here to stay.

2014 HOT TIP LIST FOR DRESSING A WINDOW

1. Work with your vendors. Pitch the opportunity of having a window dedicated to their product. No sooner than you pitch the concept, I assure you they will be on board. The catch? Let them participate in creating the display.

2. Work with others from your community. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. An interior designer could create the window display and in exchange you would need to promote this “featured” window created by “xyz”. You can also work with charities to highlight their work, which is another way to gain great attention while bringing light to great cause. Local artists are also excellent contributors for window displays.


3. Use lighting as a focal feature. It’s amazing what creative lighting can do to stop passersby. Your goal should be to use lighting to optimize the visibility of your overall window.


4. Host a window contest. Open up the opportunity for young designers or merchandisers to display yourwindows_3 window. Get your local media involved and make a big to-do about it. Not only will this generate a buzz for your business, but you will gain a (hopefully fabulous) window display at minimal costs.

I have no doubt you’ll find the time and money you invest in traffic-stopping windows throughout next year will be worthwhile. 

Happy New Year! 

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DSC01025Sherri Scheck-Merrill is a hospitality industry professional with a passion for excellent hotels and resorts. She is passionate about hotels, interior design, fashion, and beauty. As Vice President of Amenity Services Inc., she focuses on hotel business development and guestroom product design. She distinguishes herself by researching, teaching and reporting U.S. trends for her own fashion and export business.

She is a three-time nominee for Businesswoman of the Year by California’s Orange County Business Journal. A UNLV student-athlete/Harvard Executive Education Consumer Marketing graduate, she licenses popular retail brands for hotel guestrooms.

After spending several years on a tennis court, followed by the role of head buyer at the largest West Coast-based sporting goods and fashion apparel export company, her knack for predicting trends landed her a columnist position at Orange Coast Magazine. She is also the author of the biannual trend-forecasting report for a major retailer in Osaka, Japan, and writes a popular blog about trends for Hotels – the magazine of the worldwide hotel industry.

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