Sales. An integral part in every retailers calendar, so why so often do they become an excuse for some stores to leave their windows baron and their merchandise shabby?
The word SALE plastered across a window no longer has the same impact as it once did, largely because at least half a dozen retailers will be on sale at any one time in the year. So that sense of urgency, that excitement of an ‘event’ has less impact. That coupled with the rise of online shopping where Australians have become wise to the fact they can buy for less over the internet has again diluted the impact of our traditional sale.
However, markdowns are a fact of retail life and getting ‘clean’ in preparation for new stock is as much part of the calendar as anything else. The way retailers approach the matter of clearance, however, varies widely, and for some – think Harrods – it is a highly marketable event just like any other promotion. And it’s only once a year so still has that prestige status.
So what’s the best way to present a mark-down sale? How can we bring innovation to our windows and visual merchandising? Here are just a few examples of how some stores skin that cat:
Desigual, parades a mass of Sale red T-shirts as overhead banners.
Also using giant T-shirts in the windows bearing an “I heart 50% off” slogan – in keeping with the brand’s contemporary feel.
A high-impact LED screen, bearing the -50% promotion as well as showcasing markdowns adds energy to the fascia, again making it more noticeable than those of neighbouring stores.
Radley are a UK bag retailer. An extension of this means that when it comes to Sale time it’s an idea to put giant Sale shopping bags in the window – coloured red, naturally.
This is an incredibly simple and low-cost way of getting the message out there and, when coupled with a relatively discreet decal on the window stating ‘Up to 60% off’, it was little surprise it gets noticed.
Italian denim brand Replay can normally be relied on to come up with something interesting at Sale time and this window scheme confirms that it understands how to create a stir.
Long, unfurled till rolls are suspended from wooden spools with the word SALE printed in red between the numbers of imaginary items that have been purchased.
This is one of the more original ways of telling shoppers that there are bargains at that store, although whether shoppers will find this sufficiently compelling to step inside or whether it proves to be merely an interesting arty distraction is a moot point.
What can only be called a Sale tower of power describes what has been done by Uniqlo to grab the gaze of passing shoppers. The massively high windows either side of the entrance are divided into a series of dark rooms with nothing in them other than a male mannequin, a female mannequin and a sale banner, the latter composed in a very traditional manner.
This is a modest sale treatment, but is virtually unmissable. Suit Supply has taken a fairly low profile clothing category and turned in into a mass-market fashion event. The somewhat retro 1950s signage that it has placed at the bottom of its window keeps faith with its quirky visual merchandising approach.