Let ‘s get right to the point…of purchase display. That’s what POP stands for in our world.
Recently my students took a field trip to the San Francisco Centre to critique the displays and sort of have a scavenger hunt. One of the questions on the assignment form was to find a store that utilized POP displays.
A few of my students wrote about some really great displays they liked because they really POPPED with color or impact. I laughed as I read their assignments! I then ascertained they must have been absent the day we discussed POP displays.
So what is a point of purchase display? We have ALL been a victim to them, even children…..especially children; unless you can honestly say you have never shopped in a store in your life. These are the displays closet to the cashwrap. The little tables and fixtures set up with just about everything and anything to catch your attention as you wait in line to pay for your goods. (i.e Whole Foods, Safeway, Trader Joes)
Here are some flowers on display at the cash register of a Whole Foods
Grocery stores have magazines, chewing gum, miniature hand sanitizer, batteries, mints, on their POPs. Clothing retailers have lipgloss, keychains, sunglasses, earrings, wallets, mini perfume bottles, as their POPs (i.e. Victoria Secrets, Forever 21, Express)
This photo is a great shot of the POP displays leading up to the cash wrap at Victoria’s Secrets
Clever stores have made the check-out line out of these displays. They have water bottles, cold drinks, candy, snacks, doggie toys, little baggies, knick-knacks. There are rows of these items right next to you in line. You play with the merchandise as you wait your turn to be rung up, and the next thing you know, you are carrying the item with you to the cash register. (i.e. Old Navy).
Mind you POPs don’t look like traditional displays (props+mannequins), they are fixtures set up to display merchandise and entice the customer into buying something they really didn’t intend to. Are they worth it to the retailer? Heck yeah! Volume sales at a low price are extremely profitable to a store.
POPs are not only fixture based products. Has a sales associate ever asked you if you wanted to open a credit card with their store? Have you ever purchased a gift card? These are also POPs.
POPs will often time be a vendor fixture as well. The most important point of this lesson is not to confuse POPs with the actual “pop” word or Pop-Up shops. We’ll discuss pop-up shops in another lesson.
According to WWD, Topshop will be opening up next year in Chicago. They plan to open up on Michigan Avenue next to Filene’s Basement. Apparently the store will be about 30,000 square feet! I guess eventually they will make their way out West. Sir Philip Green is supposedly looking for sites in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
Although the luxury retailers don’t want to admit it, I truly believe the fast fashion stores: H and M, Forever 21, Topshop; are giving them a run for their money! These single-department stores occupy as much space as multi-department stores, and they are growing in an economy where everyone else is downsizing. They have found a formula that is working!
Simple store design, basic mannequins, easy merchandising layout, a splash of color for visual interest and you have a fast fashion store. Change out the merchandise and anyone of these could easily be a Target or Costco!
(image via: luxury on crack)
The publication VMSD (Visual Merchandising Store Design) will announce at the International Retail Design Conference (IRDC) in Toronto, on October 13th, the fast fashion chain Forever 21, as the recipient of the Peter Glen Retailer of the Year award.
For those of you who have taken my class, you are familiar with the Store Study Assignment, so you know every week you visit a retailer and complete a series of questions. This past semester I actually had to put a moratorium on anyone turning in assignment from that store because I received so many; and I can only read about the same store over and over again so many times. I finally had to say, “ENOUGH, go visit other stores !” There’s no doubt this store is adored by its customers, despite all of its controversy over the years.
I’m in complete awe at the size of this store. I thought the store we had here in Union Square-San Francisco was huge, this one in Tokyo far surpasses it.
(image via: tokyofashion.com)