I Do Windows

Hans Van Bentem’s Penis Chandelier

Posted in Discuss This Display, Props by Arcadia on March 31, 2011

I found this photo at They Envy Us.  Now where could you display this?

Click here to see more chandeliers and to read the accompanying story.

(image via: They Envy Us)

The San Francisco Giants Spring Training Store

Posted in Retail News by Arcadia on March 31, 2011
Since baseball season is upon us now, I thought this little story would be apropos:

Actually the title above SHOULD read World Series Champions!  I’m so proud of my hometown team.  I’m even prouder of one of my students!

Humberto S. approached me after class one day to let me know he was going to be absent for a couple of days.  When I asked why, he said he had to go to spring training with The San Francisco Giants to set up their fan store.  I said, “WHAT, I don’t believe you!”.  He laughed and said, seriously, he’s the visual manager for the store they set up in Scottsdale, AZ every spring training!  OF COURSE I excused him from class; The World Class Giants need to have a World Class store!

He was so eager to show me photos of how he set up the Dugout store using techniques he’s learned in class (I’m grinning from ear to ear).  Looking at the photos below see if you can spot:

  • Product Merchandising
  • Vertical Merchandising
  • Horizontal Merchandising
  • Color Blocking
  • POP

This is the before shot.  When all your merchandise arrives to your empty store space and you have the daunting task of figuring out where everything goes.  If you’ve done a Layout or Plan-o-gram, then you should have no problem!

Lots of boxes to unpack!  I see this space utilizes a slat wall system.  I hope Humberto and team don’t forget to adjust all that track lighting once the merchandise is in place.

It’s starting to look like a store……

Almost done……

Finally ready for business!

I like what you did above the cashwrap area.

Lots of product, neatly displayed

Even though it’s one big space, the store is divided into mini-departments: men, women, youth, and novelty

The Windows!

The store is located at:  7408 E Osborn Road, Scottsdale, AZ, 85251.  It the team five days to set the whole thing up!

Thanks Humberto for sending in these photos !  I think this was definitely worth missing class, because you can learn so much more from actual “real world” experience than anything a textbook can teach you.  You get an A for job well done!

Go Giants!

(all images via Humberto S.)

Cosmetic Displays

Posted in Cosmetic Display by Arcadia on March 31, 2011

When I worked for Macy’s one of my favorite departments to work in was definitely cosmetics!  I LOVED setting up my cosmetic displays at the end of each week, in preparation for the GWP (gift with purchase) promo for whichever company was holding one; not to mention how incredibly generous the make-up ladies were to me!  They always sent a GWP my way and I used to get invited to the launch parties for the latest perfume or cosmetic item they were promoting.  That is one job perk I truly miss!

I was pleasantly surprised to see in the April issue of Allure, an article on shopping at make-up counters, plus photos with captions on how cosmetic counters are displayed.  I’ve scanned page 195 below:

I would like to send a big shout out to all the ladies (and gents) that work in cosmetic retail.  It looks like such a glammy job to the outsider when in actuality it can be quiet demanding!


International Retail Design Conference

Posted in Retail News by Arcadia on March 31, 2011

Mark your calendars now and start preparing because the International Retail Design Conference will be held in San Francisco on September 7-9, 2011 at Parc 55 Wyndham. Now I really have no excuse to not attend!

“Learn from, network with and be inspired by the designers behind some of the world’s most respected retail brands. Join us next fall for the International Retail Design Conference, where industry-leading designers, architects, planners and visual merchandisers convene to share strategies, make connections, stay current and be inspired. www.irdconline.com.”

This is a great opportunity, not to be missed!


Printed Graphics in display

Posted in Fashion 49, Window Lessons by Arcadia on March 28, 2011

Visual Merchandisers will spend a significant amount of time hanging banners, signs, and all kinds of graphic materials.  They create backdrops for mannequin + prop displays, designate a focal point in the display, and most of all give away information in the form of text or a photo.

Graphics are easy to use and help the retailer cut down on display costs.  It is easier to hang a huge banner for a campaign than to hire a team to create the same drama with a complicated display.  Some retailers have come to rely quite heavily on them: Banana Republic and the Gap.  No surprise since they are both owned by the same company; and usually the graphics in the windows are reinforcing the ad campaign you see in the magazines.

Case in point is this display in the Kate Spade stores, they basically took the ad, blew it up, and hung it their windows. It’s colorful, eye-catching, and already familiar to the shopper:

Another retailer that used graphics in their windows as a quick and easy display is Club Monaco.  This idea allowed the retailer the chance to show many different looks at the same time:

( I do wish the visual person, would’ve pulled the cloth on the floor tight, the wrinkles look really messy)


There is the fear, that with more and more use of graphics in windows and throughout the store there will be little need for the visual team.  Not so!  They won’t replace use, if anything they have become another tool in our toolkit, besides who’s going to climb the 10′ ladder in order to hang that banner – we are!

Blog Love: Advanced Style

Posted in Fashion Styling, Inspiration by Arcadia on March 28, 2011

I can’t believe I’m just discovering this blog now – Advance Style.  What a great site and so uplifting!  It’s become a new favorite site for perusing.

My students (any many friends) are always asking for tips on how to dress: “Does this match?”“Do these shoes go with this dress?”, “What accessories should I wear?” I always reply, “Who cares, do YOU like it?  Then wear it!” At my all girl high school I was not voted best dressed, instead I got the distinction of most unique wardrobe!  I was and always have been about non-conformity and standing out  from the crowd.  The ladies on this blog are great examples of that.

True style is timeless and not a victim to fads and trends, evidenced by the fact so many of us are inspired by vintage looks or what we call retro – why else would so many of us be walking around with a Chanel bag our grandma handed down to us!

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Carine Roitfeld to do Barney’s Windows

Posted in Just Genius, Retail News by Arcadia on March 24, 2011

She goes from one highly coveted job to another!  Carine Roitfeld, the former editrix of French Vogue has now been tapped to help style the fall campaign for retailer Barney’s New York. She will work on their catalog, a short film, and the Windows!  I guess a girl can have it all.

She is a styling genius, so I personally can’t wait to see what she comes up with; for more information go to thewindow.barney.com

Before I die……

Posted in Discuss This Display, Inspiration by Arcadia on March 23, 2011

Today I’m getting inspiration from all sorts of places.  The photos below from public installation artist Candy Chang have got me thinking.  Which is precisely what we want displays to do – catch our eye and our minds!

Couldn’t you see yourself doing something similar for a wall display and maybe with a different question?  Nonetheless it’s a great idea to get passerby’ers engaged.

What would you write????

(all images via Candy Chang.com)

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Dollar Store Toy Wreath

Posted in Inspiration, Props by Arcadia on March 23, 2011

I’m always on the hunt for inspiring ideas.  This dollar story toy wreath brought a huge smile to my face!  One might be inclined to think this would be great for a Christmas display, I on the other hand would use any time of the year.  It’s just so damn cheerful looking:

For more info on it and the image visit Boing Boing.

Point of Purchase Displays

Posted in Fashion 49, Point of Purchase by Arcadia on March 21, 2011

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.


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