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Visual merchandising is an important tool in the communication mix of a retail company. While department stores tend to invest more than 2% of their marketing budget in window dressing, the figure is slightly less in the case of chain stores, which focus more on in-store presentations. As a rule, smaller retailers have no fixed budget for window dressing. A common failure.

A slight increase in window-dressing expenditure can achieve a major impact. However, the direct link between window dressing and in-store sales is difficult to quantify due to the different factors that influence purchasing decisions. However, the shop window is seen as an important aspect for differentiation against the competition.

People now walk faster in cities. Thus, it is all the more important for retailers to make customers stop and grab their attention. This is the most important shop-window function.

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Presentation is becoming more and more important.  Under the buzzword ‘emotionalisation’, the attention of customers is drawn to a subject or story that, if possible, begins in the shop window and continues inside the shop.

The trend towards more elaborate shop-window presentations is particularly pronounced in the case of department stores whereby the more exclusive the product, the more extravagant the presentation. In fact, when products from segments like GIVING –jewellery, fashion complements- or LIVING –furniture, decoration…- are on show, they are generally part of a themed presentation.

How to do it well? The window dressing has to serve for two basic purposes: to identify the store and the products to sell, and to induce the customer to go into the store. Accordingly, the window dressing should present a variety of information about the store, and giving a representative offer of products.

It must be taken into account that the cold zone is generally located on the left, and the hot one in the central space.

COLD ZONE – HOT ZONE – WARM ZONE

Thus, the space between the horizontal eye level and the base of the window dressing is called the warm zone, and the area between the horizontal eye level and the ceiling is the cool zone.

If we refer to the window dressing in a vertical arrangement, we see that the space is divided in the middle, with two equal parts; then the left space is again divided in the middle (from left to right would be 25-50% of the space), the first left zone is the warm, the centeral is the hot and the right is the cold one.

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Once the horizontal and vertical juxtaposed divisions of the window dressing, the result is the sum of both temperatures, which assigns a notional value to each temperature: Hot, 9 points; Warm, 6 points; and Cold, 3 points.

Only it has to count the points and degrees of each temperature to make the order as in the following:

Zone    Horizontal        Vertical            Rating

1          Hot                   Hot                   9+9=18

2          Warm               Hot                   6+9=15

3          Hot                   Warm               9+6=15

4          Warm               Warm               6+6=12

5          Hot                   Cold                9+3=12

6          Cold                Warm               3+9=12

7          Warm               Cold                6+3=9

8          Cold                Warm               3+6=9

9          Cold                Cold                3+3=6

In this way, we can establish a hierarchy of the window dressing zones on the base of the following provision.

8 6 9

3 1 5

4 2 7

With this simple device, you can improve the visibility of your Business. Also, there will be many other considerable aspects in next issues of the magazine.

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