Take your displays to the counterTOP!

Countertop display units come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They can be used almost anywhere in your space and they serve many different functions. Some display frames, others display paperwork and literature, while some display little knick knacks or art pieces that give your space personality. No matter what you are using them for, countertop units are one of the best ways to maximize the space in your office.      

Types of displays: As mentioned countertop displays come in a very wide assortment. Some of the most common examples of traditional countertop units are acrylic frame risers, trays, and rotaries. Each of these displays has their own advantages and specialties that can help you maximize your space and display all of the frames you need.   

countertop displays, eyewear displays, ennco frame displays

How to effectively use these displays: Acrylic frames risers are typically used to display frames that clients are encouraged to pick up and try on. The open design makes them great for displaying frames you want your customers to see and feel. Place these in high traffic areas or where the majority of your clients walk around. The more customer that see them, the more opportunity you have to sell them. One of our most popular frame risers is the Tray Elegante because it creates an open and elevated display environment.

acrylic frame riser, frame display, countertop frame display

Trays can be used in many different ways, here are the most common. The first is just simply for displaying frames on a shelf or under a cabinet. This can be a great way to keep smaller lines of frames all in the same place for easy browsing. This can also be a great way to introduce lines of frames or types of frames to your clients. One of the other main uses is to bring specific frames to customers in your office, exam lanes, or anywhere else in your space. Bringing frames in an elegant tray vs bringing it up by hand can make all the difference when explaining the value of those frames. Customers will be much more inclined to go for the higher value pair if they see the care and consideration you put into keeping those frames in good condition. Check out all of our trays and pads here.   

eyewear frame tray, eyewear display, optical tray

Countertop rotaries are effective at helping you showcase a large number of frames in a relatively small amount of space. Having a good-looking rotary in your space is a great way to pull attention of shoppers and creates a centerpiece for the top of shelves or counters. This can help when they are trying to narrow down what kind of frame they are looking for and the style that would work best for them. See what kind of cases and rotaries we have for you.         

Where to put them: The simple answer to this is anywhere you want! Because of the versatility and typically smaller size of countertop units they can go just about anywhere in your space. Don’t be afraid to create an entire display of your own using multiple countertop units and the existing shelving in your space. Get creative when thinking about where to put them. Ask yourself: where do my customers go when they are in the office? Where do I want them to go? How can I use my existing space in combination with countertop displays to show my clients what I want them to see?

Overall the use of countertop displays can transform your space from bare shelves and empty tables to a space where every inch is maximized to sell glasses and help patients. We have many great options to help you with what we discussed above. Check out all of our countertop options on our website!

Create your dynamic display today!

One of the current trends in retail is the application of mixed use displays throughout your space. Having mixed use displays means you don’t just have a bunch of racks lined up showing products. You have a mixture of many kinds of displays ranging from rods or frame holders to large floor-to-ceiling displays and everything in between. A great way to bring some diversity to your displays is the application of shelves. Shelves are incredibly versatile and have the ability to seamlessly blend into just about any space, while also giving you plenty of space to display frames, literature or anything else that helps your practice run.   

Usability

Shelves are one of the most versatile display surfaces you have access to in your space. They can hold just about anything and be attached on any wall or flat vertical surface. Shelves are a great way to show the personality of your space or display your products in an attractive and accessible way. Shelves can be used to compliment cabinetry, elevate your frames to eye level and help you bring attention to a specific set of frames. Shelving can also work as a great contrast to the rest of your display units if you are using a lot of rods or other similar display types. Even though shelves can be used just about anywhere be sure to not overuse the shelves in your space.       

Sometimes less is more

Not every inch of your space needs to be displaying frames. Having plenty of frames on display is important, but you don’t want to overwhelm your customers. Finding the right balance between products, promotional materials, and personal items can be a never-ending process. Stacking your shelves full of frames is good for showing a lot of inventory, but it makes it more challenging for customers to fall in love with one specific frame. Knowing when to stack a shelf with product and when to have just a simple place holder is paramount to keeping your space looking its best. Don’t be afraid to change it up and try new things constantly. Shelving gives you the opportunity to change your mind daily, use this to your advantage and put your personal touch on display.          

Don’t be afraid to make it unique

Sometimes that shelf space can be a way to show customers your personal flair and help you stand out from your competition. Having some personal art or knick-knacks can give your space the level of comfort and personality you want when your customers are browsing your products. The more comfortable they feel in your space the more likely they are to buy something and return when they need something in the future. Give your clients a way to remember your space and the positive experience they had while visiting your office. Try putting something unique on your shelves. It does not necessarily have to be optometry related. This is a great way to bring some color into your space and let your personality show. Speaking of showing, don’t let your shelves get lost in all your other displays, light it up with our new bright idea below.       

Light up your shelves with the new Indus Shelf System

The Indus is a metal framed shelf with frosted glass that features up and down facing lighting, which creates the perfect lighting environment for frames from above and below. Whether standing alone or combined with countertop display units, the Indus can provide the visual merchandising to take any space to the next level. This brand-new shelf system is the perfect addition to any space. The lit shelves are sure to help your frames get the attention they deserve. The Indus illuminates your space and gives you an elegant platform to put your best frames forward.

Sentry Locking Peg (Left) on Indus Lit Shelving System (Left & Right)

Worry about theft on shelves no longer

One of our new solutions for theft is the Sentry, which is an individual locking peg system for eyeglasses. It is designed to fit the style and aesthetic of any space while giving the user peace of mind that their frames are secure. With frame theft on the rise in recent years, the Sentry can be yet another tool in the arsenal of any savvy practice. The Sentry comes in two versatile configurations, the peg configuration and the shelf configuration. The peg configuration is used for holding frames on a wall mounted panel while the shelf configuration is great for any shelving surface present in the space. Each configuration can be unlocked with Ennco’s double sided key allowing staff to have full access to either display while only needing to carry one key.  

Overall shelving can be one of the most effective yet under-utilized displays you can put in your space. Whether it’s just a simple glass configuration or a self-lit design, shelving can give your frames the space they need to stand out. Traditionally shelves are vulnerable to theft but with the addition of The Sentry you can put your mind at ease that your frames will be protected. Shelving gives you the opportunity to show your own personality and style, take advantage!     

Marketing YOUR brand.

Ennco Design Services
A great example of focusing on YOUR brand. We helped Dr. Lewis Lim (Kirkland, WA) design and build his store using his brand and not focusing on the frame manufacturers.

Visual merchandising is a huge part of selling, give your frames the kind of display they deserve. Don’t fit in with your competition, blow them out of the water! One of the best ways to stand out from other offices is to maximize your use of visual merchandising by creating and fostering your own brand.   

Although this post isn’t directly related to our displays, it is related to showcase or “displaying” YOUR brand! In this blog post we will be sharing advice on how to market YOUR brand and business, while bringing in more sales and creating a lasting and positive reputation.

Emphasis on YOUR brand

A lot of times frame companies will provide their distributors with large branded displays to showcase their frames. Think Ray-Ban… their displays are big, bright, and colorful which creates a great showcase for their frames; but as the business owner is that showcasing YOUR brand or theirs?  How are your other frames stacking up compared to the frames in the brand specific showcase? The reason we bring this up is to start the discussion around YOUR brand and YOUR business! Of course, it is great to have branded frames like Ray-Ban but give them the same energy and “presentation space” as your other frames. Giving your patients a chance to find the frames that suit them best based on the look and fit rather than the brand name and logo. Frame displays should not distract from the frames, but rather disappear to the customers eye and allow them to focus on the frames.

While this kind of branding is important it’s not the main thing you should focus on. You will always have those patients that will want a specific brand and that’s ok! A great way to provide branding without letting that brand define you is by organizing your frames by brand and each row or panel having a small descriptive sign. Something like a small logo or sign holder at the top of the display works just fine. This gives the patient direction of where to find those frames but does not sway them to a certain brand over the other.

Keeping your advertising and design layout on brand is key to marketing YOUR business as opposed to marketing someone else’s business.  

Spread the word

There are many platforms and ways to market your business it is not a one size fits all formula, but to get you started we have shared two successful ideas below.

Social Media Marketing is really booming! Try advertising your business using Facebook or similar social media platform. They even have ways to narrow your target market to only include people in your area, or a certain demographic, and many other categories. The ads are inexpensive compared to many other avenues and you are not locked into a contract. Try advertising for a few months to see if you like it

Google is another great online platform that really makes a big impact! Make sure your website it up to date and has clear and descriptive information about what you do and what sets you apart from your competition. Google has paid ad services (“Ad Words”) that allows you to bid for the top spot on a search results page, and like Facebook you can alter your target market to be a certain geographical location or demographic.

Customer Experience is key

It is a no brainer that treating your customers right is the best business advice we could give! Creating an environment where your patients feel safe and comfortable is key! Clearly label everything, organize their shopping experience, and keep a clean store. You want your brand to be associated with a positive experience, not one that is cluttered or overwhelming. Even it if it is subconscious your patients will appreciate a simple and easy visit.

A happy customer will result in more customers in the future. We are living in the age of constant information overload from online searches, where personal recommendations or 5-star reviews can be the difference between a new customer visiting your clinic or not. There are many different review sites, but Google seems to be the most widely used. Positive reviews are a great way to bring in more customers and improve your search rankings. Remember above when we mentioned Google paid ads? Well another way to bump up your rankings (without paying) is by getting positive reviews. The higher your review ranking the more Google will show your business in the search results. Encourage your customers to write reviews of their experience, the more positive reviews the better. On the flip side, unfortunately a negative review goes a lot farther than a positive review. Make sure your patients feel well taken care of and have the best experience possible.

Again, there are many different avenues and successful ways to market a business. The best thing you can do is market YOUR business and be true to YOUR brand.

The Importance of Window Shoppers!

You always want your space to be looking its best, but do you pay attention to what customers see when they are walking past and looking into your store? Do your windows show the personality of your space while also displaying some of your best frames? If not then this blog is for you. We will discuss some tips and tricks to keep your space looking fresh and give you techniques to fill some of that window space with frames. 

How do you present yourself?

‘Window Shoppers’ are customers who walk past your store and decide to go in based on how it looks from the outside. These shoppers usually stop because something catches their eye. Whether a big yellow sign for a sale or a graphic display of your products, the outside of your space is a huge opportunity to bring customers in. No matter where your space is, windows can help you draw in a crowd. If your office is in a high foot-traffic area then having the outside look great is even more important.  

Pull them in!

No matter how big or how small your windows are, they present an opportunity to pull customers into your store. What they see in the window as they walk past can either be one of the millions of things they forget that day, or it could change where they get their glasses. There are multiple different ways to make your windows work for you. One of the best ways to get people into your store is having graphic advertisements and displays in your window. Give them a sneak preview of what you have in the rest of your space, and don’t be afraid to put some of your best frames in the window. You want to draw people in, give them something exciting and beautiful to look at. Along with making it look attractive you want to give them a glimpse of what else they might see in the store. Think about your windows as a one second movie trailer for your space. What are the highlights you want to hit? What do people need to know about your space? When deciding what to put in your windows, ask yourself these important questions.

Be helpful, not invasive!

Once you have the customer in your store it is time to turn on the sales engine. Remember, this is the first time they have been in your space so give them a good first impression.  Approach them with a warm greeting and ask if there is anything they are looking for. There is a fine line between keeping your frames safe from thieves and making all your customers uncomfortable. If they say they are just browsing take a step back and let them browse. If they want help, provide it to them. Few things cause customers to leave your store faster than you standing right behind them and looking over their shoulder.   

Turn them into a customer for life! 

From the moment your customer walks into your space they will be making mental notes about what they like and what they don’t like. Sometimes they won’t even realize its happening. From how your staff treats them to how your frames are displayed, your customers take in a lot more than you would think. Not every situation is in your control. Control what you can and don’t worry about what you can’t. Establish a relationship with them. Get to know their likes and dislikes. Not only will this help you sell to them today, it also sets up future visits. Give them something to remember you by and do your best to remember something about them. Even just a simple personality trait or physical feature goes a long way in helping you remember clients.  

The way your space looks on the outside is really important to gain new walk-in customers. When someone new enters your office be sure to make them feel welcome and provide them with the information they need. Give them a great experience and you may have made a customer for life. Using these tips you will be able to effectively bring new customers into your store and keep them coming back for more!   

Time to Clear the Clutter!

Spring Cleaning and Organization Tips for Your Space

ennco optical space design, ennco design services, optical space remodel

Is your space starting to feel crowded? Are those papers starting to completely eclipse your desk? It might be time for some spring cleaning! No matter what size or shape your office is the clutter of the past year seems to always have a way of piling up on you. Use some of these tips to help clean up your space and keep it looking its best.

Organize your customer pick-ups:

If your office has a high volume of patients each day, subsequently you will have a lot of pick-ups from patients who have ordered glasses and contact lenses. It becomes quite a difficult task when you have hundreds of orders to keep track of. Even if your volume is much smaller, organization is paramount. Keeping a system that is neat and tidy is incredibly important but even more important is the ability and willingness of your staff to follow the system. Devise a system that everyone can easily follow and interact with. One way to achieve this is to keep all of your orders in one place, and in a color coded or alphabetical systems that gives your staff quick and accurate access to the materials they need. Something that can help with this is an Ennco RX bag system that fits right into your cabinet. Gone are the days of looking back and forth through crowded boxes and filing cabinets. Say hello to more efficient order distribution and a simple but effective solution for your staff. 

contact lens bag storage, eyewear frame order storage, eyewear organization, lab storage
Ennco RX Bag System

Keep drawers and cabinets organized:

Keeping track of so many frames and lenses is a daunting task especially when they are constantly moving around. Keeping your drawers organized will not only show your professionalism, but will also let customers know you truly care about every aspect of your business. Some easy ways to keep drawers organized is through the use of Trays and Pads. These products can easily be used in almost any drawer and can simply be lifted from a drawer to go from an organization tool to a presenting tool.     

array of optical frame trays, eyewear presentation trays, sunglass storage

Countertop Space:

Your countertops can be some of your most effective advertising platforms. Customers often have to spend at least a few minutes at the front desk on their way in and on their way out. Give them something to look at that isn’t a stack of papers or an office plant. Use all of the space that you have. Countertop Displays can be a game changer when it comes to selling frames. Just one of these great compact displays can be the difference between making a sale and having your customer “find them cheaper online”. Give them a glimpse of what they could be walking out with as soon as they step through the door. Let them create a connection with that luxury frame so when it comes time to pick out a frame they already have one in mind.   

Keep your space open and easy to move around in:

Having a space where people feel comfortable and invited is important in order to create an atmosphere they want to buy products in. Even the most inviting and attractive space can suffer from crowding and a feeling of limited mobility. Give your customers the chance to move around your space and let them see all the frames you have to offer. One way to give your space an open feel is to keep walkways and areas in front of frames clear of debris and bulky furniture that aren’t helping you sell product. That grand chest of drawers or large cabinet may look nice but it is also taking up valuable space that you could be displaying frames in. Another way to keep your space feeling open and less stagnant is to have Freestanding Displays that can be easily moved. Whether they have wheels or are light and easy to lift, having versatile displays gives your space a whole new dimension. With freestanding and movable displays you can always switch up your space to fit your need that day. Need more space to dispense frames? Just move that rotary off to the corner. Having a sale on a certain type of frame? Make them front and center when your customers walk through the door.    

array of Ennco freestanding optical displays, eyewear displays, frame display systems

Always store your visible products in an organized and attractive fashion:

Something that customers crave when going into a healthcare space is the peace of mind that they will be well taken care of. They trust you with the care of their eyes, and that can be frightening for some people. Giving them peace of mind not only makes them a more pleasant patient, but also increases your chances of a return visit. Along with the professional manor of your staff, the look and organization of your space goes a long way in shaping their opinion. It’s important that customers see that you take great care of the products you are selling them. Keeping frames in a plastic bag or a cardboard box can go a long way in shaping a negative opinion your client has about a particular frame. You also don’t want to take too long to go and retrieve a frame from the back. This could give the illusion that you have to go and find it or that it was buried with the rest of the old products nobody buys.  Keeping them well organized and easily accessible shows clients that you are giving them a quality product that you have close at hand. A great way to keep frames easily accessible and organized is with one of our Frame Storage Cabinets. This cabinet is an elegant way of storing a lot of frames in a relatively small space. Another way you can be sure you are presenting those frames the best way is to use presenting trays when showing them to customers. Tuxedo Trays are a stylish yet cost effective way of presenting your frames to clients.

frame tray storage cabinet, frame storage, optical frame trays, frame organization
Ennco Frame Tray Storage Cabinet

Keeping your space clean and well organized is one of the simplest things you can do to keep your customers coming back. If you show them that you take care of all aspects of your business, no matter how small, they will be reassured the care they are getting is first-rate. Make sure your staff is set up with the right tools to provide your customers with the highest level of service possible. Always keep your space open and accessible for your clients so they feel comfortable to purchase your products. Maximize your countertop space by displaying frames and not just today’s papers or that wilted office plant. Always keep your visible inventory in something that compliments their style and elegance. From the moment your client steps through your doors they should feel calm and confident with the care they are about to receive. The look and feel of your office goes a long way in shaping their perceptions and what they will remember about their visit. Give them something to tell their friends about!   

Thinking outside of the box!

Yes…we do full office designs, but did you know you can also utilize our products on an a la carte basis? Take Vision Today in Jacksonville Florida as an example. They decided to take the DIY approach to their space design, and it looks amazing! They built their own shiplap wall panels and mounted our Acrylic Panels with Alumina rods to it. If you ask me, they knocked it out of the park! The space feels warm and inviting while still being modern and chic!

Todays Vision Jackson_1Vision Today

Whether you are needing full office design or just parts and pieces let us know, we are happy to help!

Ennco Display Systems | www.ennco.com | (425)883-1650

2018 Ennco’s Year in Review!

As we look back on 2018 all we can say is THANK YOU! Our clients, vendors, and staff have made this a wonderful year to remember!

We had the privilege of working with so many amazing clients to create spaces they LOVE. Every interaction helps us learn and grow as a company, from website orders to large scale architectural design projects like Lakeland Vision in Auburn, Wa (featured below).

Lakeland Vision Clinic

In the last year our product lines have expanded, and we are pleased to be offering more options for showcases as well as seating! Here is a quick view at some of the most popular product additions from this year!

Universal Sign Holder: Frame shaped mounting piece fits exactly like a frame, so it will work great with any frame display you already have that has the temples straight!
Universal Sign Holder_1000X1000 Ennco Universal Sign Holder_1000X1000 Universal Sign Holder Side View_1000X1000

 

 

 

Skinny Steel Rotary: Our most popular freestanding Knock-Down Rotary got a makeover! To create a more “modern” look we switched out our acrylic Cool Rods for the new Skinny Steel 10mm rods!

KD-SkinnySteelTriumph-AsianNight

 

 

 

 

 

 

Showcases: Freestanding displays are quickly becoming a staple in optical spaces and to keep up with the demand we added more showcases that are sure to please!

Ennco Optical Showcase Ennco Optical Showcase Ennco Optical Showcase

 

 


Seating
:
While we have always offered seating options to our design clients, we have expanded our online sales to include standard seating options for dispensing stools and task chairs! More to come in 2019 for waiting area and reception chairs!

Optical Dispensing Stool Optical Dispensing Stool Optical Dispensing Stool

 

 

 

 
Although this list is just a few of the new products we added this year, we are excited about the year ahead and the many new products we currently have in the pipeline!

Finally, this year would not have been possible without our wonderful staff! We always joke that it feels like we spend more time with each other than we do with our families, but with a team like this its like we are family! Thank you all for the love and support!
Staff2018

We are all looking forward to 2019 and can’t wait to see what it has in store for us! Cheers!

DIY or DI-saster?

It’s all in the details! How many times have you walked into a space and the lighting wasn’t quite right or the carpet was a crazy shade of orange that did not compliment the walls. Many times, clinics fall prey to the idea “we can do it ourselves” or “I can find that on my own for cheaper”. Sometimes the added stress and energy needed to “DIY” just doesn’t pay off. Our advice… find a company that can do it all for you while keeping you involved in the process step by step.

We have developed our Total Package Architectural Design with that idea in mind. We want you to be involved every step of the way, from finalizing the layout and flow of your space to picking the color and style of the lounge chair in your waiting room. Every client has a different expectation of the level of involvement they have in their clinic build out or remodel. We have worked with clients who work with us to pick out every detail, and we have clients who show us one picture and tell us to “run with it” to pick out each detail for them. We enjoy working with both types of clients…it makes our job fun!

Here is a brief snapshot of some of the services provided in our Total Package Architectural Design:

Total Package Blog_800W

We work with you to learn your likes and dislikes, then from there create a cohesive design plan for your entire space! In the process we provide you with an array of color samples, design layouts, and fixtures then you pick your favorites! You make all the final decisions and we take on all the work of sourcing the products and getting you the best possible price.

Avoid the mistake of trying to do it all yourself. You have enough going on in your daily business, trust this to the pros.

Utilizing the Underdog! | Countertop Eyewear Displays

We’ve been wanting to write this blog post for a while now, but somehow something always comes up that seems “more interesting” so this gets pushed to the back burner. It is comically fitting for the topic of this post to be countertop displays, because that is often how they are perceived (“less important”). Countertop displays are usually overlooked when designing a new space or thinking about the overall environment for an optical store design. They are the “underdog” of the display world and yet they are incredibly useful to create a versatile and easily changeable display in the ever-changing world of retail. Hence the topic of this post…utilizing the underdog!

As mentioned countertop displays are often overlooked, but they are a great point of purchase marketing machine that utilizes space that would otherwise be wasted! Although we could spend this entire post just sharing ideas of how to use countertop displays, we will only be mentioning a few as well as give you some ideas to think outside the box!

Utilization
Displaying frame lines, making a last-minute sale at the reception counter, or taking advantage of countertop space on a dispensing table…the possibilities are endless!

Changeability: As I am sure you have heard before it is important to change up your displays, and often! Patients do not want to see the same thing every time they come into your office. Countertop displays are very versatile, movable, and interchangeable making them the perfect display for something new and exciting!

Knockdown capabilities: Newer onto the countertop display scene is the idea of “knock-down” countertop displays. They create opportunities that standard displays would not. Opportunities like easy storage when you sell all your frame inventory or compactibility for travel to events like tradeshows or client meetings.

Utilization of lower shelves and counters: A common misconception is that lower shelves and counters are off limits for displaying frames, when that is simply not true! There are many styles of countertop displays that thrive in that environment. Displays like the Low Angler or Pediment showcase the frames in an upward angle, presenting the product to the patient with ease.

However, keep in mind that countertop space isn’t just for eyewear displays. Counters can also be a great place to strategically place a mirror or point of purchase sign with marketing materials.

Think outside the box!
Get creative, think outside the box, and accessorize with things you wouldn’t expect. For example,…fall is coming up so let’s create a display around that! Imagine this, you have a floating glass shelf system in your window and you utilize a countertop display to showcase the frames (something like the Tray Elegante) and you accessorize by placing fall leaves, pine cones, and a mini pumpkin next to the display. This creates a unique environment for the display that draws the customer’s eye to the frames.

Even in the exam room there is a use… where do your patients put their glasses during their eye exam? Do they just set them on your counter? If the answer is yes, then you have the perfect opportunity to place something simple (like a single ShowOff) in the room for them to set their glasses on during the appointment. Similarly, this same idea works for hairdressers, massage therapists, and many other service industry providers who require their patients or clients to remove their eyewear. Adding this simple “luxury” for your patients shows that you care about their experience and it sets you apart from all the rest!

Think about your resale possibilities! Where do your patients set their glasses at night when they go to sleep? 9 times out of 10 they set them on their night side table…just think about the potential for scratching, crushing, or simply misplacing them when they don’t have a “home”. An easy fix for this would be a small countertop display (like the Tray Elegante Single) sitting on their nightstand. Or if they have multiple pairs of glasses in different colors and a ton of different sunglasses, there are many options for bulk storage as well! Things like Tuxedo Trays to put into a dresser drawer, a SpecSaver or Seattle Slim to put into a closet, or even a countertop rotary for the patient who has a different pair of frames for every occasion. Instead of purchasing these displays from big box retailers where the varieties and styles are very limited, give your patients the opportunity to purchase them from you! You purchase them from us, then resell them to your patients…it’s a win win for everyone!

Countertop displays come in many different shapes and sizes, chances are you will be able to find the perfect combination to suit your needs as well as the needs of your patients! They are a small investment with a big impact!

Add Space by Investing in a Starter Media Fixture

We love being able to host guest writers on our blog and we are very pleased to share a post written for us by Bridget Gaddis owner and lead architect for Gaddis Architect.

Add Space by Investing in a Starter Media Fixture.
By: Bridget Gaddis (post can also be found on Gaddis Architect)

Helping Retailers Succeed – Most every year the Small Business Development Center, in my case locally in Virginia, puts on an event designed to help retailers succeed.  I usually attend.  This year’s event was The Alexandria Experiential Retail Summit, experiential being the operative word.  Most of the discussion centered around primary marketing and selling communications, which are important, but only indirectly relevant to the design of a physical store.

Demonstrating Knowledge – Interestingly, when we broke into discussion groups more significant design issues were revealed.  In particular the need for flex space.  Retailers are finding it necessary to become experts.  Clients expect them to be masters of their particular product or service and further customers prefer to see this knowledge demonstrated, to the extent that a retailer must often become an educator.  One such resort type fashion retailer wanted to offer a mini class on how a particular brand of scarf might be worn to best advantage.  She assumed that this was impossible as she was “out of space” in her shop.

Retailers Sometimes Need Reminding – Clearly retailers occasionally need reminding that almost all floor fixtures can be mobile and mobility frees up valuable retail space within a store.  Simply by adding casters and rolling away some regular floor fixtures this owner, hoping to demonstrate how to tie her line of scarves, could easily free up enough space to stage and event featuring her product.F3-feature-1Invest in a Starter – Another, not to be overlooked, design issue is flexibility.  Indeed, there is a need for a highly adaptive store fixture suitable for use in many varied sets of circumstances, including options for accommodating the all important media.  This one is able to accommodate everything from a continuous video in a loop, to presentation options used to enhance a demonstration, to a basic TV in a waiting area.  It has vertical standards that can be used for shelving, a platform base for a computer, if required, and a simple backdrop made of glass or other merchandise display material like pegboard.  In addition to all this it is two sided, mobile, and has space to hide most cables.  It is a great starter for any retailer wanting to incorporate media and create that WOW moment.

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Bridget Gaddis, is a Licensed Architect and LEED Accredited Professionnal practicing nationally, and locally in the Washington DC area. She holds professional degrees in both Architecture and Interior Design and has a comprehensive background in commercial retail design, planning and construction.  She has many years experience working for well known architects, developers and retailers.  In 2011 she started Gaddis Architect an independent practice in Alexandria, VA.  In addition, Ms. Gaddis has an interest in residential projects and is the author of Real People Don’t Hire Architects,” a blog about houses.