TRENDS IN VISUAL MERCHANDISING DURING COVID TIMES

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Before pandemic, many brands spent millions on store appearance. From the parking lots, store exterior, signage to the store’s interior like type of fixtures, flooring materials, fitting room, lightings, there was plenty of aspects a retailer has to look upon.

With the advent of the pandemic, many are advocating an abandonment of those defining features including  retail merchandising so customers can just “get in and get out.”

Since the shoppers have to wait in queue for longer hours, appointment-based shopping has come into play. It is also seen that the retailers have to maintain the capacity of shoppers and staffs inside the store. And the retail store must have sufficient space so that shoppers and staffs inside the store can move freely maintaining the social distancing.

While it is clear we will not be getting back to normal soon, retail has always been a game of being brilliant on the basics when it comes to store appearance, but there is an even greater urgency now to create an exceptional visual experience for all the shoppers.

During pandemic, here are some of the tips that can be used for fashion retail outlets:

  • Usage of comeback statements
    • Providing statements like “Welcome back”, “Welcome to the future” can be used at the store entrance.
  • Provide a cheerful window display
    • Spreading positivity is very much important during this crisis. Mannequins holding ‘sayings’ like shown in the below image can be used at the store entrance.
    • #aworldofhearts – Popular hashtag inspires cheery window displays.  A new hashtag is circulating social media, the virtual cue inspiring a special signal of love and unity – despite social distancing.
  • Maintain cleanliness and equip safety measures
    • Always clean and sanitize the store such that it will reduce the risk of infection. Use Plexi-glass at the payment area (i.e) in between cashier and customers, since cashier is the one who is at high risk.
  • Reduce floor fixtures
    • By reducing the floor fixtures, the shoppers can move freely maintaining the physical distance.
  • Make bright well-lighted retail
    • Arranging the merchandise at eye level with sufficient lightings can make a hassle-free shopping.
  • Pay attention to Product Information
    • With additional sanitizing and health and safety protocols in place, your front-line staff have a lot going on. Still, as you update your merchandising strategy, take the time to keep staff informed about product offerings.
    • Because you may be short staffed, or your employees are short on time, it is a good idea to put product information directly in front of the customer. Consider in-store shelf talkers and other signage
  • Make use of Easel stand to display details on store timings, product offerings etc.
  • Use signage wisely
    • If a retailer wants to direct customers around the store, specific guidance on floor can be incorporated such that it can reduce the interactions between staff and customers which ultimately reduce the risk of getting infected.
    • The supermarket Sprouts makes good use of simple signage by having arrows on the floor along with stickers telling shoppers where to stand when waiting for their turn at the checkout counter.
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  • Use antimicrobial shelves and fixtures if possible
    • If you’re looking for more ways to keep your customers and employees safe, Equipping store with bacteria and virus-resistant countertop maps and displays.