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Retailers Question Window Displays

Retailers Question Window Displays

The tradition of window dressing dates back to early 1900s. In the same year L. Frank Baum published the Wizard of Oz, he inspired retailers with the release of his other book, The Art of Decorating Dry Goods Windows and Interiors.

Not everyone is a fan of the later publication. In a move that caught everybody by surprise, UK lottery operator Camelot announced that they would no longer invest in retail window displays. Account managers were taken back – surely sales would suffer with minimal visual presence in store. To the surprise and relief of many, the move had no impact on sales the following year.

The limited impact on sales is not surprising. If you consider all the traffic passing your store, only 8-10% will notice your presence. Of those who look at the store, the majority will focus on the entrance- rather than the window.

Should similar operators such as Lotto Ireland limit their spending on window dressing?

The limited impact of window displays can also be explained by the angle of approach. Window displays can be impactful when consumers look at them ‘square on’. However, your typical customer is going to walk alongside your shop. If the consumer notices the window at all, they will only witness small elements of the display or POS.

For window displays to be effective, they need to be extremely eye catching. A number of years ago, Arnotts drew huge crowds to its window display on Liffey Street with the use of human mannequins. This was a great initiative but not feasible over the long term.

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