Retail Environments Network
Provides a Meeting Place
WIth 17,000 members from around the world, A.R.E.’s LinkedIn group brings
the industry together for more discussions, articles, and posts than ever before.
Here’s a taste of recent activity.
Traditional boxed window display
vs. opening up the window to create
a full view into retail space—which is best?
WHEN A DESIGNER ASKED the Retail Environments Network
for thoughts on effective approaches to store windows,
a very active discussion was the result. Here are some of
the group’s conclusions:
• Some retailers may eliminate traditional window
displays in order to reduce costs and maintenance. But as
Manuel Hormigo, an in-store marketing consultant in Spain,
says, “To save isn’t always to win.”
• Display some products in the window, but offer an
open view into the store to invite customers in. “There
seems to be a big trend in creating a view to the inside
of the store,” says Jennifer Dillon, owner of Jennifer Dillon
Design in Ireland. “In a sense, the entire store becomes
• Enclosed windows provide a back wall for display and
add drama—but may be intimidating to passersby who are
deciding whether to go into the store.
• Natural light from open windows can reduce energy
costs and allow customers to see activity in the store. “That
can prompt more of them entering than even the best window display,” says Nancy Jensen, principal of Nartwerks.
• Designers should plan to deal with window reflection,
inside and out. Michael Battler, of C- West Custom Fixtures
in Calgary, Alberta, says better lighting inside the window
area can counter reflectivity problems and exterior light
• Think about what customers will see when they look
through a window into the store. A view of the checkout
station, for example, may not be compelling.
• Consider the size of the window. For a store with a huge
storefront, a closed back may be best. A relatively small
window may best provide an open view into the store.
Ultimately, as Battler concludes: “The short answer is that
both can work very well. Like most visual merchandising and
store design issues in retail, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.” Says Douglas Phillips of Henderson, Nev.: “Even with
an open storefront, there needs to be something beyond
large graphics that will catch the attention of potential
customers—other wise it’s just another store.”
OPEN WINDOWS: At Hudson Grace in San Francisco, the window display is not only
a street-facing presentation, but shoppable merchandise with circulation on all sides
inside the store.
CLOSED WINDOWS: At Linen Chest in Repentigny, P.Q., Canada, oversized black-and-white lifestyle graphics in box window displays draw attention with 3D cutouts backlit
with continuous LED lighting.