Christmas is the most exciting time of the year to be in retail. It’s a time when you can really go all out to create a magical experience for your customers. Last year’s gia Australia winner and global honouree Koskela shares its top 5 merchandising tips for the silly season:
1 We have a huge space so it’s really important to do something dramatic. Think about having an eye-catching centrepiece. One year, we had a huge moss covered tree with copper decorations.
2 Volume―it’s the time of the year when you want everything (unless they are really special one off pieces) to be looking plentiful. Fuller displays always attract more attention. We will bulk up particular ranges and try grouping them together in themes or categories.
3 Think about the materials you use―can you use something more unexpected than the standard Christmas themes? Do snowy white landscapes really reflect an Australian Christmas or is there something else you could use? This year we'll be using terracotta, silvery greens and natural timbers. In the past we've used fluoro red as our accent colour or aqua blue. We tend to often use natural materials to incorporate in our displays.
4 Timing―how early is too early to set up for Christmas? I think the best time to get Christmas displays up is the first week of November. For us it fits in with the time people are really thinking about Christmas. You want customers to be excited by it, rather than a bit cynical.
5 Think about what good you can do as well. Maybe there’s someone out there who is more needy who could benefit from a little Christmas cheer. Could you charge for gift wrap and donate that to a charity or cause that ties in with your business? We support the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF) and Rainforest Rescue and our wrapping money usually goes towards one of these charities. ALNF works with indigenous communities who we also work with and Rainforest Rescue ties in with our environmental focus.