9 Tips for Choosing Retail Displays (& 3 examples)

I’m going to say upfront that this is not a blog post telling you which retail display stands are the best, nor does it define the specific uses of any particular merchandiser.

This post takes it back a step – how to make merchandisers work in yourstore, for you.

Maybe you have just introduced a new range in that needs a special method of displaying. Maybe you have relocated, done a refit or the shop needs an update.

Sooner or late you will discover that choosing retail display stands is not as easy or mundane as it seems. Here are 9 things to remember while you are making the critical decision.

Think About the Big Picture

What personality does your shop have? What atmosphere do you want to convey? Do you want to excite the customer, reassure them or otherwise make them emotionally attached to your store? This is most important and should govern everything that goes in your shop: merchandisers, fittings, products and even staff!


The Kathryn Amberleigh store in New York could be described as having an “industrial” theme

Stay in Theme

Keep a uniform colour theme, and style of fittings. Try to sum up your shop’s style in a couple of words – is it grungy, stylish, or minimalist? Keep to your shop’s style by choosing display stands which fit with it.

Be Unique

It’s important to be memorable in the mind of your customer. Consider how your merchandising stands could help you to be unique. Controversial and attention seeking is one way to do it, but may lose you customers if not expressed well. Unique could be anything – so long as it’s in theme. Your theme is Bohemian? Drape necklaces through display hands or wrap multiple scarves around a torso for memorable display methods…. The options are endless!

Similarities and Differences Matter

If you have pretty much entirely fitted out your shop in white, a red mannequin will stand out much more than a white one. Why? Because an element of difference will immediately make a greater impact on visitors to your shop, opposed to row after row of sameness.


In this Spanish Sweets shop, your eye is immediately drawn to the centre table, more specifically, to one corner of it!

Consider the Customer

Think about the shopping experience your customer will have in your store. Don’t make products too difficult to access, as they will be ignored.

Consider staff (and yourself)

Will it be difficult to change products on your display? If it requires training, health risks (like climbing rickety ladders) or extreme coordination, it’s probably not a good idea.

See the Light

Do you have a shop with fluoros? Dark shadows? A fireplace? There are many variations of lighting in shops and in most cases retail display stands will look different in your shop than online. There’s no fool proof way of knowing exactly how they will look in your shop, but it’s important that you bear in mind light sources, and lighting colour.


The lighting in the House of Heels from Liberty of London fits with the ‘stately home’ theme – soft warm lighting, that suits the gold tinted displays

Remember Scale

Consider the scale of your shop before purchasing any merchandisers. Do you have a lot of things in a little place, a few things in a small area or a large area that’s almost empty? Ensure that the stands you purchase will not only fit in your shop, but won’t disappear altogether, or overpower the products you’re selling.

“Please Do Not Touch” is not going to work

Finally, fragile is out. Unless you are a purveyor of crystal products or a high end jewellery shop, it is better to have the majority of your products displayed to be touched. When humans touch a product they immediately have a much stronger link with it. Don’t purchase displays which break easily, you will live to regret it!

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