Palmer Retail Solutions Blog

Retail Fixture Trends for 2015

Posted by Kathy Heil on Sep 22, 2014 6:04:08 PM

Prepare Your Store for 2015

Over the past year or so, retailers across the country have begun to see a happy trend: more shoppers, willing to spend more than they have in several years. The smart retailers are doing everything they can to attract walk-by and in-store interest from these prospective customers intent on buying.

Renewed excitement among shoppers means you need to offer them something new. No wonder so many retail marketers report they plan to let go of some of their own cash and invest in new retail store fixtures.

What can we expect in the way of new fixtures for 2015?

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Tags: retail tips, retail advice, palmer retail solutions, retail fixtures, interactive kiosks, retail solutions, store fixture tips

When is the right time to add end cap displays?

Posted by Kathy Heil on Jul 17, 2014 8:47:46 AM

Tips for End Cap Displays

If you’re a retailer, it’s always the right time to add end cap displays. They are proven winners when it comes to boosting sales, so you want to take every opportunity to incorporate them into your merchandise presentation. Well-designed end caps capture your shopper’s attention and when they’re stocked with the right products, end cap displays turn passersby into buyers.

Use end cap displays when you want to:

  • Move large quantities of special-purchase merchandise
  • Draw shoppers farther into your store, transition shoppers from one aisle to the next and provide an appealing “touch point” along the way.
  • Generate immediate interest in the latest merchandise arrivals.
  • Increase sales by making maximum use of valuable floor space at the ends of aisles.
  • Keep customers in the store longer, and upsell them by showcasing complementary products within the end cap display, in an adjacent end cap or down the next aisle.
  • Reinforce a store-wide promotional theme with relevant merchandise, for holidays, heart-healthy month, etc.
  • Keep your store fresh-looking and exciting – customers are always interested in what’s new and what’s a great bargain.
  • Feature a particular brand. Depending on what type of products you sell, manufacturers can often supply fully branded, self-contained units with signage, shelving or racks, lighting, etc. all built in. All you have to do is keep it stocked.
  • Launch a new product.
  • Encourage customers to interact with your merchandise – sampling the salsa or spritzing a test of perfume. Incorporate a video screen for demonstrations or self-serve actions, or use a free-standing kiosk as your end cap, stocking merchandise below and to the sides.

The outstanding visual impact of end cap displays may be what catches someone's eye, but people will be even more likely to slow down and take a closer look if there’s a chance to touch or taste the products.

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Tags: end cap displays, retail tips, retail advice, palmer retail solutions, retail displays, retail, End Caps

End Cap Best Practices

Posted by Kathy Heil on Jul 16, 2014 1:32:57 PM

Make the most of your end cap displays

Recently a trade publication stated that 67% of supermarket customers focus on end cap displays almost exclusively, rarely taking the time to stroll the aisles. This statistic underscores the importance of end cap displays. Every type and size retail operation has aisles, and every aisle has an end. That gives you multiple opportunities to maximize sales. Are you making the most of those opportunities?

All the creative ideas in the world won’t help your end cap displays hit the sales mark unless you’re using best practices to build those displays in the first place. Once you’ve established a tempting physical presence, then it’s time to let your imagination go wild on the details. Let’s look some of those best practices that create lucrative displays.

Strong color and interesting design

Your store undoubtedly presents shoppers with plenty of visual stimulation. To be big sellers, your end cap displays have to stand out among all that and shout “buy from me!”

You don’t have to use fixtures with shelves to create stunning end cap displays. Anything that will hold your merchandise has potential. For back-to-school, use old school desks and chairs to hold larger items, book bags or colorful “wastebaskets” to hold smaller loose items. Or make your display look like a huge crayon box.

Building your display around a theme is far more eye-catching, because it differentiates the end cap from the rest of your store. It’s more fun, more interesting, a bigger draw. The less it looks like a stack of stuff, the more intriguing it will be for shoppers

Less variety, more depth

The most successful end cap highlights just a few different items. Too many choices confuse shoppers about the “point” of your end cap, making them more likely to pass by rather than homing in on your merchandise. On the other hand, you want to offer an atmosphere of plenty, so stock those few items deeper than usual. That way when products start flying off display shelves, you won’t have to restock as often.

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Tags: end cap displays, retail tips, retail advice, palmer retail solutions, retail displays, retail, End Caps

Tips for Effective Retail Store Management

Posted by Kathy Heil on Jun 30, 2014 4:30:03 AM

Effectively manage your retail store with these tips.

Whether you have one employee or many, effective retail management requires both delegation and oversight. You can’t do all the jobs yourself, and you shouldn’t try. Instead, the best managers organize and orchestrate, always with the big picture in mind. Success starts with building the right team.

Effective managers are constantly aware of what’s happening throughout their store and they know what to be on the lookout for. What can be corrected or improved upon in regards to a store’s appearance or it's merchandising displays? What should be corrected or improved upon in terms of employee-customer interactions?

Goal #1: Create an outstanding customer experience.

Retail management covers a lot of ground, much of it is behind-the-scenes training, planning and choosing the right inventory, but ultimately it’s your customer who determines a store’s success.

Is the checkout process smooth, without undue wait times? You may want to consider adding more cash registers or self-service checkouts lanes to alleviate strain during the heaviest times, or a small kiosk that shows entertaining promotional videos to customers waiting in line.

Do unexpected little things:

  • Feature an unusual display fixture that triggers an instant smile
  • Have your sales associates randomly tuck a thank-you coupon into customer carry-out bags.
  • Text a heads-up to your best customers about an upcoming exclusive sale.

Customer-centric retail management builds rapport and loyalty that increases sales. It turns customers into valuable brand advocates who will post great reviews and promote your store to their online and in-person friends and followers.

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Tags: retail space, retail tips, retail management, retail advice, palmer retail solutions, kiosk, retail industry, retail solutions, retail, management, retail store tips, Retail Environment Industry

Does Your Kiosk Pass the "Usability" Test?

Posted by Kathy Heil on Jun 5, 2014 10:19:01 AM

How to test the usability of your kiosk.

Like the Field of Dreams, if you build an interactive kiosk, people will come. Kiosks automatically attract attention, but how do you know if your kiosk will pass the "usability" test?. One way you will know is if people actually use it, and feel good about the experience. If interactive kiosks are not easy and intuitive to use, people will shy away from them. Worse, they’ll associate your brand with their frustration.

As excited as you may be to get your kiosk into position and operating, you should allot extra time before launch to be certain it will perform as intended– from your user’s standpoint.
Testing the usability of interactive kiosks before deploying them is essential. The point of installing a kiosk is to enhance your customer’s experience with your business. Therefore, the goal of usability testing isn’t to see if the kiosk functions properly from a mechanical or electronic standpoint, it’s to see how – and how well – your intended audience is able to interact with the equipment to accomplish their desired objectives.


That requires asking the right questions.

You can test usability by observing subjects using the kiosk in a controlled setting and by employing more sophisticated techniques such as tracking eye movement or heat mapping to understand and perfect the user experience. But testing is only worthwhile if the test itself is properly constructed. You have to ask the right questions to get helpful answers.

Where will your kiosk be used?

Different settings such as a lobby, retail store or waiting room will affect the design and placement of the kiosk. An information kiosk that looks like an out of place ATM might be ignored in a waiting room.

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Tags: kiosk design, palmer, retail advice, kiosk advice, kiosks, palmer retail solutions, mobile kiosk, interactive kiosks, kiosk, kiosk tips, choosing a kiosk, retail, kiosk test

The Psychology of Cash Wrap Counters

Posted by Kathy Heil on May 22, 2014 7:00:42 AM

Place your cash wrap in the optimum spot.

The cash wrap counter – or “check-out counter” in the minds of your customers – is one of the most important elements within your store. Even though it’s the last stop for shoppers, it can make or break their positive experience, serving as a point of sale as well as a point of purchase. How you configure cash wraps and where you place them requires some smart psychology on your part.

Cash wraps send several messages to customers.

They should be attractive, easy to find and convenient for both customers and employees to use. Studies show most customers head to the right when entering a store, so locating your cash wrap counter to the left, but not right inside the entrance, enables shoppers to circle through your merchandise displays and arrive at the counter on their way out.

Depending on your store’s layout, another location may be more appropriate, but you certainly don’t want to give up your most valuable merchandising real estate for the cash wrap area.

If your store is a square shape, centering the cash wrap might work well, unless security considerations indicate it should be closer to the entrance/exit. And, of course, very large stores often have multiple counters strategically located throughout the shopping area.

Cash wrap counters should offer plenty of space. Customers will need enough room to comfortably:

  • Set down their items, even if they have an armload.
  • Write a check or sign a credit card slip. If you use a card reader, it should be within easy reach. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires some stores to offer a writing surface between 28-30 inches high, but you can accommodate this with a pull-out shelf or by offering a portable writing surface.

Sales staff need enough room to:

  • Position computers, cash registers or other relevant equipment or tools, and add equipment to accommodate shoppers quickly during busiest periods.
  • Efficiently scan and wrap items. Often cash wraps have a separate counter space for wrapping and packaging merchandise.
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Tags: retail environment, store layout, cashwrap, palmer, retail advice, cash wraps, palmer retail solutions, retail industry, retail solutions, retail displays, retail

Types of Cash Wrap Configurations

Posted by Kathy Heil on May 20, 2014 7:00:00 AM

Choose the best cash wrap configuration for your needs.

Cash wrap configurations can be virtually anything you want, which means you can design them to perfectly match your functional needs and also the look and atmosphere of your store.

Exactly where you put your cash wrap counter and which configuration you choose will depend on the size and shape of your retail store as well as which activities you need to handle at the counter area. Cash wraps:

  • Keep things organized.
  • Give customers a place to set merchandise and pay for their purchases.
  • Encourage a bit of last-minute impulse shopping.
  • Enable employees to have a final personal interaction with customers, sending them on their way with a smile.

What shape do you want?

Cash wraps can be designed in three basic configurations:

  • A single countertop or cabinet surface, placed parallel or perpendicular to the wall or as a free-standing “island.”
  • A two-part unit – one section parallel to the wall and another free-standing unit placed in front, facing the customer.
  • Three-part design that encloses the two-part unit on one side, creating horseshoe.

Two or three-sided configurations are best if you need more than one payment station, and a U-shape improves security by restricting access behind the counter.

You can build your cash wrap counter as a simple, level countertop or add a desk-type section, but you’ll also want a cabinet that contains drawers and shelving – with doors -- to keep extra supplies out of sight. Recessed top shelves are useful for hiding electrical cords, and adjustable shelves are handy for holding hangers, returned merchandise or wrapping supplies and bags.

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Tags: retail environment, retail tips, palmer, retail advice, cash wraps, palmer retail solutions, retail stores, Floor Fixtures, retail industry, retail solutions, retail displays, retail, Retail Environment Industry

Retail Display Safety

Posted by Kathy Heil on May 2, 2014 5:00:13 AM

Keep your store safe for employees and customers by following these tips.

Retail display safety is critical. The last thing you want to happen in your store is an accident of some kind. Customers or employees could be injured, and merchandise could get broken or otherwise damaged. In a shopping environment where creating an outstanding customer experience is your top priority, accidents can erase all your othper efforts in a heartbeat.

What can go wrong?

Fixtures and display units come in all types and sizes – from slatwalls and shelving units to mobile or fixed display cases such as counters, gondolas and tables, to free-standing racks, kiosks or sunglass racks. Displays can also incorporate digital signage units. These products can be constructed of wood, plastic, wire, metal, cardboard or glass.

The sheer variety of display options adds to the list of potential accidents:

  • Improper assembly or overloading your display with too much merchandise can cause it to collapse.
  • Uneven loading can also cause a display to tip over or collapse.
  • Empty endcaps and low-level stacks of merchandise can cause shoppers to trip and fall, since they’re most likely focused on your products, not the floor.
  • Display hooks with sharp ends can cut or scratch.
  • Damaged display components can cause failure or injuries.
  • Employees can fall as a result of using back room shelving or even lighting fixtures to climb up or brace themselves when retrieving merchandise.
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Tags: retail environment, Store Fixtures, retail tips, palmer, display space, retail advice, palmer retail solutions, retail stores, Floor Fixtures, retail industry, retail solutions, retail displays, merchandising, retail, retail store tips, palmer prs, Retail Environment Industry

Retail Marketing to Millennials

Posted by Kathy Heil on Apr 29, 2014 10:00:58 AM

Market to millennials successfully with these tips.

Older generations always seem to have difficulty understanding younger ones. But for retail marketers who are perhaps in one of those older generations, millennials present a true mystery. What’s so different about these young adults? And how do you strategize an effective plan for retail marketing to millennials?

Just who are these “millennials”?

They are men and women ages 18-33 – the first generation to officially reach adulthood in the new millennium. With more than 50 million of them here in the United States, so finding an effective marketing strategy definitely makes sense for retailers who want to thrive in the future.

A report just released the renowned Pew Research reveals some interesting facts about millennials, compared to earlier generations. They:

  • Hold more liberal views on social issues than their parents.
  • Are better educated than any earlier generation.
  • Have more student debt.
  • Are less likely to be married.
  • Are “low on social trust” – in other words, they’re brand aware but not brand loyal.
  • Spend about an hour a day on retail websites.
  • Prefer brand interaction to traditional advertising – they’re happy to engage with you, but want to do that on their own terms.
  • Rely on word of mouth rather than research to make buying decisions. Social media networks are their go-to resources, especially Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr.

They’re upbeat and optimistic about their future. A whopping 85 percent of those who responded to the Pew survey said they have, or anticipate having, enough money to live the way they want to. Admittedly, many of them are either still living with their parents (thanks to the recession) or are receiving money from them.

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Tags: retail environment, store layout, retail tips, palmer, retail advice, palmer retail solutions, retail stores, selling tips, retail industry, retail solutions, retail displays, retail, retail store tips, palmer prs, Retail Environment Industry

Choosing Customer Friendly Store Fixtures

Posted by aderby on Apr 24, 2014 6:00:52 AM

It just makes sense to have customer friendly store fixtures. If you make it easy and pleasant for people to shop, they’ll stick around longer and buy more!

Customer friendly display fixtures are:

  • Attractive – interesting enough to draw the eye toward your products without overpowering them, while showing off your products' best attributes.
  • Changeable – components you can move around your store or place in different configurations are a smarter investment because they’re more versatile. They also help keep your store ever changing and fresh looking.
  • Convenient – putting products within easy reach.
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Tags: retail environment, Store Fixtures, display fixture tips, retail tips, display fixtures, retail advice, kiosk advice, palmer retail solutions, customer friendly, kiosk display, customer friendly store fixtures, retail solutions, retail displays, Retail Environment Industry

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