You go to Market to buy new products and learn about the new trends, but it is also a great opportunity to get new showroom design inspiration. You need to keep your store fresh to attract today’s consumer and manufacturers are often on the cutting-edge of new design trends.
For the last five years, High Point Market Authority has been honoring those manufacturers that excel in providing superior showroom design during the Fall Market Showroom Design Competition. This year’s winners are: Bernhardt, Best of Market Award; Surya, Fashion Focus Award; and Four Hands, People’s Choice Award.
RetailerNOW caught up with the winners, and got these four tips on how to bring their award-winning ideas into your store.
Years ago, Bernhardt’s Creative Director, Ron Fiore, was in Paris when a store stopped him in his tracks. Large iron doors separated those on the outside from the warm, inviting store featuring a library where people were enjoying their coffee. The environment was warm and inviting—drawing the person from the outside, in.
Inspired by this scene, Ron wanted to create that same inviting feeling in Bernhardt’s High Point showroom. The entryway was turned into a large library, with large-scale bookcases, furniture, and layers of accents. The whole feeling was a romantic scene that drew in Market-goers.
“Focus on something that is aspirational in your store,” Ron said. “It doesn’t have to be a library—that is pretty aggressive. But think romantically and think about transporting your customer’s mindset. Where would you want to be transported?”
With every new design idea, you always need to keep in mind basic design principles. Whether you are creating a lifestyle vignette or an entryway, make sure there is focus to it. “Humans can only handle so much at a time, and the eye can only handle so much detail,” Ron said. “You may have good settings, but if there is no attention to the focus of it, it will not work. Sets of threes always seem to work.”
Give the customers a show—and make sure it looks fantastic from every direction. “People always pay attention to the forward, but not the other way. Those sightlines are important as well. Make sure all of your displays look great from the front, and back,” he added.
“Fashion should be important in our industry, even though it isn’t always. We are an extension of fashion into the home,” said Satya Tiwari, owner of Surya. Surya showcased the connection between furniture and fashion by creating a dress crafted entirely of their rug swatches. Displayed on a mannequin, the dress featured the latest styles that are found in women’s fashion apparel.
“It is about connecting the dots for the consumer, and showing them the fashion behind a piece,” Satya added. “When a customer walks into your store and sees products that reflect the styles she is currently wearing, there is a subliminal connection to the fashion.”
An easy way to keep the latest styles in your store is by freshening up your accessories every season. Also talk to the customer about her fashion style and how she sees that style reflected in her home.
4. Upcycle Your Merchandising Displays
Looking for innovative, and inexpensive ways to add flair to your merchandising displays? Take an idea from the Four Hands showroom, which featured upcycling displays—a hot trend where you convert wasted materials into something new and usable. In the Four Hands showroom, upcycling could be seen in displays made out of paper bags, old paint cans, stones, books and more.
“We realize budget is a huge thing for the retailer, and the consumer, so we tried to get creative,” said Cameron Cook, public relations manager with Four Hands. “We had employees bring in empty milk cartons, egg crates, beer cans, wine bottles—even corks—and make fun displays throughout the showroom.”
Have your employees bring in old items from their house, or find some old pallets in the warehouse, and have a fun DIY afternoon creating unique, innovative displays.