Keep things simple with your Christmas retail displays
The judges in this year’s Farm Retail Awards were blown away by the design and displays at The Farm Stratford. Here, the award-winning retailer’s visual merchandiser, Kitty Greenwood, gives her tips for good Christmas retail displays
At The Farm we tend to work within quite a limited colour palette. For us Christmas colours are quite neutral – we use a lot of white and silver and gold and natural colours. It may sound a little miserable, but I don’t really do colourful Christmas, and if you have a limited colour palette the whole impact is better. Using a neutral palette lends itself to displays that allow you to reuse other things you may have around – egg boxes to display baubles, old baskets or food crates for displays.
Focus your displays
We tend to keep the main decorations concentrated in one area of the shop – we’ve got a large retail area but the same applies to smaller stores as well. We don’t decorate the whole shop to make it easier for ourselves, but also to not overwhelm the customers. We have a large tree at the front that we decorate with the Christmas lines we’re stocking which is a great way of showing them off, and a large table that always contains the focus of any seasonal themes. Here we have the majority of our festive lines, and bundle products together for gifting – high-end wines with bottle openers, spirits with cocktail shakers.
Keep your festive items concentrated in a smaller area. That’s not to say I don’t decorate the rest of the shop, but we want that impact as soon as you walk through the door. The period you have to sell Christmas stock is really quite small, so you need to maximise the sales potential. Keep the displays limited though – if the area is cluttered it will be hard for your customers to be drawn in – we’ve kept things simple the last couple Christmases and our sales have benefited.
Stick with your ethos
Most importantly, Christmas – like everything else with visual merchandising – is a personal thing. Everyone chooses their festive visuals to suit their style and their premises, and we do the same. We do what we do because it suits our ethos – even down to the gifts and decorations we were selling which were in keeping with our sustainability focus (handmade bamboo stars and decorations sold really well for us). Everything is kept neutral and sustainable, and we try to buy in things we can use again at other times of the year. Everyone has a different opinion on how to do Christmas but what’s most important is that it’s in keeping with your operation.