Good Visuals Help Reach Sales Goals

November 1998


Good Visuals Help Reach Sales Goals

Watch companies add display expertise to your stores

When it comes to watch displays are you long on desire but short on cash? Do you feel there's a better way to display watches but you don't have time or money to experiment?

It may be time to tap into the visual merchandising expertise of your watch suppliers. Most will help custom design your showcase and/or window displays – at their own expense.

Many of them study how to display their watch lines for maximum sales. Some even hire visual experts to help you reach sales goals.

Start with Sales
The first step is to assess what sells and get rid of what doesn't, says Scott Marshall, manager of visual design for Gucci Timepieces, Irvine, CA. Once you've cleared away the dogs, showcase the top sellers among a good representation of the line. "This year we placed our steel models in the center of the case and surrounded them with other watches," he says. In other words, show enough of the line that customers have options but don't hide the hot models.

A store display should echo the brand's overall image. "Sales grow when consumers can quickly identify the image we've supported worldwide," says Marshall. "That's what brings them to look into the showcase." In Gucci's case, this often means a "window" display, a big backlit image behind a showcase in which Gucci watches are grouped by type and on different levels (see photo). The results: at one store near Boston, sales increased 16% after a new display was installed. At a store in Hawaii, sales rose 40%.

At Seiko, visual merchandising is handled by a 25-member team headed by Pat Holland. The team handles everything from training to in-store seminars and stock balancing. Seiko created new displays for its Pulsar and Seiko brands this year and added a Merchandiser of the Year award for the visual team member who best assists retail sales.

 Tips from SEIKO

Highlight new products front and center.

If a case is too full, pull out duplicates. If it's too empty, double up on best-sellers (no more than two of any one style).

Are watches on the correct collars? Do they face the correct direction? Are displays clean, trays straight and crystals and bracelets polished?

Check the finished display from the front as a customer would.

Symmetry creates formal balance; asymmetry creates informal balance.

A prominent location makes a watch or a line dominant.

Create a natural flow. In large cases, group watches by strap color, dial color, bracelet tone or other characteristic.

With small-stock stores, pair men's and women's watches by theme. Leave space between themes so customers can focus on each one separately.

Crowding damages watches and confuses consumers.

– by Michael Thompson


Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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