Visual Merchandising

I was reading Garden Trade News at work today and the feature on merchandising the gift department caught my eye. Some of this is very relevant to craft stalls and I thought I’d share.

1) Display items in groups of three with clear lines. Apparently this psychologically appeals in a “one must be better than the other” way even if they’re the same product. I also personally believe odd numbers are easier on the eye, so three works well here.

2) Repetitive display of multiple products accounts for the bulk of sales, but with some items it is hard to do this with when relating to the craft fair.  Keep it eye catching with deliberate asymmetrical or symmetrical arrangements, band your colours if possible, and on a more simple level, don’t try and put all of your eggs in one basket- stick to a theme of clothes, or jewellery or glassware, don’t make your table look like a jumble sale stall.

3) Composition is crucial. The magazine advises organising the display to have a focal point at eye level, which then leads the eye further along your stall. So in craft terms, make an interesting centrepiece to grab attention, even if it’s not something you’d actually sell. I’m thinking of making a big resin guitar for example!

4) Cleanliness and uniformity. Keep the table looking organised, even as things sell or people pick up your items. Keep some things under the table to fill in the gaps.

I have started looking at my table layout as I’m not happy with it, I’ve created a layout incorporating shelves to group themed items (seaside, fabric, etc) together (in threes) rather than all necklaces together or all rings together, for example. The differing heights also encourage people to look at everything as they can’t skim across the stall just at their eyeline, which helps keep people at your table for longer. Some people use boxes under their tablecloths and other techniques for this. I have tried to keep a rummage factor by keeping some of my necklace arms, as some people do like looking through (which is why TK Maxx is successful!), bargain hunting as it were.

I still need a centrepiece, and another display cushion on the top shelf and some of the signage has got a bit tatty, but it’s coming together nicely. Still a work in progress! Quite proud of my lighting system on my shelving though!



  1. Posted March 9, 2009 at 10:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    great tips – thank you so much!

  2. Posted March 10, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very useful – thank you!

  3. Posted March 11, 2009 at 10:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for this! Really helpful, especially that bit about the theme. I always feel my tables look a bit bitty…

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