With post-holiday sales winding down, retail floors seem to be more spacious, and stores seem to be saying, “Ahhh, Breathe!” As retailers begin to transition from winter merchandise into spring inventory, it’s a good time to open up the space on the store floor. While holiday and winter displays often use heavier, bulky fixtures that can house lots of product, spring and summer call for lighter fare. No longer should merchandise be jammed into bins or wedged so close together on racks that the hangers can barely move. Spring is an ideal time for slat wall displays and open shelving, as well as intriguing floor displays.

These displays have become the new “window dressing.” They are scenes on the retail floor, featuring mannequins holding or using the products or wearing the clothing in a vignette of everyday living. For example, a sporting goods retailer may use mannequins dressed in lightweight spring jackets they’re featuring, but the mannequins will also be holding fishing rods and sitting in a canoe, with tackle boxes and fishing supplies surrounding the area. The jackets would be available on nearby racks, the fishing tackle boxes stacked on shelves next to the scene, and fishing rods hung on the nearest wall. While these vignettes occupy valuable floor space, they also tell a story and are great sales tools. By positioning shelving with product next to the displays or even mounting the displays on the shelves, it drives interest and can also direct store traffic flow.

Mannequins or partial mannequins can also be placed on shelves to keep floor space open. One-leg mannequins each with a colorful sock or stocking can give a “pop” of spring color and add a twist to your store floor. In addition, consider using difficult-to-reach spaces that are traditionally “dead” areas or inventory storage for display purposes. A slat wall can have product hung on it up to about the six-foot level, then the upper tier can be used for a scene – whether it’s hung on the slat wall itself or shelves are placed above the slat wall. By transforming these unreachable areas that are impractical for customers into practical displays, you can get more out of your store floor and open your store floor to spring.