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What is Retail Merchandising and Why does It Matter?

What is Retail Merchandising and Why does It Matter?

We’re living in a visual age. As a result, the way retailers merchandise their store can have a big effect on sales. Keep reading to learn more about retail merchandising and get tips for effectively merchandising your store.

What Is Retail Merchandising?

Merchandising refers to the way you display products in your store. For example, the “look and feel” of the overall store, the way the store is laid out, and the actual merchandise displays (racks, window displays, table displays, etc.) make a difference.

Good retail merchandising helps attract customers through your doors [1]. However, once they’re inside, the way your store is merchandised can help guide their path. As a result, direct their attention to your highest-profit products. And keep them in the store longer.

Planning Your Customer Path

To get started merchandising your store, consider these factors:

Use your store layout to guide customers to the products you want to focus on. Depending on your space, you can lay out your store in a grid with aisles, a loop format with a circular path throughout the store or even a “free form” layout that appears haphazard. You can sketch out your layout or use planogram software for retailers to create your design.

Elements of Retail Merchandising

Once you’ve got your essential layout set, consider how best to use the following elements to merchandise your store.


Decide on the right mix of fixtures to suit your space and layout. For example, ask yourself if your products should hang from racks or sit on shelves? Do you want to display items in glass cases or make them available for customers to hold and touch?


Use lighting to draw customer focus to key areas and products. For example, you might want spotlights on the newest products or on luxury items in your store. In addition to focused lighting, use the store’s overall lighting to set a mood. As a result, you might use bright, gleaming light in an electronics store or sultry, low light in a lingerie shop.


Signage gets customers in the door and guides them through the store. In addition to basic signs indicating categories and prices, you may need wayfinding signage (“Fitting Rooms” or “Cashier”), sales signage that spotlights the benefits of a product, and display window signage.


Use decor to convey your brand and to highlight key product displays. For example, paint, floor coverings, wall coverings and window coverings can create different spaces.

Retail Merchandising Display Ideas

Common ways to group merchandise for display include:

Your displays should:

Tips You Should Follow

Follow these tips to create effective retail displays:

A little attention to your retail merchandising can make a big difference in your sales. As a result, you need to look for your most effective merchandising tips?

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