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Holiday display dos and don’ts for small stores

Holiday display dos and don’ts for small stores

It may seem like you just packed up all of your summer display fixtures, but it's true – the holiday season is almost upon us. That is, if you work in retail. If you are part of this world, you know that the holiday season starts before all the leaves have even fallen off the trees, not to mention weeks before Thanksgiving.

Of course, window displays are a hallmark of the holidays for many retail stores big and small. If you're a small business owner, you might not think window displays matter that much to your business. However, around the holidays, customers expect some sort of show of festivity, so consider these dos and don'ts to have successful holiday season.

-Do have a focal point. Whether you want it to be a glowing reindeer or your newest line of flannel shirts, pick a focal point and stick with it. Everything else should simply accent, not compete with, the focal point.

-Do be creative with materials and budget. You didn't order a massive Christmas tree or free-standing glittery snowman months in advance? Don't worry. When you don't have the right props, you can use the window itself as a display fixture. Paint a design on the inside of your windows, or simply add some white paint to the lower portion of the window to give the whole display the appearance of being covered in a blanket of snow.

-Don't use items for the sake of using them. You've got Christmas lights, a tree, a Santa figurine, some stockings, ornaments, garlands… Great! However, that does not mean you have to use all of them. It can be tempting to just throw everything "holiday" together just for the sake of it, but refrain. It is better to pick just a few holiday decorations with which to accent your merchandise.

-Don't alienate your clientele. Christmas tends to get much more media attention than other holidays such as Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, but try not to create displays that could alienate people based on their faith. Instead of having something overtly religious, try to capture the joy of the holiday season, or represent different holidays in different displays.

The main aspect of creating a store display is to keep it simple. Although large stores like Macy's may have the ability to create extraordinary window displays, smaller businesses should keep it simple for the most successful and engaging displays.