Tom Stenzel built Venture Quality Goods with the idea that he could make a positive contribution to the the apparel retail landscape for men over 25, which he considers to be in quite a sad state right now. Says Stenzel: “There’s a whole bunch of guys out here that may have moved out of their 20s and gained a wife and kids, but that doesn’t mean their sense of style and desire to look good has fallen away. Almost all retailers are either completely dedicated to the 15-25 segment or they under-appreciate our guys’ interest in clothing. For example, our guy isn’t going clubbing anymore, and he doesn’t want to feel like he’s wearing a costume. He just wants well-made comfortable clothing that reflects his personality. We also recognize our guys’ stage in life by including a seating area where wives and kids can hang. There’s even an Ipad for the kids to enjoy while dad shops.”
We appreciate the style of this Northern California specialty retailer and his dedication to providing comfortable, quality clothing to men over 25. We think you will too.
Our last post featured merchandising expert Kelsie Morrow’s comments about what was done well and where there are future opportunities for excellence in two of Pack Rat Outdoor Center’s recent window displays.
The same Fayetteville, Arkansas specialty retailer sent us another photo of two of their holiday window display for Kelsie’s review. Additionally, we got a great display from Out There Outfitters in Wayne, PA for the second display.
Display #1 (from Pack Rat Outdoor)
-White background makes the objects pop.
-It’s truly funny and shows a great sense of humor.
-It’s clever that they put their name on the candy.
-Use some waterproof jackets in red and orange on mannequins and hang Hershey Kisses like they are raindrops.
Display #2 (from Out There Outfitters)
-What could potentially look like organized clutter is actually interesting and enticing
-Their sign makes good use of marketing and it’s in white so we can see it from far away and at night.
-The display tells a story and the colors for all the gifts are merchandised well.
-No pointers! These guys rocked it!
A few weeks ago we posted merchandising expert Kelsie Morrow’s presentation on window displays that she gave at the Winter 2013 Outdoor Retailer show. We invited you to send photos of your own retail displays… and you did! Here are one store’s displays, along with Kelsie’s comments about what was done well and where there are future opportunities for excellence.
From Pack Rat Outdoor Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas here are two different displays:
Window Display #1
- I love how they stuck to a theme and used merchandise to support it!
- The bold colors they used can be seen from far away.
- The lighting is great with the white background.
- I like the lack of clutter.
- Make sure to steam out the wrinkles in the background. Lighting can pick these up and “weaken” the display.
- Add even more layers to the theme, for example: use gold as a second color pop with gold coins and clothing that can layer under the green jackets if possible. Another example: cut out more four-leaf clovers and use them against the glass to create a border around the edges for more depth.
Window Display #2
Good merchandising tricks
- Great job promoting the brand messages by combining hard goods with soft goods and matching color themes.
- The bright colors are sure to get noticed and they make you think of warm days and fun times.
- The white background really helps items pop.
- Enhance the theme with a whole bunch of life-vests (different colors and sizes or all exactly the same) that cover the ground or hang from the ceiling or are strapped together as a background.
- Add more texture to the display by using the wood box crates to hold stacks of neatly folded, colorful tees inside. You could also place a cooler full of colorful sodas in the display and stack hats with the same Hawaiian print that the child is wearing.
Good work Pack Rat! We look forward to seeing more of your great displays.
Do you have a window display you’d like Kelsie’s feedback on? Send photos of it to hferguson at hornytoad dot com.
Community events are a great way to connect with your customers!
20 very talented art students from Wilsonville High School in Portland, Oregon are showing their artwork for the month of March at the Lizard Lounge. The store held an event last Sunday for the artists and their families.
Pizza and soda were served from 1-2pm.
Guests were encouraged to vote for their top three favorites.
Prizes for the winning students include $50, $100 and $200 gift cards to the store. Winners will be announced at the end of the month. Oh, and the kicker? All artwork was inspired by the Lizard Lounge itself!
Our resident merchandizing guru, Kelsie, has Spring on her mind. It’s still cold, but she’s already spending her weekends camping… and thinking of ways to visually reflect the seasonal change at the Lizard Lounge in Portland, Oregon. Inspired by the bright hues of the painted succulent pots pictured above, she began her project by coming up with a fresh color palette.
She loves bright yellows and deep indigos, and was delighted that many of the items the Lizard Lounge received for spring included those color stories.
And serendipitously, she was gifted this indigo dyed denim from someone who knows how much she loves vintage (on the wall below).
Man on Left: Horny Toad Open Air in Iguana. Woman on Left: Nau Detour L/S Shirt in Sierra Plaid.
All of which came together to form a story and feeling she felt really good about expressing for the start this new season.
Woman left: Horny Toad Shadowstripe pullover in Bright Navy. Woman center: Nau Lightbeam Jacket in Zest Stripe & over it the Horny Toad Swept Away Jacket in Charcoal. Man on Right: Nau Detour Shirt in Indigo Plaid.
Which goes to show that when inspiration, great products and a little bit of luck collide, magic happens!
Looking for tips to spruce up your retail space? We’re really digging these DIY ideas from Fairbanks specialty retailer In My Element!
They re-vamped their front counter with foam board and retro fabric.
And they sanded, painted, and sanded their wrapping table again for an antique look. They also used mismatched cabinet handles for bit of whimsy.
They’ve added a smattering of lamps, deliberately mismatched for diversity in their lighting.
They even painted some of the lamps to accent their faux animal prints.
Ping pong balls and chicken wire make a sweet hanging lamp!
Old suitcases make great display props.
So do wooden crates.
And a rock sample wooden box with beans and seeds in it makes the perfect showcase for your bling!