Planning Themes

If you have not already put together an annual calendar that includes events and visual themes to merchandise by, there’s no time like the present! Weekly and monthly brainstorming sessions on your next window or visual merchandising display can be exhausting. A visual merchandising calendar will save you money and time because you will know which materials to purchase in bulk and which materials can be used on the next project. It will also allow your team to work together with more forethought.
Below is a list of observances, public holidays and other reference points to use as a starting point for your merchandising themes.

 A season is a division of the year, marked by changes in weather ecology and hours of daylight. Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall are examples of seasons, but your theme might incorporate some specifics to your local area, such as:  if you live in a warmer climates you might only experience two seasons like wet and dry or rainy and sunny. Seasons can also indicate the seasonal growth of particular fruit, vegetable, flowers or plant. You can use the different seasons as your window display theme – just remember keep it timely and relevant.

 Business Anniversaries are an important event to celebrate. You can also add the anniversary of the city where your business is located and the tenth year anniversary of your in-house brand and so on…
Elements of Nature. 
Get inspired by the places you love to play, like national parks, rivers, trails. Or maybe draw inspiration from the things we see outside everyday, such as trees, grass, butterflies or mosquitoes. The possibilities are endless!

Arts and Design. Typography, painting, graffiti, sculpture, photography and retro art are some possible themes. Browse the web or bookstore for ideas, or if you have an art school in your community see if you can enlist an art student to help develop your displays.

Movies and Literature. 
How many thousands of movies have you seen? How many popular novels, poems and stories do you know? If you can’t think of a new window display theme, ask your friends who are movie buffs. Think about popular novels and poems written by your favorite author(s) then use them as your new window display theme.

Lifestyle and Celebrities
Urban streets, road trips, luxurious outdoor settings, the birthday of the queen and the royal wedding are some themes that you could incorporate. Read the latest news and find relevant ideas that will inspire your consumers.
International Observances. There over 300 different observances that are recognized in the world. Most of these international dedications are observed on a specific day every year like World Teacher’s Day every October 5 and Friendship Day every July 30.  Some are observed in a particular week and some are observed in a specific month, like Breast Cancer Awareness Month every October.
Here are the lists of the international observances.
•    International Observances
•    List of Awareness Days,Weeks and Months
Public Holidays
Public holidays are good themes because most consumers can easily relate and understand what your store is currently featuring and communicating. Here is a list of public holidays.
•    Holidays and Observances around the World
Local Holidays and Events
Independent retailers work hard to become part of their communities so it is important to embrace events that are going on locally. Maybe there is a parade or festival that celebrates the heritage of the community? These types of celebrations give a community a sense of pride and are important to consider when developing your store promotions, events and merchandising.

We all experience a creativity block once in awhile. Keep in mind that annual planning will help your ideas flow better so that you can successfully build your displays.
Do you have any theme categories to share? How about store planning tips that make the process easier?