Visual merchandising when done well can lure you into a store, entice you to stay longer and perhaps even give you a little-hidden push to the till. But on the other hand, if done badly, it can make you turn on your heel and head straight back out the door.
Stores that I personally find inviting are open, clean and well planned. They have a coordinating colour scheme or colours that flow into each other. Special attention is paid to the floor plan with regards where the customer walks and what they see on each turn and attention is paid to the small details (one of which is the focus of this post).
I do not like cramped stores where the rail almost close in on each other, nor do I appreciate ones where there is very bright, almost blinding LED lights. I want to be able to relax when I go into a store and enjoy the experience.
One store that I think does both the store layout and visual merchandising quite well is & Other Stories. When I was in their London Store for London Fashion Week, I loved the slightly industrial feel of the store but with a modern edge.
And one thing that & Other Stories is doing better than anyone else that I have seen at the moment is bringing the outdoors in. And by that, I mean that everywhere you turn in the store there is greenery. The small detail of adding cactus, foliage and many plants to the shop floor adding an amazing element to the store. And once I realised I probably spent twice as long in there as I normally would.
Many of us find greenery relaxing and often pretty flowers can bring a smile to most faces, so it makes sense to add more green to your store. And cactus plants are so on trend at the moment – from clothing to stationery to prints and when I was in the store I was certainly not the only person snapping pics of them! I was also the only person to notice, there were two girls who were walking through the store and both noticed the exact same thing as me and were snapping away 🙂
I think why & Other Stories do it so well is that they have clearly planned it really well, their team have researched what works and with the industrial aesthetic of the store, the greenery really balances out the store. And you know what else, it made me slow down a little and take it all in. Sometimes, we are all so busy that we forget to see what is around us, and I actually enjoyed walking around the store and it was down to noticing the surrounds. So if there is one thing to take away from my little mini-ramble is to stop, take in your surroundings and actually enjoy the process rather than rushing through your day.