If you aren't using a theme in your retail apparel store, you're missing out on one of the easiest ways to attract new shoppers. The human brain is hard-wired to respond to visual stimuli, and when it notices something of familiarity, it triggers an innate response that often translates into more sales. But what type of theme should you use? And how do you incorporate it into your store?
A theme is any collective element or idea. When used in the context of retail, some examples may include beachwear, baby clothing, vintage, modern/contemporary, "hip," etc. The general idea is to focus your store's visual merchandising around the theme, creating a uniform appearance in which all of the accessories, mannequins and other items flow cohesively together.
Of course, choosing a theme isn't always an easy task, especially for newcomers to this industry. You have to fully commit to building the theme; otherwise, it will fall flat and offer little-to-no actual benefit. Think about your target demographic and choose a theme to reflect their interest/likes. You should also consider the product or type of products sold at your store when choosing a theme.
Once you've chosen a theme for your store, you'll want to begin decorating. Numerous studies have shown that aesthetically pleasing stores yield higher sales than stores with clashing and/or unattractive decor. Does this mean an attractive decor will automatically translate into higher sales? Not necessarily, but it's one key element in the process of setting up and running a successful retail business.
There's really no wrong way to decorate a retail store with a theme. Assuming you've already chosen a theme, you should be able to find designs and decorations to reflect it. For instance, if your store's theme is vintage, perhaps you should decorate it with some old 1960s and 70s poster and memorabilia. Doing so will create an authentic environment that shoppers will appreciate.
A good rule of thumb is to incorporate your theme into every visual merchandising element within your store, mannequins included. This means using similar colors, garments, accessories and props to ensure a cohesive appearance.
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