Retail innovation in Signage, Shelf Display and Retail Product Display

We’re only a few months into 2015 and already some of the world’s largest annual retail expos have made waves in how the industry is facing the future. At Mills Display we know how much our customers like to keep on top of the latest innovations as well as making sure you have the very latest information about smart retail solutions at your fingertips. So we’ve scanned New York’s NRF 2015, Las Vegas’s SPECS 2015 and a host of store openings to bring you what we think are the coolest retail innovation ideas.

retail innovation

Retail Innovation #1 Touchscreen Tech

At NRF 2015, eBay showed its Connected Store concept which mixed the digital and physical world’s by creating a touchscreen wall that allows customers to send items directly to the fitting room. Once in the fitting room the experience continues with another touchscreen where shoppers can ask an associate to bring them another size or colour, and even pay for their purchases.

Retail Innovation #2 Beacons

Shelfbucks Inc showed a way to change iBeacon usage by, instead of marketing to customers’ smartphones and tablets which they are in store, using the technology to allow customers to learn more about products or receive promo information by touching their mobile devices to beacons around a store.

At NRF 2015, IBM hosted a roundtable discussion featuring Kohl’s EVP of digital innovation Ratnakar Lavu, who talked about the company’s use of beacon technology. The retailer is currently testing location-awareness technology in 22 stores in both tech-savvy and non-tech-savvy markets and is keen to create an experience for the customer with a high level of personalisation. “We haven’t cracked the nut on beacons just yet,” Lavu says. “But one thing is for sure for us it is not just about the offer, it is the offer and the experience.”

Retail Innovation #3 Digital Signage

Panasonic has released Powershelf, a fully integrated retail merchandising solution to combine battery-free, wirelessly powered electronic shelf labels, beacon activated mobile advertising capability, inventory and price management software and out-of-stock sensor technology. And Lexmark International has debuted its new Digital Endcap solution that helps retailers increase the speed and accuracy of in-store signage execution, enabling them to move inventory, ensure proper brand representation and increase revenue.

At SPECS 2015 Spenser Paul, retail specialist at Google, outlined the benefits of digital signage in his presentation “Transforming the Store with Technology & Collaboration” saying that switched-on customers expected a digital experience even when browsing in stores and retailers could reduce costs and make time-savings. “Consumers want an immersive experience,” Paul says. “You can easily display a message across all stores instantly with digital signage. Consumers want informed and purposeful store visits.”

Retail Innovation #4 Planning Shelving

At SPECS 2015, Nadia Shourabora, CEO and founder of denimwear retailer Hointer and a former supply chain exec with, said the days of having shelves chock full of merchandise with every possible variation (such as size and color) was over. Fare from being a sign of a successful business, she said it often led to store associates being too busy to assist customers, who are left overwhelmed. “Managing shelves is time-consuming,” she says. Instead she wanted to bring the feeling of shopping online into the store where you get the “touch, feel and personal experience”.

Hointer stores are now mobile-enabled showrooms where one sample of each denimwear product was placed on shelves or displayed on mannequins. Customers examine the merchandise, consult in-store stylists if they choose, and can then order as many variations of a product for try-on as they want using a mobile device.

Goods are automatically shipped to and retrieved from dressing rooms, and checkout and loss prevention are both streamlined as Hointer can automatically determine what items are brought into and out of the dressing room. Sales and customer satisfaction have both benefited significantly from this mobile showroom approach.

Make your signage work harder

The Museum of Modern Art (of MOMA) in New York has prompted more than a few column inches recently over the way it merchandises its stock in its gift stores around the US, Japan and Korea. While “innovation, creativity and quality” are the yardsticks by which items are chosen for display, the souvenir shops have taken to displaying them in a way which mirrors the experience customers get when in the museum.

Products are presented with a short description, the name of their designer or artist, and the year they were created. “It’s really important to our customers to have the experience they have basically in the museum,” Chay Costello, assistant director of merchandising, told AFP. “We try to reflect that in the stores, and we have signs that tell people who designs this, what the inspiration is, and we carry a number of things that are in our collection,” she added.

Contact Mills Display For More Information

If you want any more information about innovative ways you can make your store more productive, create better workflows around your shop floor and help your customers find the products they want, contact our experts at Mills Display and we’ll find the right solution for your business.

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The Top Three Ways to Redesign Your Store

Your retail store design should focus on simplicity, connection, and creativity. It has never been harder to be in retail according to this Insider Retail article, reacting to globalisation and the growing importance of people born after 1990 is vital to making a success of your business.

The article pin-points trends for 2015 to help you understand the retail landscape a little more but also makes it very clear why it’s important to re-think existing retail spaces to accommodate different types of shoppers. So here’s our quick breakdown of a new generation for shopping and three ways you can react by redesigning your store.

retail store design

1. Simplicity – Redesign Retail Store For Simplicity

The prevalence of technology has overtaken, for many, the retail experience which means it’s now vital to offer well-designed stores in which your products are displayed in simple, relevant ways.

The design needs to offer functionality (for example well thought-through point-of-sale control), but it also has to engage the customer like never before – after all purchasers now like to think of themselves as a community, so think about your store as a destination not just a retail space. Gone are cluttered aisles and haphazard displays – your store needs to tell the story of your brand and guide the shopper around the products. 

2. Focus on Connection – Redesign Retail Store and Focus on Connection

According to the article, if you make your business “warm, welcoming and somewhere to “hang” – Generation C will be putty in your hands”. Gen C is the term for those born after 1990 and refers to “connectedness” as well as creation, curation, connection, and community.

Many articles foreseeing retail trends in 2015 have put Gen C at the heart of changes in retail store design and service and it seems vital that all retail spaces will have to embrace interactive technology and customisable displays. What’s equally obvious, though, is that these displays must still rely on clear signage and concise retail messages. 

3. Creativity – Redesign Retail Store using Creativity

With a greater connection to your store comes the customers’ desire to personalise their purchasing. Depending on your business this can be as major as finding a way for them to use the store as a source of information as well as purchases, to simply letting them mix and match their produce.

Re-fit Your Retail Store Design with Mills Display

Mills Display has experience of in-house bespoke fit-outs as well as a world-wide list of suppliers to suit all potential projects. So if you’re considering re-fitting your store to stay inline with the changing face of retail, we can provide a one-stop shop for all your design and display solutions – no matter how big or small. Whatever your query, contact us and we’ll come up with an answer.

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Top 10 Ways to Create the Perfect Retail Shop Design Layout

The Retail shop design layout plays a huge role in the success or failure of your business. When you’re opening a new retail space, it’s easy to become drowned in the seemingly endless to-do lists: suppliers, marketing, advertising, staff, capital and cash-flow may all take up your valuable time.

The retail shop design layout and look of your store is vital to its future success, from its kerb-appeal to the tiniest hook or price display. Mills Display has every solution to help your launch achieve success from day one. So here’s our step-by-step guide to creating the perfect retail space for your store.

How to Create the Perfect Retail Shop Design Layout:

Retail Shop Design Layout

1. Retail Shop Design Layout

The simplest way to ensure good revenue is to offer your customers an enjoyable experience and access to all your store has to offer. To ensure success, it’s vital to consider things like “traffic flow” and queue control as well as where you place displays and storage.

This will encourage customers to shop throughout the whole retail space by creating easily navigable aisles. A good use of signage also helps customers both find the merchandise but also plan how they’re going to shop.

2. Visuals

Arrange your displays clearly so that your merchandise tells your business’s story, gives your customers a straightforward shopping experience. Clean, tidy shelving displays, clear pricing and easily identifiable sections can create impact as well as help customers shop their way around the store.

Theming areas by type of product also allows you to create a hierarchy in the retail shop design layout and gives you the chance to up-sell products.

3. Fixtures

Mills Display is your one-stop shop for even the smallest detail to make your store fixtures shine. It’s vital that your displays must match the tone of your products (for example, choosing natural and hygienic ways to display food) as well as helping sell those products (for example, creating point of sale displays), and keep them secure.

This means thinking about using height, placement and variety to create the perfect framework in which to display and sell your products.

4. Kerb-appeal

Your customer’s first impression of your business is often from a window display, which means you need to be able to reveal your “story” right from the get-go. Even the most eye-catching design requires getting the basics right.

At Mills Display we have everything you need to make sure you can hang, attach, construct and display both your products and your message.

5. Signs

Once you’ve grabbed your customer’s attention at the front of the store, it’s important to keep that clear and consistent message flowing throughout the retail shop design layout.

How you choose your signage reveals much about your brand and Mills Display has everything from brochure holders and poster hangers, to ticket stripping, shelf talkers and pricing guns. The accent is always on clarity so text, colour and style are always combined to make it easy for the customer to navigate around your products.

6. Checkout

The store designer and owner need to put as few barriers as possible between the customer and making the sale. This means creating a straightforward shopping experience where nothing is left to chance.

From shopping baskets and trolleys at the start, to bag dispensers, checkout closed and next customer signs at the end, how you equip your store will reflect on how professional it seems and whether your customers will part with their cash.

7. Storage

To keep your customers focused on your products, it’s vital you offer them a clean and tidy store. This means that when you’re planning your store, you should consider whether you’re going to create a storage area behind the main sales area or whether you’re going to incorporate it into the display or checkout area.

8. On brand

Mills Display has access to great international suppliers, we are able to offer a wide range of styles and tastes to suit every type of brand. Whether you’re after a natural wicker basket to display food or a sleek style for technology, there’s a solution for your store.

Your brand is key to your business so we also offer a consistency in quality so we can replace similar colour schemes, themes and styles when it comes to expanding your business.

9. Keep it simple

Mills Display has New Zealand’s most comprehensive range of shelf-ready visual merchandising products as well as a truly global range of suppliers. This means that when you’re setting up your store, you can be sure we’ll find a solution for every potential problem.

That said, it makes sense when you’re fitting out your store, to keep your displays as simple as possible – simple and effective often makes a bold message in retail. And that also means that when you’re hours away from opening and you need a last-minute fix, a phone call to Mills Display or a visit to our showroom, is likely to reap rewards.

10. Grand designs

Because Mills Display also has a long, successful record of working on in-house manufactured bespoke projects, we’re the perfect go-to for customised and short-deadline roll outs of signage, plastic display stands and injection-moulded product presentation displays.

In short, if you want something done, our first instinct is to say yes and then work hard to find the solution because we understand and have experience in making the most of your retail space to ensure you have the most cost-effective store design. If you’re starting up a business or planning a new retail ship design layout, contact us for any queries about our custom manufacturing.

Contact Mills Display For Retail Shop Design Layout Advice

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