Archive for March, 2011

Royal Wedding display pleases public

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

A shop display dedicated to the upcoming Royal Wedding has caught the attention of the public.

Located in Highcliffe’s Salvation Army shop, the display boasts three life-size cardboard cutouts of the Queen, Kate Middleton and Prince William.

The eyes have been cut out of the cutouts, allowing members of the public to stand behind the cutouts and take pictures. The shop’s manager, Kim Parrott, said the display had been quite a hit: “It’s certainly unusual.”

“It’s only been up a week but I’ve had lots of people standing outside taking photographs and others who have come in and said it has made them laugh.”

She told the Bournemouth Echo how the only complaint she had received was from a person who believed the Queen wouldn’t wear mustard (the cutout sees her wearing a cardigan of the colour) but that apart from that, it had been well received.

Parrott went on to conclude: “I think it’s a really great occasion for everyone to get behind. And if this is making people laugh, then great.”

It is likely that shops across the nation will follow in the footsteps of this one; driving in more custom off the back of the upcoming nuptials.

According to This is Dorset, the Salvation Army shop display will stay up until the date of the Royal Wedding; April 29th.

Student mannequins confound public

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Thirteen students from a Doncaster college confused shoppers while performing a live shop display, local press reports.

The students posed like mannequins in a custom-built stage in front of a department store, which made passers-by look twice. The professional looking stand included props, lighting and backdrops.

According to The Sheffield Star, the second year fashion and photography students worked alongside Debenhams visual merchandising staff to organise the stunt outside it’s Frenchgate Centre store.

Make up and goodie-bags were given by the retailer as prizes after the public voted on their favourite display.

Pam Tice, Doncaster College fashion course leader said: “We are extremely grateful to Debenhams for allowing our fashion and photography students to be involved in such a creative and rewarding event.”

“They have been given an amazing opportunity to work alongside creative retail professionals and learn first hand how to work effectively with a major retail outlet.”

Nine of the 13 students will receive a tutorage from the professionals at Debenhams, and the project will make up a part of their final grade, Sheffield Connection reports.

The students fashion lecturer said that they enjoyed the stunt, and look forward to working with the company again.

Frenchgate Centre manager, Amanda Phillips, said: “It is exactly what Doncaster needs to do to help to develop the potential we have here.”

Fashion displays must be “immaculate”

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Retail shop fittings in fashion stores should be “immaculate” and make the most of the clothes they’re displaying.

That’s according to one expert cited on; who said that for those working in fashion retail, shop displays were the key to increased profits.

The specialist claimed: “If you are fitting out a new shop, you have to start with the most basic consideration and for fashion retailers, that means the humble clothes rail.”

“Choosing the right rails is crucial, as you need to find one that will show off your garments effectively without cluttering the store.”

It is thought that in order to get this right, retailers must take into careful consideration the size of space they have to work with; if they want to use mannequins or not; and if freestanding or ceiling-to-floor rails are the right option.

According to this particular expert, writing for In the News, this will entirely depend on the shape and size of space available.

Coat hangers should be another careful consideration for clothing retailers, they added. Matching hangers are a must, and in terms of material (be it wood, metal or plastic) they should fit in seamlessly with your brand.

The knowledgeable specialist went on to conclude by saying: “Once you have your shop fittings set up, including your clothes rails and your coat hangers, it is time to add the garments and make any final adjustments.”

“Remember, if you choose the right fittings for your store…everything else will fall into place, helping you create an attractive and inviting retail environment that shoppers are bound to love.”

Coco-Cola to support Earth Hour with advertising campaign

Monday, March 21st, 2011

The iconic Coca-Cola retail display sign at Piccadilly Circus will be switched off for Earth Hour.

The LED sign will promote the event with an advertising campaign in the run up to the event, as well as a poster campaign on the London Underground with a 96-sheet campaign.

Earth Hour was set up by green campaigners WWF to encourage a billion people all over the world to switch off their electricity for one hour. In the UK this year, it will run between 8:30 and 9:30pm on Saturday 26th March.

Jon Woods, Country manager for Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland told Brand Republic, “Once again Coca-Cola is pleased to give its full support to Earth Hour.

“As a business, Coca-Cola works hard to behave responsibly and in a way that leaves as little impact on the planet as possible. We hope that our activity this year, more prominent than ever before, encourages our consumers to do likewise.”

“Climate change is one of the most serious issues of our time and all businesses must roll up their sleeves in response – we will be doing our bit to ensure that this year’s event is a resounding success.”

The event will see the sign switched off for only the fifth time since World War 2.

WWF-UK CEO David Nussbaum told Popsop, “We are delighted that Coca-Cola is once again showing its support for WWF’s Earth Hour through a range of activity. Earth Hour has become a global event, with millions of people across the world switching off their lights to show they care about tackling climate change and protecting the natural world.”

“Businesses, governments and charities all need to work together to tackle climate change and Coca-Cola’s support for Earth Hour is very welcome.”

Alcohol regulations to see a change

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

A “Responsibility Deal” that looks set to restrict alcohol sales and advertisement is set to be announced today.

The government initiative looks set to impose regulations on the sale of alcohol, with a commitment to stamp out under age sales and provide alcohol content information at the point of sale.

This will be the case for both shops and pubs.

The initiative will also cover food, with regulations in place to cut the salt and trans fat content and advertise the calorie content on restaurant menus.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley told BBC News of the plans, “Industry has agreed to take action on a voluntary basis.”

“The alternative is to use legislation and this means taking the EU route, which could take years. We want to do more at greater speed.”

However, despite originally supporting the moves, six key health bodies - including the British Medical Association - have opposed the moves, claiming they offer little real change to legislation already in place and have not come down as hard as originally set out.

Don Shenker, Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern told The Guardian that the plans were “the worst possible deal for everyone.

“There are no firm targets or any sanctions if the drinks industry fails to fulfil its pledges,” he added. “It’s all carrot and no stick for the drinks industry and supermarkets.”

Harrods LED display completed

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

An ambitious LED shop display in Harrods of London has been branded a success by the company.

As part of the January to February window display, the high-quality retailer tested LED technology in six 4x3m screens. All of the screens were synchronised to tell an animated story across multiple windows, reports AV Interactive.

Sarah Southgate, Harrods head of window design said that the high-tech campaign was exactly what the company was looking for.

“Harrods is at the forefront of luxury and innovation in window display and design,” she said. ”Our latest displays have incorporated advanced LED technology, and in doing this it was important we used the correct imagery and the right size of LED pixels to maximise visual impact for customers.”

The store frontage looks onto Brompton Road, and an Isle of Wight lighting and video automation company were selected for the project. Synchronicity across all of the screens was said to have been the biggest issue. have said that 72 Lighthouse R7-ER panels were used in the six screens, and each had an independent LIP-DX processor. Scaling of the images was done via Extron DVS-304s.

It is thought that future campaigns for the prestigious retailer will also be digital or LED based.

Poll to find nation’s favourite billboard

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

An online poll has been created to discover the most popular billboard advertisement of all time.

Web surfers will have the chance to vote for their favourite of 228 visual merchandising campaigns – including famed efforts from the likes of Wonderbra, Guiness and 118-118.   

A panel including industry executive, Daren Rubins, and ISBA director, Bob Wootton, helped whittle down over 500 submissions spanning over five decades.  

The Outdoor Media Centre reported that the general public have until March 30 to submit their vote and decide which billboard campaigns will be selected for the final gallery – from which the winner will be chosen.

CEO of the Outdoor Media Centre, Mike Baker, was keen to point out the impact of billboard campaigns have on the general public.

He told PrintWeek: “Outdoor advertising is an important channel for brands and it’s time for the industry to recognise and celebrate the creativity of impact of the medium.”

It is thought that many of these famous billboard campaigns also provided effective inspiration for shop displays and broadcast media, with Baker adding: ”Every person in the UK has been affected, moved or shocked at least once by outdoor ads in their life.”

“It’s time to recognise and celebrate the creativity and impact of outdoor advertising. We look forward to finding out the result of the public vote,” he concluded.

Plans to ban tobacco displays expected to go ahead

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Plans by the Department of Health to implement a ban on the display of tobacco products are expected to go ahead, according to BBC News.

Furthermore, tobacco companies may be forced to use plain packaging for their products, in a bid to reduce the amount of smokers within the UK.

Shop displays are commonly used to promote products, as they are an ideal way in which to showcase clothes, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and other everyday products.

However the Department of Health believes that by using them to promote tobacco products, more people might be inclined to take up smoking – building on the 20 per cent of Brits who already do so.

Similar bans have been implemented in Ireland, Iceland, Finland and Canada; whilst Northern Ireland and Scotland are currently working on doing the same. It is thought the change in England will take around two years to put into place.

The campaign group Ash has spoken out in favour of the move, with its representative, Martin Dockrell, claiming there was “strong evidence” to suggest the move would decrease the number of smokers. He made an official statement, telling News Sniffer: “These displays serve two functions.”

“They promote brands to new young smokers, and they trigger sales to people who did not intend to buy.”

Labour MP and shadow public health minister, Diane Abbott, also welcomed the news – claiming it was “building on” what the Labour government initially set in motion.

However not everyone was so positive, with a representative of the Tobacco Retailers Alliance making the claim that it would do nothing to stop smokers buying their favourite brands: “If anything, plain packaging will cause a problem with more counterfeiting.”

“Plain packets are not that difficult to copy – while banning displays will hit smaller retailers hard. We are disappointed about this.”

‘Touch’ and purchase window display revealed

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Window shopping has taken on a new meaning, as a point-and-purchase system was unveiled at the CeBIT (world Office for Office, Information and Communications Technology) fair in Hanover, Germany.

The world’s biggest hi-tech fair showcased the displays, which use infrared cameras to track a customer’s hand flicking through 3D animated products that are kept behind the counter, The Daily Mail reported.

People are able to rotate items, and view detailed information about price and availability. Items can be purchased through the ‘checkout’ icon, and paid for with a smartphone on-screen.

The technology’s creator, Paul Chojecki, claimed that within just two years, the point of sale displays will cost less than £100.

Chojecki, a researcher from Heinrich Hertz Institute, said that now the public are used to interactive online shopping, the technology should not appear to be a great leap from the norm.

Speaking to The Independent, he said: “It’s the same as with touch screens, at first, everyone thought it was strange, now everyone does it.”

The screens do not rely on actually touch though. The shopper will stand about a metre away from the screen and wave their hand, meaning there are no hygiene concerns for retailers.

Privacy concerns are also not an issue with the technology, as Chojecki has assured that: “The system doesn’t store any personal data and only the coordinates of the body parts it recognises are passed onto the visualisation.”

It is thought that one day, a simple face movement could add all items to a basket and so forth.

Visual Merchandising Show hits London in April

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

The annual Visual Merchandising and Display Show will be at London’s Business Design Centre in Islington from 5-7 April.

Dubbed as “the only exhibition dedicated to visual merchandising and display,” according to its website, the show will feature display equipment, sight and sound, lifestyle products and homeware.

Plus, says, visitors will be given the opportunity to pick up new ideas and tips relating to the industry’s future growth. The event’s organisers expect to attract ”reputed business owners, managers, decision makers, department heads and sales professionals from around the world.”

Over 250 companies will be exhibiting at the show. It will give UK and international exhibitors and visitors the chance to network with other companies, in terms of finding suppliers and importantly, to liaise with customers.

This year, organisers have managed to secure the Retail 2011 and Interior Fit Out shows for the same time, therefore combining three trade shows in one. says “there is no more debating as to which show you need to go to as they are now all under one roof.

“This show now has everything you require within the retail and interior industries.”

Previous attendee, Tim Whitmore, visual director at Topshop, said on a visual merchandising website that the show was a ”great opportunity to meet all sides of the industry under one roof.”