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The Evolution of the Fixture

Displays aren’t just about stacks of products, they’re about speaking to your overall brand aesthetic



When it comes to displaying denim in the store environment, why is this industry still stacking them 20-pairs deep? During my search for the perfect pair, I manage to destroy the look of your store, or at least your fixture, in less time than it takes to update my Facebook status. And with most mainstream retailers using the same display method, we’ve got a sea of jeans towers that do little to draw your attention (or distinguish one retailer from the next).

But place couture shoes atop cement-like cubes in a sculptural arrangement that appears to float above the floor and now you’ve got my attention. It’s this innovation by Pierre Hardy for its debut boutique in the U.S. that represents a new approach to fixturing in our industry.

Much like the beloved mannequin, fixturing’s role in the store environment is less about how high and wide you can stack merchandise. Today, it’s a more integral part of the visual merchandising aesthetic that’s designed to romance the merchandise, help pull out a product’s best features and make the consumer want to pick it up.

There are some great examples of this new thinking inside our annual June fixturing issue. Design star Giorgio Borruso talks about the inspiration behind his award-winning fixture design for Carlo Pazolini. Urban Outfitters shows off its mastery of repurposed objects, such as antique showcases and drafting tables, to display merchandise. However, it’s not just apparel and accessories retailers thinking in new ways. Check out Black, the latest electronics concept from U.K.-based Dixons that displays its cameras, smartphones and laptops in an environment that’s more like a fashion store and less like a house of gadgetry.

VMSD recently judged its 17th annual Visual Competition, and while I can’t disclose the results until next month’s issue (sorry for the tease), several comments heard from the judging panel reiterate this fresh approach (and appreciation) for innovation in fixturing. “It pops the product,” and “It’s strong but doesn’t fight the merchandise,” were just some of the remarks from judges as they reviewed this year’s submissions.

My hope is that we’ll continue to see more innovation as the industry continues to turn around – and more reasons to stop dead in our tracks at a $500 shoe displayed on a simple cube of genius.




MasterClass: ‘Re-Sparkling’ Retail: Using Store Design to Build Trust, Faith and Brand Loyalty

HOW CAN WE EMPOWER and inspire senior leaders to see design as an investment for future retail growth? This session, led by retail design expert Ian Johnston from Quinine Design, explores how physical stores remain unmatched in the ability to build trust, faith, and loyalty with your customers, ultimately driving shareholder value.

Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

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