In Part I of this blog series, we discussed the rise of online t-shirt sales, the continued shift toward t-shirts as an impulse item, and the importance of creating an effective t shirt display to maximize impulse sales. We also reviewed 3 common but ineffective approaches to merchandising t-shirts. Our merchandising thesis applies well beyond the t-shirt category and should be considered within the overall context of the broader retail market.
It’s hard not to notice that it’s been a rough few months for retail. Some segments of retail, like fast fashion, are simply brutal. Aeropostale, the once-mighty teen retailer, is the most recent casualty in that space. Sporting goods has also taken it on the chin with the impending demise of Sports Authority and Sports Chalet. One of the things these 3 retailers have in common is that they all sell t-shirts and apparel, albeit with somewhat different target customers. With the meteoric rise of online retailing and the competitive bloodbath in which many brick and mortar retailers find themselves, it got us thinking about how the landscape is changing and what it might mean for merchandising and selling apparel in general and t-shirts in particular. In today’s post we’d like to share a number of examples of how t-shirts can be merchandised effectively to drive impulse sales.
Our first example is a very basic but effective merchandising approach. The main difference between the approach shown below and the ineffective approaches discussed in our last blog is the t-shirts here are front-facing so it is easy for the shopper to see what the t-shirt looks like. The are two additional aspects of this approach that make it effective: (1) The approach combines hanging front-facing t-shirts as well as folded t-shirts below, and (2) The approach utilizes LED lighting above the hanging t-shirts which adds significantly to the presentation.
Our second example also utilizes a combination merchandising approach. In the photo below you can see a mannequin series, which helps the shopper see what the t-shirt looks like when it is being worn. Under the mannequin line-up there are wall hanging t-shirts which again are front-facing. Across from the t-shirt wall are additional hanging t-shirts, which are also front facing. The color arrangement also adds to the visual interest of the presentation.
Our third example is another combination merchandising approach. In fact, the approach below combines two approaches that we frowned upon in our last blog. Despite the shortcomings of the side hanging and rolled t-shirt presentation, we think the presentation below has a fair amount of visual interest. Part of the reason might be that we are drawn to the colors, but the combined approach below also has an attractive artistic presentation that draws in the shopper.
Our fourth example below is more of a traditional approach, but importantly, it is also a combined approach. Like the 3 examples above, the retailer is able to create visual interest by using a folded t-shirt presentation in the center of the store courtesy of a vintage shelf display with a solitary mannequin standing by. On the perimeter of the store, there are front-facing hanging t-shirts which help to complement the freestanding shelf display.
Our fifth example has some shortcomings related to side-hanging t-shirts, but it also utilizes a combination approach which creates visual interest and draws in the shopper. We like the combination of the space-saving hang bars with the shelves that show the full t-shirt graphic. What we like even more is the cross-merchandising approach by combining t-shirts with footwear and headwear. These non-t-shirt items help to create impulse sales for t-shirts by drawing in shoppers who might initially be interested in shoes or caps.
Finally, the 5 examples shown below are freestanding t-shirt fixtures that RICH LTD. currently offers or has offered in the past as stock items. With the exception of the last example, all of these fixtures are designed to sell t-shirts and related apparel items. This cross-merchandising approach is consistent with the other merchandising approaches we have discussed in this blog. For additional examples, please visit our blog entitled “Sell More T-Shirts with the Right T-Shirt Display.”