Sunglass Displays- Designing for Merchandising Success- Part I

As with many other personal accessory items, sunglass sales are highly dependent on having well merchandised and effective sunglass displays. In today’s post, we’ll be discussing some of the keys to success in creating effective sunglass display programs as well as a number of design considerations.

Sunglasses are a perceived value item. That is important to understand because what it means is that it is very difficult for shoppers to discern the cost or price of a pair of sunglasses. If you put a $2 pair of sunglasses on a high-end sunglass display, shoppers will automatically assume that the glasses are an order of magnitude more expensive. Conversely, if you take a very expensive pair of sunglasses and put them on a cheap corrugated or plastic sunglass display, it will degrade the perceived value of the sunglasses, and shoppers will assume they are cheap. So, point of purchase displays play an integral role in shaping consumer assessment of perceived value.

To illustrate some of the key success factors of a winning sunglass program, let’s look at a 500-unit program we rolled out to Big 5 Sporting Goods stores for Allure Eyewear. We designed a 120-count sunglass display and a lower capacity 72-count display, both of which are shown below.

Both of these designs incorporated a number of key features:

  1. Small footprint– Both displays feature a relatively small footprint which contributes to higher sales per square foot for a retailer.
  2. Mobile– We designed these displays to be on casters which not only makes it easier for store personnel to handle and clean, but it provides greater flexibility in moving the displays around in the store to different areas that may help to keep things fresh and drive impulse sales.
  3. Base Storage– We incorporated a pull-out drawer which we loaded with overstock, making it convenient for store employees to reload the display which is key to preventing SKU out-of-stocks while also keeping the display looking good.
  4. Maple Finish– We chose a maple finish because it helped to make the glasses pop and also does a better job of hiding dust than a darker finish such as black. We used black edge banding to create a nice contrast to the maple finish.
  5. Spinning– Since we designed the display to be 2-sided, we incorporated an aluminum bearing so that the display could spin. This enabled the display to be placed almost anywhere in the store, including against a wall or in a corner, while still providing shoppers with 360-degree access.
  6. Faux Brushed Aluminum Center Panel– We chose brushed aluminum for the center panel since it complemented the maple finish and provided an attractive backdrop for the glasses.
  7. Wire Nosepiece Grids-There are multiple methods of holding sunglasses. We chose a fully welded wire construction for its cost-effectiveness, its’s ability to hold the glasses securely, and the way in which it enabled full visual access to the temples of the glasses.
  8. Side Mirrors– We mounted acrylic mirrors on each side of the display so as to encourage shoppers to try different styles and check themselves out.
  9. Interchangeable Curved Header Signs– We digitally printed header signs which we designed to be curved to provide added dimensionality to the display.
  10.  Sheet Metal Top– We finished the display with a black powder coated sheet metal top, which added strength while also matching the black edge banding.

In addition to these design elements, we worked with our customer to carefully plan the executional elements of the program. For example, given the rapidly increasing ocean freight rates, we determine that it would be more economically viable to bulk pack the parts and assemble the units in our warehouse. In addition to assembly, we fully merchandised the units prior to shipping to the retailer’s distribution center.

This approach provided 2 important advantages:

  1. Merchandising Control– We merchandised the displays according to multiple specific configurations. By controlling the merchandising, we were able to make sure the displays would arrive in the stores with the proper configuration rather than leaving it up to store associates who may or may not follow the specific planogram.
  2.  Convenience– When the displays arrived to the stores, it was plug and play. The stores simply needed to unwrap the displays and wheel them onto the floor, making it extremely easy for retail associates.

There are many aspects of a successful sunglass display program. A thoughtful POP display design together with executional excellence can go a long way in achieving targeted results.

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