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Gift Shop Plus Winter 2022
Better Signage in 4 Steps By Kurt Fromherz

A makeover of these silent salespeople helps craft a message that lets customers know why they need certain products

Whenever I talk about signs with a retailer, the first thing I ask them to do is to take the 360° test: stand anywhere in your space and take a slow spin, counting the number of places you see your logo or branded identity. I joke that, in many instances, a consumer might think they are a reflection of a vendor’s brand instead of their own. If this sounds like your retail space, then it might be time for a makeover. Here are a few simple ways to start the process.

The number one


The first order of business is to remove everything (as much as is possible) from existing fixtures or display areas. You can also take this opportunity to perform a purge of any products that are doing nothing more than taking up space. Create three categories: keep, clean up and dump. Make sure you keep track of anything you might toss; you can take these items as a business loss.

The number two


Now that you have cleared the deck, try to experience your shop as a customer might. Start from the parking lot. Is it clear where you should enter and exit? Is the checkout area obvious and does it fit the natural flow? Once customers enter the store, is there a walkway that
helps to move them through the shopping experience? If you answer “no” to any of these questions, then that is a good place to start. Again, clear the clutter, move fixtures or displays out of the way. You can move back what you need and again, determine if you need to purge.

The number 3


A good way to begin to establish your brand is to establish a style sheet of sorts. Identify elements like your color palette, approved logos, typeface, images and graphics. You should establish a template of sorts not only to ensure your presentation is consistent throughout the store, but also with your other marketing such as website, print and social media. Each element of your store signage should contain the basics: logo, graphics, color scheme and photos.

The number 4


Show, don’t tell. Each sign is going to have its unique purpose; some will be used to identify departments, while others to help direct shoppers. Other signs will be to call attention to specific promotions — whether seasonal, product specific or promotional.

Kurt Fromherz

Kurt Fromherz is the founder of Sunrise Marketing. With over 35 years of industry experience Fromherz has written for many trade publications and spoken at many industry events. Fromherz has also contributed articles to Lawn & Garden Retailer, a sister publication of Gift Shop Plus.

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