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Have You Noticed? Retailers Cutting Clutter, Streamlining Stores

Published: Monday, November 7, 2016 - 8:10am
Updated: Monday, November 7, 2016 - 9:11am
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(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
Urban Outfitters located at CitySquare in downtown Phoenix welcomes many 25 to 35 year old shoppers.

Some retailers are hoping less is more when it comes to point-of-purchase marketing, often referred to as POP displays. During a recent industry conference in Scottsdale, new research was shared about key trends and the impacts on visual merchandising.

The most common POP displays are found near the registers – the gum, candy and magazines in the checkout lanes. But, POP’s also pop up in the form of a single poster advertising a brand, a standalone display featuring a seasonal product or a sign designed to draw your attention to a certain item on the shelf.

It’s all becoming a bit too much for some retailers, according to consultant Colin Decker, “What we found when we went into the field and we were talking to these retailers and asking them what was going on, they said what they’re paying attention to is things like clear sightlines, reduced clutter in stores, avoiding information overload to their customers even on their phones if they’re looking at things for their stores, making it streamlined and simple.”

While POP displays are declining, he said digital signage grew nearly 9 percent between 2013 and 2015. Retailers also report wanting more portable displays and movable fixtures so they can quickly refresh and remodel their spaces.

Decker’s company, Euromonitor, conducted research for Shop!, a non-profit trade group that represents visual merchandisers. The group’s 2016 Industry Size & Composition Study included five trends that are transforming the landscape:

  • Shrinking selling space – stores are getting smaller.
  • Rise of omnichannel retailing – stores are playing the role of showroom and distribution center, not just the buying center.
  • Online retailers opening physical stores.
  • In-store retailing become more interactive and experiential.
  • Refreshing/remodeling/redesigning of stores is happening faster.