This just in: Global trends on retail merchandising

Want to know the latest trends in visual merchandising?

Tip: “Make the entire mannequin the focus, not just the clothes or accessories. The next-generation consumers want to see a story.”

15 Scent marketing is where music was 15 years ago.
Check out this roundup of trends from last month’s Global Shop, the world’s premiere merchandising event.

  1. DIGITAL. Touch screens aplenty featured fast-moving graphics as part of the in-store marketing-to-consumers process.
  1. SCENTS. It’s all about immersing the senses in the retail environment. Speakers report that scent marketing is where music was 15 years ago. The Lincoln automobile’s rebranding, for example, includes a new scent in showrooms that combines green tea and jasmine.
  1. RUSTIC. Faux wood panels, overlays, and beams were used to convert traditional shelving and designs. Just as optical is moving away from this look, retail appears to be jumping back in.
  1. COPPER. Copper is hot. Very hot. From shiny copper metallic-finish displays and mannequins to metallic copper curtains, copper was THE metal at Global Shop.
  1. VENDING REDUX! Vending machines for sunglasses is getting big at international airports, but how about a vending machine for cars? A consultant talked about how it works. You order the vehicle online, go to Carvana in Nashville, select your name from the list at Carvana’s kiosk, deposit a custom coin into the slot, and, voila, the five-story glass tower “vending machine” dispenses your car. All we can say is WOW.
  1. COLORED LEDS. We saw this at Vision Expo East, too. It’s called RGB (red, green, blue) LED lighting systems…one set of lights programmed with multiple color options. With the flick of a remote, you can change colors of displays and the store itself from day-to-day or season-to-season.
  1. BUCKETS. A fresh display trend seen at Global Shop was tub merchandising. Tubs and buckets (large and small) were available on clips and hooks, sold in sets or solo. The point? Surprise the consumer with a calculatedly casual merchandising look and easy access.
  1. FLUID FIXTURES. Curvy and undulating fixtures seemed to alternate in popularity with organic shapes. The benefit? They add what’s called visual rhythm, and, especially when they feature contoured layers, feel as much like art as display pieces.
  1. MANNEQUIN MANIA. As Faith Bartug told VMSD Magazine after the show, it’s now about making “the entire mannequin the focus, not just the clothes or accessories. The next-generation consumers want to see a story, and a mannequin becomes part of the sell.” Want inspiration? Go to @Insannequins on Instagram, where fans post their favorite mannequin installations.


Have you changed your lighting or look recently? If so, what did you do, and how has it positively impacted business? Tell us about it and share in the conversation on Facebook here.


Erinn Morgan