Get the Trend with 5 Scenes

Scene 1. Think Retail Theatre

Experts in the field of commercial displays and visual merchandising are leading a wonderful way forward in the UK. Presenting their theatrical and artistic statements they invite visitors to view their carefully designed event spaces and show us all how to deliver the current look. They use the most dynamic part of their business and their new products as a starting point for ideas that deliver surprising spatial drama. An example of how this look can be brought to the High Street is at The Fara Workshop in Islington. A charity that supports disadvantaged children and young people in Romania, The Fara Workshop sells “one off pieces of clothing and accessories designed and made in Islington” incorporating and transforming donated fashion items. In this image we can see they have arranged several slightly different white painted chairs in a striking and surprising way. The three dimensional aspect is finished with cardboard letters that spell ‘reworked’ which leads the eye back to the unique hanging jackets and shirts that have been professionally up-cycled.

Scene 2. Go Large

Scaled up big statement pieces usually reserved for a stage set are fashionable right now for anchoring displays. A good example of this was at Planet Aspect’s zone. Imposing white and orange dip dyed mannequins frolicked amongst matching over-sized metal orbs. If custom made metal shapes are beyond your display budget, see if your existing display kit such as wire cubes and shelves could be employed. Imagine what you would like to be super-sized! After sketching a design and stacking and securing display kit equipment together carefully, a framework can be constructed. A big patterned paper and ‘foil wrapped’ massive box of quality chocolates could contain your tempting products as edible goodies. If the size of your company’s range is on the tiny side then your latest items could form decorations on the ‘sweets’. Visualise Charlie and the Chocolate factory here!

Scene 3. Enrapture your Audience

Transport the public from their day to day existence into a dream world with eye-catching installations that will entice them through your front door. Irresistible hyper-reality shop fronts will mean shoppers will be intrigued to find out more about the latest products on offer in your store. It doesn’t have to be a ten metre aquarium and a genuine rainforest. Installing a projector with moving images, blue lights and an array of lush leafy plants will give them the idea of the deep seas.

Scene 4. Captivate With Your Own Castle

Disney theme parks and retail stores lead the way with using interesting characters and beautiful environments to entrance their visitors. Use your own company history and make stories and convey places visually to link promotions. Producing imaginative scenes and backdrops can really help to communicate a brand and seasonal messages. Well known books, films and a particular era such as the 1920’s for example can be used as a starting point for visual merchandising concepts and promotional campaigns. These help bring the style of the displays altogether and make a very unique presentation. A strong and magical message can suit an individual business’s product range and is easily memorable for the customer.

A good example of this currently is John Lewis celebrating 150 years of trading across all its stores and marketing channels. The famous Partnership are bringing their vintage furnishing designs and classic products from previous generations up to date and re-launching them for sale again. This retail history captivates customers and it is no wonder John Lewis are celebrating with a grand promotion.

Scene 5. Tempt all the Senses

Use all the senses to maximise the effect and try adding music, activities and videos, touch screens and fragrances into your installation where possible. Enjoy using the opportunity to be sculptural and dramatic whilst surprising and entertaining your clients. It can be fun and effective for the whole team to get involved and dress up for the occasion. Every great show takes a lot of planning and rehearsal, so give yourself plenty of time to prepare and get ready for a crowd pleasing performance! Get The Look with

Mannequins can be artistically paint sprayed in an assortment of ways to match your promotions.

• A box of 100 budget wooden hangers is on sale. These hangers could be painted a variety of different colours and suspended using their hanging wire which comes in a variety of lengths.

Wire boxes, shelves and mesh cube panels can all be found at reasonable prices at Equipashop and can be wrapped with fabric or paper, foil and PVA for display purposes.

Nylon grass mats are a snip at £12.75 and would make a good base for many dramatic scenes in your retail space. Amanda Howse is a designer and writer specialising in retail and home interiors based in the south east of the UK. See her website at or follow her on twitter @createdisplay


20140904 Shop Fittings and Retail Equipment Superstore 20140904 The Fara Workshop Contemporary hand crafted fashion collection, Islington, London 20140806 Planet Aspects Mannequins and Visual Merchandising 20140904 John Lewis John Lewis Department Store Retailer UK 20140904 The Rainforest Cafe A Wild Place to Shop and Eat, Orlando, Florida, USA 20140806 Disney Store In-store Events & Activities 20140904 Epcot Walt Disney World Exciting attractions, enchanting international pavillions, Orlando, Florida, USA 20140904 The Hop Shop at Castle Farm Lavender farm with 1000 acres steeped in history in Shoreham near Sevenoaks in Kent      ]]>

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