Top retailers offer advice for sprucing up your display space.
Whether you’re a tennis superstore or a small pro shop, you need to create effective retail displays to drive sales. And, as tennis participation is increasing, there’s no better time than the present to take advantage of the surge and promote your apparel and equipment brands using eye-catching displays — and turning casual shoppers into buyers.
To help you fashion retail displays that move merchandise, we contacted four tennis shops that equipment and apparel makers praised for having successful and attractive displays.
Tennis and Golf Company, Royal Oak, MI
Marjorie Holler of Tennis and Golf Company in the Detroit area uses color to make displays visually attractive. She also rotates articles every couple of weeks to make things look fresh and new.
Whether racquets, bags, or apparel, attractive lighting makes the merchandise pop off the wall and allows customers to easily see the details and features. Racquet walls are arranged by manufacturer, with shelves of tennis balls between them. Ball hoppers filled with balls add visual interest to the displays.
Holler tends toward a more formal approach, optimizing the visual effect of how the outfit will look when worn, rather than layering pieces. Racks, tables, and wall units invite a customer’s involvement. Clothing groups are arranged by manufacturer, color, then outfit. Waterfall wall displays for apparel are more visually appealing, so that customers aren’t looking at a lot of garment sleeves. Tennis and Golf Company also marks down and moves out old merchandise quickly, so the merchandise always is fresh and new.
- Make apparel “sellable.” Ask, how would you wear it?
- Rotate displays to keep the store looking fresh.
- Don’t overwhelm a display with too much; keep a neat, balanced presentation.
Coach Matt’s, Suwanee, GA
With apparel displays, Tiffany Grayson at Coach Matt’s in the Atlanta area creates a color story by coordinating like and complementary hues within each brand, and she cross-merchandises between training/fitness pieces and tenniswear. This way, the consumer is likely to see the connection between cross-over activities and tennis and will more likely integrate their workout apparel and tennis apparel.
In displaying racquets, Grayson puts power frames at the top of the slatwall, “tweener” racquets in the middle, and control racquets at the bottom, remaining consistent within the brands. This makes it easy for customers to identify their swing levels within each brand across the racquet wall, she says.
Grayson sees the tendency for customers to buy more when the retailer creates more of a “lifestyle” presentation rather than strictly emphasizing tennis in retail displays. But Grayson also makes her shop more appealing to tennis players by using trophies and action and historic photos on the walls and shelves.
- Keep it simple. Have a clean look, and group like objects together.
- A neat and uncluttered store invites customers in.
- Make sure your space is well-lighted. Use spotlights for displays.
Chicago Golf and Tennis, Chicago, IL
Chicago Golf and Tennis houses a major Nike specialty/concept shop, coupling the crossover idea of Nike workout apparel with tenniswear. Nike started this tennis concept store within a store about two years ago with tremendous success. This boutique approach of portraying a lifestyle theme using exciting graphic images and manufacturer fixtures is an idea that can translate well for other manufacturers’ displays.
Corinne Pinsof-Kaplan of Chicago Golf and Tennis also makes full use of mannequins to show complete outfits, employing humorous scenes to make even more of an impact. Walls and dressing-room doors also are used to create even more apparel display space.
Pinsof-Kaplan notes that something as simple as upgrading your hangers has a tremendous effect on creating a richer look. And having salespeople wear merchandise sold in the store also helps to increase sales. Chicago Golf and Tennis is a massive 15,000 square feet, but, as Pinsof-Kaplan notes, you don’t have to have a huge space to create imaginative displays and encourage sales.
- Use professional-looking signage and eye-catching manufacturer-supplied images and fixtures.
- Show mannequins outfitted with accessories for crossover appeal.
- Upgrade hangers for a nicer, richer look.
USTA National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows, NY
Joan Dziena at the pro shop at the USTA National Tennis Center in New York insists it’s all about color and balance. In creating displays, she uses colors that complement each other, and creates a story with a color palate, using symmetry to encourage balance between lights and darks. Buying with the anticipation of how it will look on the wall and floor helps utilize your space to its maximum efficiency.
Only opened since last November, already this pro shop, in the shadow of Arthur Ashe Stadium, is experiencing great success among the regulars, who return week after week. Waterfall racks on the wall help to add visual interest, and Dziena matches up coordinating racquet bags and other accessories with her apparel.
Because she gets so many repeat customers, Dziena emphasizes rotating displays twice a month. Even if it’s changing a rack from front to back, it still creates a fresh look, as if the customer is seeing the merchandise for the first time.
- Use color to make a statement.
- Emphasize pairings, balance, and symmetry.
- Rotating displays creates diversity and a feeling of “newness.”
See all articles by Cynthia Sherman
About the Author
Cynthia Sherman is a contributing editor for RSI magazine.