Merchandising Know-How: GlobalShop – The Show of Shows

Every visual merchandiser should attend the GlobalShop trade show at least once, and preferably every couple of years. The 2006 show will be in Orlando, Florida, March 26-28. GlobalShop can be a bit confusing because it actually combines six specialty shows. Here's some background info on each show to help you make the most of your time.

In the world of merchandising, GlobalShop is the greatest show on earth. All visual merchandisers should attend at least once, and preferably every couple of years. Those of you living on the east coast will be happy to learn that the once-yearly show is being held in Orlando, Florida, for the first time March 26-28, 2006. Previous locations have included Chicago and Las Vegas.

I’ve gone to GlobalShop every year since its inception. While it caters to the big boys — department stores and big boxes — there’s plenty for the small retailer to discover. If you’re new to GlobalShop, you might find its organization a bit confusing because the show is actually six specialty shows under one roof. Aisle carpets are color coded so you can figure out which part of the show you’re in. Here’s the lineup:

The Store Fixturing Show
In this part of the show you’ll find fixtures, slatwall, shelving, gondolas and everything else you need to outfit a retail shop. I find a lot of ideas and resources in this segment of the show, and I recommend that you spend some time here.

The Visual Merchandising Show
This is my favorite spot in the show because it’s where you’ll find all sorts of display props, including furniture, flowers, holiday decorations, shopping bags, mannequins and hangers. I’d call this part of the show the enhancement area—don’t miss it.

POP Marketplace
You won’t spend much time here because it’s the area in which all the temporary POP is shown. Temporary displays are used by liquor companies, cosmetic and food industry suppliers for in-store promotions then thrown away. Minimums are too high for an independent retailer to meet, so don’t waste your time in this area.

Store Design & Operations
If you’d like to remodel a store or build a new store, you’ll want to see what’s offered in this part of the show. It features vendors selling exterior signage, floor and wall coverings, landscaping materials and shopping carts.

The Digital Store
Audio and sound systems, software, displays and screens and kiosks are the focus in this area and have more relevance for large store chains.

Retail Marketing Services

This part of the show provides access to retail services like fulfillment, store rollouts and installation, sales promotion and training and merchandising services. This is really for the big boys, but you might find it interesting.

One of the reasons I attend the show each year is to check out the seminars. There are 22 of them throughout the three days and they are excellent. I always leave with lots of notes and ideas.

Even if only two or three of the specialty shows interest you, GlobalShop is worth a visit. Two days is plenty of time to see everything, and you can squeeze it into one.

For more information, or to register for the show and seminar series online go to To contact the show’s customer service people, call 800-933-8735. Register well ahead of time to get free registration and discounts on the seminar series.

Sharon Leicham is the author of “Merchandising Your Way to Success” and “How to Sell to Women” and is a regular columnist for SNEWS® and GearTrends® magazines writing on merchandising and marketing topics. You can access all of her columns by going to, where you will find information targeted at the independent specialty retailer.