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The Lizard Lounge Way: Holiday displays grab wandering eyes

Let’s face it, Santa has it pretty good as he gets to hear firsthand what your customers want. Merchandising cues from the Lizard Lounge Way, though, will give you an upper hand.

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Welcome to the The Lizard Lounge Way, a regular merchandising column in SNEWS®. Each month, the Lizard Lounge team — Kelsie Morrow, store manager and a Portland Art Institute professor of merchandising, Shelby Coral, head men’s visual merchandiser, and Jolie Giese, the chief merchandising officer for Horny Toad, Nau and the Lizard Lounge — will bring our readers an inside look at their merchandising laboratory. Packed with visuals, there will be something in every column, even for the most experienced merchandising eye. 

Let’s face it, Santa has it pretty good, beyond having a magic sled that somehow can cover the entire world in one night, he also gets to hear firsthand what your customers want. Your customers, on the other hand, have to shop, and half the time they don’t really know what they’re shopping for until they find it. So, that means it’s more important than ever that those holiday displays be eye-catching.

Before a single snowflake falls, flashes of holiday appear in store windows — mannequins draped in sweaters of every hue, eye-catching mechanized displays, and bright red signs promoting must-shop deals (consumers seem to be seeking these deals more than ever this year). Once in the store, shoppers are lured onto the sales floor with carefully orchestrated, seasonally appropriate merchandising displays that set senses a-stirring and cash registers a-ringing. Merchandising really has to inspire someone to think, “I’m willing to spend my money on that, and go three weeks on mac ‘n’ cheese.”

Consumers are not only looking for inspiration, but also for a fast, easy route to the perfect gift. Here are some simple suggestions that every elf should know to help a customer feel just as jolly and all knowing as Santa.

  • Trends – Determine the holiday trends and merchandise on mannequins and front table displays.

  • Color, color and color – It can save a display, even if the pieces are somewhat traditional or common. A vibrant color will attract the customer to the display.

  • Wow factor – The retailer has to make the consumer look at something and say, “I want to buy that!” Consumers are going with more sophisticated pieces — items that will stay relevant over time and can be used year after year.

  • Personalize it – Come up with innovative ideas to personalize your merchandised gifts, like pre-wrapped cookies and candies, holiday-inspired wine bottle holder, red headlamps and socks or hats. These small items can give an ordinary gift a fresh spin in a merchandised situation.
  • Be up front – Incorporate all gift items around the register or near the front — like accessories, small items and other popular gifts.
  • Birds of a feather – Merchandise like items next to each other so customers can see their options and get more than one color/style for all their present giving. For example, if you have four V-neck sweaters in different colors, then keep them together on the table and display one on the mannequin.

  • Repetition – An idea over and over again will make an impact — and the message will sink in. A link of props of the same size or color, strung across a display ending up with a single piece of merchandise, will also be effective. 

  • Sizes – This seems simple, but don’t forget to bump up the size runs on the floor. Floor staff will be busy and you’d hate to lose a sale because the consumer didn’t want to ask if you had a specific size.

About Lizard Lounge

The Lizard Lounge is a retail clothing store created to be a third place to go other than home or work. A place to relax, have a good cup of coffee, see the work of a local artist, listen to live music, access free Internet or play a game of ping-pong. No pressure, good service and great clothes on one hand, with beer, coffee and good music on the other. Live. Work. Play. Lounge. To find out more visit: