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SIA Merchandising: A Hazy Shade of Winter

March 18, 2015 | 0 Comments

January tends to be a month that for many of us is devoid of color.  Unless you live in somewhere in the southern portion of the U.S. or pretty much anywhere in California, January is drab.  It’s cold and bleak and we seem to crave sunshine as the days gradually become longer. So, this month now is the to time to lift your shop’s spirits with a healthy punch of color, both on the floor and in your window displays.

Color is a deeply personal subject.  According to a study posted on, “84.7% of consumers cite color as the primary reason they buy a particular product.”  And many of us in retail know, color psychology is something we have some sense about – that is, color sells. Additionally we understand the basics of color theory – things like why red is good for sale signs (because it activates an immediate call to action response much as a stop sign or traffic light might alert us to pay attention.)  Blue has a calming effect and is also thought of as a dependable and responsible tone.  Green is widely associated with things that are healthy and relaxing, yellow is optimistic and orange lends a bold and playful attitude to objects.  Black evokes value, power and timeless simplicity, brown speaks to our natural side, while also being strong and dependable, and white conveys something that is pure and clean.  Simply put, you can play with different color combinations readily available to you already from your existing selection of outerwear, skis, snowboard boots, helmets and goggles and many other products in your store.

Attract attention to your displays by using strong color to tell a particular product story, based on the color’s attributes listed above.


Chart courtesy of

2This is a display I just did at the shop where I work.  I liked the graphic black and red elements on the skis combined with a nice bright white background.  Playing off the ski graphics, I placed a helmet in black and white – and then added a third pop color of green from the ski boot and goggles.

3Here is another fun and easy way to celebrate color.  I went to the hardware store and grabbed a BIG fistful of paint card chips.  I then planned my window and contents based on those paint chips.  This is an idea that you can really run with.  Think about making a giant heart out of a myriad of red hued paint chips for a Valentine’s Day window.  Endless options here and its free.

4Color can be added as an embellishment to a display – just be sure to not use too many colors.  Otherwise it might look like a nightmare from a carnival!  Using three to five colors is a good rule of thumb.

5Another way to highlight color is repetition for maximum impact.  Do you have some old fixtures that you can spray paint?  Or consider incorporating vinyl lettering that plays off your color scheme in a front window.


Here is another example of color repetition that helps product stand out in a display.

7Color is eye catching.  The yellow and green combination in this display makes me think of spring.

8I’m a sucker for painted pegboard these days.  Think of how you can transform fixtures like a piece of pegboard with paint.  A colorful backdrop for a display can be reused in a different shop location at another time – so well worth the effort of a quick paint job.

9Speaking of paint jobs, white washing wooden crates and pallets is an easy way to give those pieces some new life.

Hopefully January’s newsletter helps to take the chill of these bleak mid winter days.  We have made it over the holiday hump.  Time to refresh our energy now that the holiday rush is over.  Give your floor a quick makeover with bright colors both in hardgoods and outerwear.  Enjoy and discover what color therapy can do for you this time of year!

Think snow and wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2015!

To learn more about color and retail marketing head to and check out their ecommerce University menu.

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