entire car park with fake snow! We also saw an authentic German market at Meadowcroft Garden Centre; not to mention some very good promotions on baubles and other lines. We do want it to be commercial as well as beautiful – it needs to be paying the bills! There were some fantastic


merchandising ideas, including retailers using Zest picnic benches to create product displays, obelisks used to display wreaths, log houses, co-ordinated peg ends and some lovely space fillers, such as log baskets used to house nativity sets and fill the space on top of a fixture.

And, make sure you don’t forget the smells. It’s all about the senses with merchandising and displays like this, so think about using room fragrances to bring it to life. These are some of our top tips for Christmas merchandising: • Make it really easy for customers – when shopping on the internet you just go ‘click, click’ and it’s done, so make it simple to find what they want and buy in store too. • Don’t

forget the add-ons –

decorations, lights on trees, etc – advertise these! • Garlands and wreaths always look better if they are hung up and on show – think in terms of ‘stock for show’ up top, and ‘stock to go’ underneath, to make it easy for customers to shop and walk away with the item they want. NOTE: Don’t forget to tell customers what to do with these garlands. Help inspire them and provide guidance. People don’t always know what to do with them when they get home.

e saw some great examples this year, including Br ookfields Garden Centre, which flocked its


You can offer a three-step guide teaching them about fluffing up, adding lights and decorations, then how to hang. • Help customers understand lighting – offer a guide to lighting and whether they are indoor or outdoor. Get creative with your displays but have that boxed product underneath ready to go. • Keep displays super tidy – again, keep thinking ‘stock for show’, ‘stock to go’ •

Create a forest with your

Christmas trees – you can even do this outside to really build an atmosphere and bring in wooden benches, outdoor lighting and other lines to create an inspirational setting. NOTE: Don’t

forget 20 DIY WEEK 22 FEBRUARY 2019 promote that ‘carry to car’ service

for trees and large items. A lot of you do it but don’t shout about it. • Create inspiring table displays with homewares and accessories, then make sure you have the stock nearby for them to shop the look. Why not go one step further and offer a ‘shopping list’ for the perfect Christmas table to give customers ideas and secure extra sales. • Use colour at height and it will work to bring people further into your store – there was a great example of this with one garden centre using a washing line to display novelty Christmas jumpers along and above the shelving fixture.

Bright idea to

Christmas lighting is a confusing category, so the easier you can make

GCA inspectors Alyson Haywood and Andy Campbell shared what they saw when judging this year’s Christmas competition and offered tips on creating effective festive displays in store.

it, the better. Think about self-service ease, and provide simple POS explaining the differences between the different types of lighting. Use simple blocking by colour or type of light in your displays and have the boxed product right under it. Also make sure you have batteries located in a prime position next to battery-operated lights, so the consumer can just pick them up. There are a lot of ways you can get

creative with your lighting displays; even having battery-operated string lights on display in terrariums and decorative boxes to give people ideas of how they can use them in the home. Why not promote the benefits of the product with a ‘no plug needed’ sign to make it very clear that they can recreate the look.

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