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Is Your Business Visually Ready for the Holiday Season?

Retailors, are you ready for a very merry holiday season? The National Retail Federation projects 2012 holiday sales will rise 4.1% from 2011, and if the Federation’s projections are correct, overall sales this year could total $586.1 billion. According to a survey conducted by research and consulting firm Deloitte LLP, only 37% of shoppers are planning on spending less this year than last, which is the lowest rate they have recorded since 2006. For many retailers the holiday season can represent 20-40% of annual sales. All of these numbers add up to one fact: it’s time to spruce up your visual communications to take advantage of the holiday season.

Holiday decorations in a retail location remind customers to keep an eye out for gifts and can subconsciously stir up positive emotions about the holiday spirit. Larger retail locations can use visual communications to highlight big promotions and sales, while smaller retail locations can take advantage of their independence and versatility to create distinctive and attractive displays. There are many options for highlighting the holidays at your store location including window graphics, wall and floor decals, banners, point of purchase signs and QR codes.

The tradition of holiday window displays goes all the way back to the 1870’s when Macy’s in New York City began creating elaborate Christmas scenes in their plate glass windows. An eye-catching window display can draw in foot traffic and promote holiday specials. Window graphics are an excellent solution to transform standard glass into a winter wonderland. They can cover the entire window with a custom scene, create a backdrop for a display or provide pops of color. If you choose vinyl window graphics, they are clean and easy to apply and remove.

Wall and floor decals provide them same neat and easy decoration inside your store. They can be created in almost any size or number, so your creativity in using them is nearly limitless. Wall decals can turn a blank white area into a roaring fireside with bulging stockings, or consider placing floor decals shaped like boot prints in a path and encouraging children to follow “Santa’s footsteps” to the toy section. Customize ornament-shaped decals with messages about promotions and place them on the walls above the merchandise.

Banners and point of purchase signage can also help bring out the holiday spirit in shoppers. If your store is located on a busy road, a banner may be more legible to drivers than smaller window signage. Use custom banners in festive colors to announce holiday season sales or specials. Point-of-purchase signs can remind customers to check more items off their to-do lists with an additional purchase. Place small ticket items near the register and point them out as fun stocking stuffers, or have a sign made that announces “We Sell Gift Cards!”

Finally, printing QR codes by merchandise can be helpful both to customers and your store’s bottom line. Many retailers complain of the phenomenon known as “showrooming” where customers look at products in store, then use their mobile phones to see if they can get a cheaper price online. By placing QR codes near products you encourage shoppers to go to your own website to read more information about the product. They may still look for it elsewhere, but by providing an informational service and also giving a quick way to check out the product further on your own website, you can encourage them to purchase from your location.

Black Friday is coming up on November 23rd, so don’t hesitate to put some or all of these holiday decorating ideas into action soon. Remember that general holiday decor appeals to a wider consumer base than religion-specific decorations. Happy Holidays!

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