S I X T H E D IT I O N

Visual Merchandising Display

Martin M. Pegler     SIXTH EDITION
  and Display
Visual Merchandising
         and Display
              Sixth Edition

                                Martin M. Pegler

              Fairchild Books
                    New York
Executive Editor: Olga T. Kontzias                       a Division of Condé Nast Publications.
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Cover Design: Carolyn Eckert
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Copyright © 2012 Fairchild Books,

Preface	                                               xiii   Part FOUr Visual Merchandising                                200
Acknowledgments	                                       xiv    and Display techniques
Credits	                                               xiv
                                                              16	 Attention-Getting	Devices	                                201

Part One Getting Started—	                             xvi
                                                              17	 Familiar	Symbols	                                         217

Visual Merchandising and Display Basics                       18	 Masking	and	Proscenia	                                    233

1	    Why	Do	We	Display?	                              1      19	 Sale	Ideas	                                               243
2		   Color	and	Texture	                               9      20		Fashion	Accessories	                                      251
3	    Line	and	Composition	                            21     21	 Home	Fashions,	Hard	Goods,	and	Food	Displays	             263
4	    Light	and	Lighting	                              31     22	 Graphics	and	Signage	                                     275
5	    Types	of	Display	and	Display	Settings	           49

                                                              Part FiVe Visual Merchandising and Planning	                  28 8
Part twO where to Display	                             62
                                                              23	   Visual	Merchandise	Planning	                            28 9
6	 The	Exterior	of	the	Store	                          63     24	   Setting	Up	a	Display	Shop	                              297
7	 Display	Window	Construction	                        71     25	   Store	Planning	and	Design	                              3 03
8	 Store	Interiors	                                    87     26	   Visual	Merchandising	and	the	Changing	Face	of	Retail	   321

Part three what to Use for                                    Part Six related areas of Visual                              334
Successful Displays	                                   100
                                                              Merchandising and Display
9	 Mannequins	                                         101
                                                              27	   Point-of-Purchase	Display	                              33 5
10	 Alternatives	to	the	Mannequin	                     111
                                                              28	   Exhibit	and	Trade	Show	Design—Industrial	Display	       3 53
11	 Dressing	the	Three-Dimensional	Form	               123
                                                              29	   Fashion	Shows	                                          375
12		 Fixtures	                                         137
                                                              30	   Trade	Organizations	and	Sources	                        379
13	 Visual	Merchandising	and	Dressing	Fixtures	        161
                                                              31	   Career	Opportunities	in	Visual	Merchandising	           3 87
14		 Modular	Fixtures	and	Systems	in	Store	Planning	   177
15	 Furniture	as	Props	                                187
                                                              Glossary	                                                     3 94
                                                              Credits	                                                      414	
                                                              Index	                                                        000

Extended	Contents

Preface	    	                                           xiii             	 Neutral	Colors	                      14
Acknowledgments	                                        xiv           Using	Color	to	Promote	Color	             15
                                                                      Texture		                                 17
Part One Getting Started-
Visual Merchandising and Display Basics	                xvi    3 Line and Composition                           21
                                                                     Line	 	                                    22
1 Why Do We Display?                                     1              	 Vertical	Lines	                       22
2 Color and Texture                                      9              	 Horizontal	Lines	                     22
      	Physical	and	Psychological	Reactions	to	Color	   11              	 Curved	Lines	                         22
         	 Yellow	                                      11              	 Diagonal	Lines	                       23
         	 Orange	                                      11           Composition	                               23
         	 Red	                                         11              	 Balance	                              23
         	 Pink	                                        11              	 Dominance	                            26
         	 Green	                                       11              	 Contrast	                             26
         	 Blue	                                        11              	 Proportion	                           26
         	 Blue-Green	                                  11              	 Rhythm	                               27
         	 Peach	                                       12              	 Repetition	                           29
         	 Rust	                                        12
         	 Violet/Purple	                               12     4 Light and Lighting                             31
         	 Gray	                                        12           The	Color	of	Light	                        32
         	 Brown	                                       12           Planning	Window	Lighting	                  32
         	 White	                                       12           Lighting	the	Open-Back	Window	             33
         	 Black	                                       12           Lighting	the	Closed-Back	Window	           34
      	Color	Families	                                  12           Planning	Store	Interior	Lighting	          34
      	Color	Mixing	                                    13           New	Lighting	Trends	                       35
      	Color	Schemes	                                   13           General,	or	Primary,	Lighting	             35
         	 Analogous,	or	Adjacent,	Colors	              13           Fluorescent	Lighting	                      36
         	 Complementary	Colors	                        13           Compact	Fluorescent	Lamps	(CFL)	           37
         	 Contrasting	Colors	                          14           Incandescent	Lighting	                     37
         	 Monochromatic	Colors	                        14           High-Intensity	Discharge	(HID)	Lighting	   38

       MR16	and	MR11	                                   39   7 Display Window Construction                             71
       Metal	Halide	Lamps	                              39         Closed-Back	Windows	                                72
       Ceramic	Metal	Halide	Lamps	                      40         Floor	 	                                            73
       LED	(Light-Emitting	Diode)	                      40         Back	of	the	Window	                                 74
       Secondary,	or	Accent,	Lighting	                  41         Ceiling		                                           75
       Colored	Lights	and	Filters	                      41         Sidewalls	                                          77
       Planning	Store	Lighting	                         43         Proscenia	                                          77
       Suggestions	for	Using	Light	Effectively	         45         Masking	                                            77
                                                                   Open-Back	Windows	                                  78
5 Types of Display and Display Settings                 49         Island	Windows	                                     80
      Types	of	Displays	                                51         Special	Windows	                                    81
         	 One-Item	Display	                            51            	 Shadow	Boxes	                                  81
         	 Line-of-Goods	Display	                       51            	 Elevated	Windows	                              82
         	 Related	Merchandise	Display	                 51            	 Deep	Windows	                                  82
         	 Variety	or	Assortment	Display	               51            	 Tall	Windows	                                  83
         	 Promotional	versus	Institutional	Displays	   52         Make-Your-Own-Display	Windows	                      83
      Types	of	Display	Settings	                        55         Runways,	Catwalks,	and	Up-Front	Displays	           84
         	 Realistic	Setting	                           55
         	 Environmental	Setting	                       55   8 Store Interiors                                         87
         	 Semirealistic	Setting	                       56         Focal	Points	                                       88
         	 Fantasy	Setting	                             56         Island	Displays	                                    89
         	 Abstract	Setting	                            57         Risers	and	Platforms	                               89
         	 Buildup	Display	                             59         The	Runway	                                         89
                                                                   The	Catwalk	                                        90
Part twO where to Display	                              62         Counters	and	Display	Cases	                         90
                                                                   Museum	Cases	                                       92
6 The Exterior of the Store                             63         Demonstration	Cubes	                                92
      Signs	 	                                          64         Ledges		                                            92
      Marquees	                                         64         Shadow	Boxes	                                       95
      Outdoor	Lighting	                                 64         Enclosed	Displays	                                  95
      Banners	                                          65         Fascia	 	                                           96
      Planters	                                         65         T-Walls		                                           97
      Awnings	                                          65         100-Percent	Traffic	Areas	                          97
      Windows	in	Storefront	Design	                     66
         	 Straight	Front	                              66   Part three what to Use for
         	 Angled	Front	                                67   Successful Displays                                       100
         	 Arcade	Front	                                67
         	 Corner	Window	                               67   9 Mannequins                                              101
      Mall	Storefronts	                                 68        Types	of	Mannequins	                                 103
         	 Open	Façade	                                 68           	 Realistic	Mannequins	                           103
         	 Glass	Façade	                                69           	 Semirealistic	Mannequins	                       106
         	 Closed	Façade	                               69           	 Semi-abstract	Mannequins	                       107
                                                                     	 Abstract	Mannequins	                            107

                                                                                           E XTE N D E D C o NTE NTS    VII
         	 Cartoon/Caricature	Mannequins	                         109             	 Finishes	                                     152
         	 Headless	Mannequins	                                   109          Wood	Fixtures	and	Store	Fittings	                  153
                                                                               Today’s	Fixtures	                                  157
10 Alternatives to the Mannequin                                  111          Interactive	Fixtures	                              157
      Three-Quarter	Forms	                                        115
      Other	Forms	                                                116   13 Visual Merchandising and Dressing Fixtures             161
      Soft-Sculpted	Figures	                                      119         Visual	Merchandising	                               162
      Articulated	Artist’s	Figure	                                119            	 Customer-Oriented	Visual	Merchandising	        162
      Dress	Forms	and	Suit	Forms	                                 119            	 Dominance	by	Color	                            163
      Cutout	Figures	                                             121            	 Dominance	by	Coordination	                     163
      Inflatables	                                                122            	 Dominance	by	Brand	Name	                       165
      Drapers		                                                   122            	 Dominance	by	Size	                             166
      Hangers	                                                    123            	 Dominance	by	Price	                            167
      Lay-Down	Techniques	                                        123            	 Dominance	by	End	Use	                          167
      Pinup	Techniques	                                           125         Front-to-Back	Visual	Merchandising	                 167
      Flying	Techniques	                                          126         Visual	Presentation	                                168
                                                                              Visual	Merchandising	and	the	Retailer	              168
11 Dressing the Three-Dimensional Form                            129         Dressing	Fixtures	                                  169
      Dressing	a	Mannequin	                                       130            	 T-Stands	                                      169
      Rigging	a	Suit	Form	                                        133            	 Stock	Holders	                                 170
         	 Shirt	Board	                                           134            	 Quad	Racks	                                    170
         	 Shirt	Forms	                                           135            	 Round	Racks	                                   170
      Forms	and	Customer	Attitude	                                135            	 Back	Wall	                                     171
                                                                                 	 Gondolas	                                      172
12 Fixtures                                                       137            	 Aisle	Tables	                                  173
      Stands		                                                    139         Clothing	on	Hang-Rods	                              174
      Platforms	and	Elevations	                                   139            	 Shoulder-Out	Hanging	                          174
      Costumers,	Valets,	and	Drapers	                             140            	 Face-Out	Hanging	                              174
      Easels	 	                                                   140            	 Single-Rod	Hanging	                            174
      Pipe	Racks	                                                 142            	 Double-Rod	Hanging	(One	Rod	Over	the	Other)	   174
      Counters	or	Showcases	                                      142
      Assorted	Counter	Fixtures	                                  143   14 Modular Fixtures and Systems
      Ledge	Fixtures	                                             145   in Store Planning                                         177
      Floor	and	Freestanding	Fixtures	                            146         Use	of	Modular	Fixtures	                            178
         	 Round	Racks	                                           147         Use	of	Systems	                                     179
         	 T-Stands	                                              147         Types	of	Systems	                                   180
         	 Quad	Racks,	or	Four-Way	Faceouts	                      148            	 Hollow	Tubes	with	Finger	Fittings	             180
         	 Other	Floor	Fixtures	                                  149            	 Clamps	                                        181
      Selecting	a	Fixture	                                        151            	 Extruded	Uprights	                             182
         	 Appearance	                                            151            	 Slotted	Joiners	                               182
         	 Construction	                                          151            	 Slotted	Uprights	                              182
         	 End	Use	                                               151         Selecting	a	System	                                 182
         	 Upkeep	                                                152            	 Looks	                                         183

        	   End	Use	                                     184          Mother’s	Day	                                       227
        	   Construction	                                184          Patriotic	                                          228
        	   Upkeep	                                      184          Spring	 	                                           228
        	   Adaptability	                                184          Valentine’s	Day	                                    229
        	   Price	                                       184
                                                               18 Masking and Proscenia                                   233
15 Furniture as Props                                    187        Venetian	Blinds	                                      236
     Chairs	 	                                           188        Window	Shades	                                        237
     Tables	 	                                           193        Foam	Core	and	Board	                                  238
     Armoires	and	Cabinets	                              194        Lath-Lattice	Panels	                                  239
     Drawer	Units	                                       195        Plants	 	                                             239
                                                                    Ribbons	and	Streamers	                                239
Part FOUr Visual Merchandising and                                  Bamboo	Blinds	                                        240
Display techniques                                       200        Wrapping	Materials	                                   240
                                                                    Natural	Materials	                                    241
16 Attention-Getting Devices                             201
      Color	 	                                           203   19 Sale Ideas                                              243
      Lighting	                                          203        Mannequins	                                           244
      Line	and	Composition	                              204        Graphics	                                             246
      Scale	 	                                           204        Magic	 	                                              247
      Contrast	                                          205        Cleaning	Up	                                          248
      Repetition	                                        205
      Humor	 	                                           205   20 Fashion Accessories                                     251
      Mirrors		                                          207        Providing	the	Setting	                                252
      Nostalgia	                                         207        Importance	of	Props	to	Fashion	Accessory	Display	     256
      Motion		                                           208           	 Gloves	and	Bags	                                 256
      Surprise	and	Shock	                                210           	 Jewelry	                                         258
      Props	 	                                           211
                                                               21 Home Fashions, Hard Goods,
17 Familiar Symbols                                      217   and Food Displays                                          263
     Anniversaries	                                      218        Home	Fashions	                                        264
     Back	to	School	and	College	                         219        Hard	Goods	                                           267
     Bridal	 	                                           219        Create	Lifestyle	Situations	                          268
     Career	Fashions	                                    220        Smalls	Items	                                         269
     Christmas	                                          220        Large	Items	                                          269
     Clearance	Sales	                                    221        Food	Displays	                                        270
     Cruise	Wear,	Resort	Wear,	Sun	Wear,	and	Swimwear	   221           	 Fresh	Produce	                                   270
     Easter	 	                                           222           	 Prepared	Foods	                                  272
     Fall	 	                                             223
     Father’s	Day	                                       224   22 Graphics and Signage                                    275
     Formals	                                            224         What	Are	Graphics?	                                  276
     Halloween	                                          225         Graphics	and	Lifestyle	                              276
     Lingerie	                                           225         Graphics	in	Retail	Stores	                           277

                                                                                              E XTE N D E D C o NTE NTS    IX
       Signage	                                                   278          Discount	and	Factory	Outlet	Stores	                  324
       Drawings	                                                  278          Vendor	Shops	                                        325
       Color	and	Contrast	                                        279          Kiosks	and	Retail	Merchandising	Units	(RMUs)	        328
       Sizes	for	Signs	and	Cards	                                 280          Pop-Up	Shops	                                        331
       Types	of	Signs	and	Cards	                                  283
       Techniques	for	Preparing	Signage	                          283   Part Six related areas of Visual
          	 Silk	Screening	                                       283   Merchandising and Display	                                  334
          	 Sign	Machines	                                        284
          	 Other	Signage	Techniques	                             284   27 Point-of-Purchase Display                                335
                                                                              What	Is	POP?	                                         336
Part FiVe Visual Merchandising and Planning	                      288         Why	POP?	                                             337
                                                                              Who	Uses	POP,	and	Where?	                             338
23 Visual Merchandise Planning                                    289         POP	Longevity	                                        339
      Display	Calendar	                                           290         Designing	the	POP	Unit	                               340
      Planning	a	Display	                                         291           	 Product	                                          340
      The	Visual	Merchandiser’s	Part	in	Store	Promotion	          294           	 Unit	                                             340
      Scheduling	the	Promotion	                                   294           	 Timing	                                           341
                                                                                	 Tie-Ins	                                          341
24 Setting Up a Display Shop                                      297           	 End	Usage	                                        341
     Physical	Requirements	                                       298           	 Production	Run	                                   341
     Furniture	                                                   298           	 Shipping	                                         341
     Tools	and	Supplies	in	the	Display	Shop	                      299           	 Light	and	Motion	                                 342
        	 Hand	Tools	                                             300           	 Cost	                                             342
        	 Power	Tools	                                            300         Specialists	in	POP	Design	                            342
        	 Basic	Trimmings	                                        300         Materials	Used	in	the	Construction	of	POP	Displays	   343
        	 Lighting	Equipment	                                     300           	 Paper	and	Cardboard	                              343
     Books,	Publications,	and	Reference	Materials	                301           	 Plastics	                                         347
                                                                                	 Wood	and	Metal	                                   350
25 Store Planning and Design                                      303         POP	Design	Checklist	                                 350
     Functions	of	the	Store	Planner	                              305
     Rehabilitations	                                             307   28 Exhibit and Trade Show Design—
     Floor	Plans	                                                 307   Industrial Display                                          353
        	 Drawing	to	Scale	                                       308         Types	of	Exhibits	                                    354
        	 Materials	Needed	to	Draw	a	Floor	Plan	                  311            	 Permanent	Exhibits	                              354
     Reading	a	Floor	Plan	                                        312            	 Temporary	Exhibits	                              354
        	 Basic	Architectural	Symbols	                            312            	 Trade	Shows	                                     354
        	 Store	Planning	Symbols	                                 314            	 Traveling	Exhibits	                              355
        	 Other	Types	of	Dimensional	Drawings	                    317            	 Outdoor	Exhibits	                                355
     Store	Planning	as	a	Career	                                  317         Planning	the	Exhibit	                                 355
                                                                                 	 Audience	                                        355
26 Visual Merchandising and the                                                  	 Subject	                                         356
Changing Face of Retail                                           321            	 Size	                                            357
      Big-Box	Store,	or	Superstore	                               322            	 Design	and	Layout:	The	Traffic	Plan	             358

X      V I S U A L M E R C H A N D I S I N G A N D D I S P L Ay
          	 Theme	                                             359          Styling		                                           388
          	 Color	and	Texture	                                 359          Party	Design	                                       389
       Graphics	                                               359          Special	Events	                                     389
          	 Logos	and	Trademarks	                              359          Malls	 	                                            389
          	 Lettering	                                         360          Store	Planning	and	Fixture	Design	                  389
          	 Supergraphics	and	Line	                            360          Display	Decorative	Manufacturing	                   390
          	 Photomurals	and	Blowups	                           360          Mannequins	                                         390
          	 Heights	and	Elevations	                            360          Point	of	Purchase	(POP)	                            390
       Exhibit	Systems	                                        363          Tools	for	Getting	the	Job	                          390
       Theft	and	Vandalism	Control	                            363             	 Résumé	                                        390
       Lighting	                                               364             	 Portfolio	                                     390
          	 Daylight	                                          364          An	Effective	Visual	Merchandiser	                   391
          	 Ambient	Lighting	                                  364
          	 Task	Lighting	                                     364   Glossary	     	                                            394
          	 Special	Lighting	                                  366   Credits		     	                                            414
       Special	Effects	                                        366   Index	 	      	                                            000
          	 Movement	and	Animation	                            367
          	 Audiovisuals	                                      367
          	 Live	Action	                                       367
       Audience	Involvement	                                   368
       Making	the	Exhibit	Special	                             368
          	 The	Amenities	                                     368
          	 Tie-Ins	                                           369

29 Fashion Shows                                               375
30 Trade Organizations and Sources                             379
      Major	Organizations	                                     380
        	 Association	for	Retail	Environments	(ARE)	           380
        	 National	Association	of	Display	Industries	(NADI)	   380
        	 Planning	and	Visual	Education	Partnership	(PAVE)	    380
        	 Retail	Design	Institute	(RDI)	                       381
        	 Point-of-Purchase	Advertising	Institute	(POPAI)	     381
        	 In-Store	Marketing	Institute	                        381
        	 EHI	Retail	Institute	                                382
      Sources	of	Information	and	Ideas	                        382
        	 Trade	Shows	                                         382
        	 Trade	Magazines	                                     383
        	 Other	Publications	                                  383
        	 Research	                                            383

31 Career Opportunities in Visual Merchandising                387
     Trade	Show	and	Exhibit	Design	                            388
     Home	Fashions	and	Food	Presentation	                      388

                                                                                                    E XTE N D E D C o NTE NTS    XI

     s display dead? It has been buried so many times and         and flourish—no matter what it is called—so long as shop-
     in so many ways—especially when times are bad—but            pers find it fun and an adventure to go into a retail store.
     has been resurrected time and time again and often           Effective visual merchandising and display can be a moti-
     with a new name. Whatever you call it, it is about pre-      vating factor in seeking out such adventure.
sentation, about showing to sell—creating a store’s look,              Old loyalties to stores and shops are almost nonexis-
promoting an image or a brand, and shaping the shopper’s          tent because customers can no longer be depended upon.
attitude toward the retailer and the product.                     They want to be wooed, courted, stroked, and serviced;
      Just as the display person became the visual merchan-       they want to be entertained, and each sale is a first sale. If
diser back in the 1970s, we are seeing new names and              ever something were needed to distinguish one store from
titles showing up, like merchandise presentation, visual          another, to make one specialty shop seem more special,
presenter, environmental designer, and so on. Yet, if it is       more unique, more tuned in to what the market wants—
about showing merchandise at its best, in an attractive           that something is needed now. That something is effective
and attracting manner, it is still visual merchandising and       Visual Merchandising and Display. Visual merchandising
display.                                                          is the presentation of merchandise at its best; color coor-
      The retail scene is in a constant state of change. We are   dinated, accessorized, and self-explanatory. Display is the
hearing that more and more people are shopping online.            pizzazz—the theater, the sparkle and shine that surround
We read about and maybe visit e-stores. Does that mean            a presentation of merchandise and make the shopper stop,
that the retail store as we know it is finished? Does that        look, and buy what has been assembled with care and
mean that people are going to give up on getting up, getting      offered with flair.
dressed, and going out to the store, and instead let their fin-        During a recession, depression, or in a financial crunch,
gers do the shopping? Where can they ask themselves, how          store owners may take money out of the display budget and
does this fabric feel? how does this garment fit? What is the     put more money into media advertising. However, televi-
ambiance like as you sit in front of the computer? Is there       sion, radio, and print ads are worthless unless there is some
the romance, the sense of discovery one feels at finding a        follow-through at the store. Here, at the point of purchase,
treasure on a rack? What about the surprise and excitement        is where display or merchandise presentation becomes
of finding something you never expected to find—and it            absolutely necessary.
has been reduced in price as well? How about the chance                The shopping scene is also changing. Malls are
to meet and visit and exchange style opinions with friends        becoming entertainment centers, and in cities around
and loved ones? Yes! The computer is convenient and a             the world urban renewal is going on. Downtown, Main
possible timesaver, but it is not the whole answer. Visual        Street, High Street, and Broadway are being revived, and
merchandising and display is not dead; it will always live        new retailers are moving in with new brands to introduce

in their street-facing windows. More and more vehicular           Partners, Stuttgart, Germany; Giorgio Borruso, Marina
traffic is being rerouted, and walking streets are emerging,      del Rey, California; Burdifilek, Toronto; Callison-RYA,
where shoppers can saunter and study window displays in           Seattle; Caulder Moore, Kew, London, UK; Checkland
a leisurely fashion. Store windows are once again becoming        Kindleysides, Leicester, UK; Chute Gerdeman, Cleveland,
show windows and places where retailers can make lasting          Ohio; Collaborative Architecture, Mumbai, India; Dalziel +
first impressions.                                                Pow, London, UK; Display Design Group (DDG), Carlstadt,
      That is what this text is all about: making first impres-   New Jersey; Eventscape, Toronto; David Gault Architect,
sions that last. In the various chapters we approach the          New York; Gensler, USA; Greenberg Farrow, New York;
ways and means of doing just that. There are no rules to          Wolfgang Gruschwitz, Munich, Germany; Habitat, UK;
follow and very few “don’ts”; if something works for you, do      International Housewares Association, Rosemont, Illinois.;
it, whether it seems right or wrong. In its own way, the text     JGA, Southfield, Michigan.; JHP, London, UK; J. Mayer
shows you ways to be different, individualistic, unique; how      H., Germany; Mancini Duffy, New York; Peter Marino,
to stand out in the crowd; how to make a lasting impres-          New York; Nishiwaki Design Group, Tokyo; Pentagram,
sion. But, it always comes down to what is right and fitting      San Francisco; Plajer & Franz, Berlin; Pompei AD, New
for the retailer, the brand, and the product offer.               York; Seyle Putsure, Los Angeles; Riis Retail Design,
      I have tried to make the text as painless as possible—      Kolding, Denmark; RPA-Fitch; Ruscio Studio, Montreal;
conversational in tone, with lots and lots of pictures from       Siteworks, Portland, Oregon; Soldier Design, Cambridge,
retailers large and small: department stores, boutiques,          Massachusetts; Charles Sparks & Company, Westchester,
national chains, and mom-and-pop stores from around               Illinois; Sybarite, London; Tobin + Parnes, New York;
the world to provide a feast for your eyes and to stimulate       Walker Group, New York; Winntech, Kansas City, Missouri;
your imaginations. So, sit back, relax, and enter this world      WKMC Architects, Dallas; Wonderwall, Tokyo.
of presentation. Enjoy the journey!                                    Also a very special thanks to these visual merchan-
                                                                  disers, display people, and visual presenters, who are adding
ACknOWLE DG M E nTS                                               theater to retailing every day, all around the world: Carlos
In this display world of tinsel, glitter, sparkle, and larger-    Aires, at Marketing Jazz, Madrid; Karina Barhumi, Lima,
than-life presentations, I wish to thank all those visual         Peru; James Bellante, of Macy’s San Francisco; Christine
merchandisers, display persons, merchandise presenters,           Belch, at Sony Style, New York; Lucy Ann Bouwman, of
store planners, and display manufacturers and suppliers           Sight, Boston; Polar Buranasatit at Chrisofle, New York;
whose work and imagination made such a deep impres-               Keith Dillion, at Robert Ellis and Just One LA, Los Angeles;
sion. My thanks to all those for making the merchandise           Simon Doonan, at Barneys New York; Étalage B Design,
scene more exciting and fun and for putting more enter-           Montreal; Linda Fargo, at Bergdorf Goodman, New York;
tainment into this “show-ing” business.                           Ana Fernandes, at The Bay, Toronto; Victor Johnson, at
                                                                  Ann Taylor and White House/Black Market, New York;
CRE DITS                                                          Amy Meadows, at Marshall Field, Chicago; Gert Mueller, at
I would like to especially thank these architects, designers,     Schreibmeister, Munich; David New, at Bergdorf Goodman,
store planners, and manufacturers who provided me with            New York; Laura O’Connor, at Harvey Nichols, UK; Paul
the excellent examples used to illustrate this edition. They      Olzewski, at Macy’s Herald Square, New York; Peter Rank,
represent some of the leading retail specialists in the field,    of Deko Rank, Munich; Manoel Renha, at Lord & Taylor,
and their clients are evident throughout the world. Without       New York; Clinton Ridgeway, at Le Château, Toronto;
their generous contributions, this book would be page             Shawn Schmidt, at Le Château, Toronto; Stacy Suvino, at
after page black-and-white copy only: Aarca Exposiciones,         Miss Jackson, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Leigh Ann Tischler, at
Leon, Mexico; Alma Décor, Warsaw, Poland; Anthem                  Sony Style, New York; Janet Wardley, at Harvey Nichols,
Worldwide, New York; Bergmeyer, Boston; Blocher Blocher           UK; and the thousands of display people and “window

trimmers,” too numerous to mention, who make window
shopping such a delight.
     There are many others whose work is shown here, but
to name them all, the list would be endless.
     I would also like to thank John Burr, of RSD Publishing,
New York, and Retail Design International for the use of
many of these photographs and the many unlisted and
unnamed photographers who braved the rain and darkness
to get these images.
     My love to all those people who are real and make my
life real and fulfilled—to Suzan, my wife, and to my chil-
dren, Karen, Jess, Lysa, John, Risa, and Adam. And here is
to the next generation—Brian, Amanda, Mike, Jake, Sam,
Ben, Marley, and Heather.

                                           Martin M. Pegler

                                                                AC k N owLE D G M E NTS   XV
                                                                                 Chapter Four
                                                                               Light and Lighting

After you hAve reAd this chApter,
      you will be Able to discuss

                                F   the relationship between color and light
                                F   the term visible light
                                F   techniques for lighting open-backed windows and closed-back windows
                                F   ways in which lighting can be used to draw shoppers to particular areas within a store
                                F   primary and secondary store lighting
                                F   advantages and disadvantages of fluorescent light and incandescent light
                                F   locations where fluorescent lights are frequently used within a store
                                F   uses and functions of hid lighting and Mr16 and Mr11 lamps
                                F   the effective use of light in visual merchandising
                                                                                     To comprehend the relationship between color and
The Color of Light                                                              light and why an object is perceived by an observer as a
                                                                                particular color, it is important to understand that light is
Color—as color—means little unless it is considered in                          capable of being reflected and absorbed. The color of an
relation to the type of light in which the color is seen. It is                 object is seen as a result of the object’s selective absorption
light that makes things visible. All colors depend on light.                    of light rays. Thus, if an object is blue, for example, this
There is natural daylight and artificial light, which can                       means that it absorbs all the wavelengths of light except
be incandescent, fluorescent, or high-intensity discharge                       those of blue light, which are reflected back to the observer.
(HID) lighting.                                                                 The same occurs with other colors, but with a different
      It is not quite that simple, however. These three broad                   wavelength being reflected.
classifications of artificial light are further subdivided. There                    If the object is pure white, the full visible spectrum of
are many different types of fluorescent lamp tubes available,                   light is being reflected back in approximately equal quanti-
ranging from a warm white deluxe that attempts to create                        ties. If it is pure black, then all colors in the spectrum are
an “incandescent” effect, to the cool, bluish “daylight”                        being absorbed by the object.
quality usually associated with fluorescent lighting. HID                            Light bounces from one surface to another, and in
lamps are being improved daily and now even approach the                        this movement it is capable of throwing off new colors.
warm end of the colored light scale. Incandescent lamps                         For example, a wall or panel is painted pink. A wedge-
(i.e., bulbs) are warm and glowing, but placing filters or gel                  wood-blue carpet is installed. If warm, incandescent
sleeves over them can change the color and quality of the                       lights are used, the carpet may turn slightly lavender from
light. Let us, therefore, consider the color of light, the effect               the warm pink reflection cast by the walls. The incandes-
of light on pigment color, and how light can affect the mer-                    cent light may also play up any reds that are in the warm
chandise and the area that surrounds the merchandise.                           blue carpet. (A warm blue has some purple in it, i.e.,
      Visible light is actually composed of the whole spectrum                  red and blue. Incandescent light reflects most in the red
of colors, from violet to red. Imagine a beam of light passing                  end of the spectrum.) If a daylight fluorescent light were
through a glass prism or reflecting in a pool of water or oil,                  switched on instead, the blue of the carpet might seem
and you will see that spectrum broken up into a rainbow of                      more sparkling and cool, and the walls would take on
colors—from violet, through the blues and greens, to the                        the lavender tone. The overall light will affect the color
yellows and oranges, and finally, red. All light is caused by                   of the walls, the floor, and the ceiling, and bouncing
waves of radiant energy that vary in length. The shortest                       around as it does, most of all it will affect the color of the
wavelength of the visible spectrum is violet light; then comes                  merchandise.
blue light, green light, and so on; and at the other end of the
spectrum, with the longest wavelength, is red light. All these
wavelengths—the entire spectrum—combine to form vis-                            Planning Window Lighting
ible, or white, light, which is the light we see.
      Ultraviolet light, X-rays, and gamma rays have shorter                    You walk by a store. It is daylight. You catch a glimpse of the
wavelengths than we can see. Infrared and radio waves                           window, and all you see is yourself reflected in the window
are too long for us to perceive. For the purpose of under-                      of a store that may or may not be open for business. In that
standing light and color in display and store planning,                         glimpse you can check out what you are wearing, but you
this discussion will be limited to the colors that appear in                    haven’t a single clue as to what lies beyond the glass. What
the visible spectrum. We will find that some light sources                      kind of store is it? What sort of merchandise is sold there?
reflect the shorter wavelengths and emit cooler, or bluer,                      When a store’s windows are not illuminated, or are illu-
light, whereas others have a warmer light and favor the                         minated improperly, they become a giant one-way mirror
longer wavelengths.                                                             facing the street or the mall.

32     Pa r t 1 : G e t t i n G S ta r t e d — V i S u a l M e r c h a n d i S i n G a n d d i S P l ay B a S i c S
      Retailers think of their stock; they think of all the money        At all times avoid lighting up the mannequin’s face.
they have invested; but, unfortunately, they don’t always           Chest lighting is the preferred technique; it shows off the
think about how to show and stock the merchandise they              color of the garment as well as the detailing of the design
have to sell. They don’t seem to realize how significantly the      while softly illuminating the mannequin’s face. If the painted
shopper’s perception of who and what they are reflects on           face is viewed in the full glare of the light, it will only point up
that shopper’s attitude toward the merchandise. Retailers           that it is a lifeless, painted face. The reflected light enhances
think hard and long about their location: They want a good          the mannequin’s mystique and makes it seem more “human.”
address; they want to be where the right traffic is; they want      Place the merchandise as far back into the space as possible
to be where their targeted shoppers are. When it comes to           so the spotlights can be most effective and not have to battle
stopping the shopper with an initial razzle-dazzle impres-          the natural glare associated with daylight—and traffic lights
sion, however, the thinking and spending often stop. Just           at night—on the plateglass windows. Just as a single match lit
being where the action is does not make a retailer part of that     in total darkness can become a beacon, a spotlight in a rela-
action. The retailer still has to get the shopper’s attention.      tively low-lit area becomes a sharp, brilliant point of light.
      The cheapest and most effective starting place in get-        The effect created will all depend upon the contrast. Setting
ting attention and recognition is with good lighting. Good          the back panel behind the display as far back as possible
lighting does not have to drain the store’s operating budget.       and bringing the lights in, away from the window, increases
Lighting can be played like a musical instrument; the               energy efficiency as well.
“tune” that results makes the difference in the shopper’s                A simple length of fabric of the right color, texture, or
perception. Without light, there is no color! If there is no        pattern, or a combination of these; a screen; a panel of tex-
color, then there are no sales in fashion merchandise. The          tured wood; or even a cluster of tall plants can serve as a
first and foremost requisite for a sale is the color and how        partial background in the open-back window. The color of
appealingly that color has been rendered. How the shopper           the divider can either complement the color of the garments
perceives color is very important, and lighting can make            or enhance some value of the color. The divider also effec-
red sizzle and shock, make blue appear ethereal or chilly,          tively separates the display area from the selling floor and the
allow orange to scream or turn into a rich, earthy shade.           lighting on that sales floor. By cutting out or minimizing the
Lighting also makes the first impression. It is the retailer’s
sign and identification.

Lighting the Open-Back Window
If the store has an open-back window, the lighting in the dis-
play area up front must be strong enough and bright enough
to attract and keep the shopper’s eye from going past the fea-
tured merchandise in the display directly into the store on
view beyond. The window is not the place for strings of fluo-
rescent tubes casting a deadly dull chill over already lifeless
mannequins. Fluorescent lighting also casts a flat, dull, and
lifeless pall over the colors of the garments. Use only a few
                                                                    Figure 4.1 A series of focusable spots on a track up on the ceiling
sharp spots—incandescent or MR16 miniature low-voltage              bring the light down to the product display in this open back
tungsten halogen (to be discussed later in this chapter)—and        window. The movable back panel separates the display area from
                                                                    the rest of the store and from the store lighting, which reduces the
focus the light away from the glass—not into the store, but         ceiling light’s effect on the display. Schreibmeister, Munich. Design:
directly down onto the merchandise. (See Figure 4.1.)               Gert Mueller.

                                                                                c h a P t e r Fo u r : l i G h t a n d l i G h t i n G   33
store’s light, the window light seems stronger. If a shopper
passing by sees the light in the window, he or she will also
see the display of merchandise and be aware of the retail
space viewed to either side of the partial background. The
shopper knows that the store is open; the shopper knows
what kind of merchandise is available. If the retailer is
enlightened enough, he or she will also add some inter-
esting or exciting props—or furniture—to the display,
enhancing the image of the merchandise and the store.

Lighting the Closed-Back Window
If the store has an enclosed display window—three walls, a
floor, and a ceiling—the display person has greater oppor-
tunities for magical lighting effects. Not only can the display
person highlight the featured merchandise and bring to it
the attention it warrants, but he or she can also use light
to “paint” the background a complementary or accenting
color or dramatize the setting by creating a particular ambi-
ence; for example, blue and green lighting to simulate an
underwater look or yellows and oranges mixed with reds
to create the atmosphere of a setting sun or a rich day in
                                                                                Figure 4.2 With an enclosed window, the display person has more
autumn. Colored lights, colored filters, and theatrical gels                    opportunities for effective and theatrical lighting. As shown here, the
all work wonderfully well to achieve these effects.                             focusable spots are located on a track above the windows, and the
                                                                                lamps can be targeted at the mannequins. Because the windows
     Many theatrical lighting supply stores also carry a variety                are fairly deep, there is opportunity for backlighting and the use of
of cut-out, patterned light filters that create images in light                 illuminated objects. Lord & Taylor, Fifth Avenue, New York.
on walls, floors, and even on the merchandise. With these
pierced filters, one can have rain, snow, lightening, or sun-
shine; light streaming through a Gothic window for a bridal                          Incandescent lighting and MR16s, to be discussed later
setting; palm trees in the tropics for swimwear; a starlit night                in this chapter, are the most effective sources for window
for ball gowns; or fireworks for a red, white, and blue pro-                    display lighting.
motion—or a spectacular sale event. More expensive but
also more effective are the filters that rotate around the light,
causing movement and animation in the window.                                   Planning Store Interior Lighting
     Using these techniques requires great control over the
daylight that might, at certain times of the day, overpower                     Now that we know the store is open, let us step inside and
the window lighting and the special effects. Awnings drawn                      see what is to be seen. Light means seeing. Light serves to
down during the sunlight hours can help somewhat, but                           lead the shopper into and through the store. It directs the
even better is setting the merchandise and the mannequins                       shopper’s attention from one featured presentation or clas-
as far back as possible in the closed-back window to take                       sification to another, with stops along the way to appreciate
full advantage of the lighting effects and to overcome the                      the highlighted focal points and displays. It can separate
effects of glare and reflection. (See Figure 4.2.)                              one area from the next; one boutique or vendor’s shop

34     Pa r t 1 : G e t t i n G S ta r t e d — V i S u a l M e r c h a n d i S i n G a n d d i S P l ay B a S i c S
from another. The light level and the “color” (the warmth              Let us now consider the different types of lights and
or coldness) of the light in the store create the ambience.       the lamps that can be used to create an effective and attrac-
Is it warm, welcoming, and inviting? Is it residential, inti-     tive store lighting plan.
mate, and comfortable? Is it cool and aloof or just cold and
depressing? Is it flat and boring, or does it sparkle with the
contrasts of highlights and shadows? A store’s lighting is        New Lighting Trends
composed of many different light sources and lamps. It is a
“palette” of lamps, of different color variations, intensities,   Just as home and business lighting changed at the close of
and wattage, and it can also be affected by natural light that    the nineteenth century, and electric lights replaced gaslight,
comes in through skylights or windows.                            further evolution is taking place in this new century. We
      The store’s lighting plan includes the general, overall     are finding new sources for light that are more energy effi-
illumination of the retail space and also the accents—the         cient, lamps that burn longer and brighter, with better color
highlighters that point out what is new, unique, or special.      rendition, that are revolutionizing lighting as we knew it.
It can include atmospheric touches, like chandelier, wall,              Incandescent lamps are on their way out. They deliver
or column sconces or wall and ceiling washers. Although           too much heat, use too much energy, and need con-
these may not all show off the merchandise, they do show          stant maintenance because they burn out too quickly.
off the attitude of the store. There are also appraisal lights    Fluorescents have long been energy efficient, and now, in
that allow the shopper to examine things like jewelry,            a new form, it is possible to screw a fluorescent bulb into
fashion accessories, or cosmetics.                                a socket meant for an incandescent bulb, and no ballast is
      People, like insects, are attracted to light. It is human   needed. These are the compact fluorescent bulbs.
nature to walk toward the area where the light is brightest.            The metal halides are still strong contenders for
Thus, a store designer can reconfigure a given floor plan         accent- and spotlighting, and here, too, we are seeing great
using light. If the plan is long and narrow, a strong light on    improvements in color rendition and in adaption to systems
the far wall makes that wall seem closer and encourages           in use. Lighting solutions are changing daily. Each new issue of
shoppers to head toward the rear of the space. If the long        architectural and store design publications brings more news
perimeter walls are illuminated, the shopper is better able       about newer and better lighting techniques, fixtures, bulbs, fil-
to see the mass display of the wall stock. Bright lights can      ters, and such. The only way to know “what’s new” and “what’s
be added on the displays or displayers set along the aisle        best” for an installation or lighting plan is to work with a pro-
while the aisle itself is kept in low light. Between the well-    fessional lighting specialist. It is much too confusing for the
lit back wall and the highlighted aisle displays, the middle      layperson to do on his or her own. The following is current for
area of the shop or department can function in medium or          today but may be old news by tomorrow, so consider what is
general lighting. Using light-colored floor materials on the      mentioned here as recent, but perhaps no longer “now.”
aisles may also make lights on the aisle unnecessary. (See
Figures 4.3–4.5.)
      There are definite “moments of truth” that must be con-     General, or Primary, Lighting
sidered in the store’s lighting plan. One of these moments is
when the shopper tries on the garment and stands before           General, or primary, lighting is the allover level of illumi-
the mirror. The light that complements the garment should         nation in an area. It is usually the light that fills the selling
flatter the shopper. The cash/wrap desk presents another          floor from overhead light fixtures but does not include
such moment. As the shopper sees the selected garment             accent lights, wall washers, and display highlighting lamps.
being boxed or bagged and being paid for, the garment must        (These are forms of secondary lighting.) Also, it does not
reach out in the fullness and richness of color to reassure       include “glamour,” or decorative, lighting: the sconces,
the shopper that he or she has made the right decision.           counter or table lamps, indirect lighting, and so on.

                                                                             c h a P t e r Fo u r : l i G h t a n d l i G h t i n G   35
Fluorescent Lighting
Some retail operations are illuminated by rows of fluores-
cent fixtures that span the length or width of the store. The
fluorescent fixture is usually the least expensive and most
efficient fixture to use from the point of initial cost, cost
of energy, and length of lamp life. Although it is often the
popular choice for the contractor to install and the retailer
to maintain, it is not always the best choice for many cat-
egories of merchandise. Fluorescent lamps can produce a
flat, even, and stultifying blanket of light that offers few
shadows and provides little depth or textural interest. There
are degrees of “warmth” and “coolness” available in fluores-
cent lamps, from the rosy quality of “warm white deluxe”
to the blue of “cool white deluxe”—with many gradations
in between.
      The merchandise—or the general type of merchan-
dise to be presented under the lighting—should be tested
under the various types of light bulbs. No one type or

                                                                                 Figure 4.4 The red-tinted fluorescent tubes are recessed under the
                                                                                 fascia, along the perimeter walls. The tubes wash the upper wall
                                                                                 area and lend a dramatic and sexy look to the space. The floating
                                                                                 plastic panel, center, is illuminated with clear fluorescent tubes and,
                                                                                 as it looms out from the black painted ceiling, dramatizes the space.
                                                                                 Lipsy, London. Design: JHP Design Consultants, London.

                                                                                 color will enhance everything, but the one that is gener-
                                                                                 ally most flattering should be chosen. Some merchandise,
                                                                                 like diamonds, silver, kitchen supplies, and maybe even
                                                                                 furs, may look scintillating in the brittle light of cool
                                                                                 fluorescent, but customers and salespeople may appear
                                                                                 drained, haggard, and generally washed out in that same
                                                                                 lighting. A sparkling white diamond on black velvet may
                                                                                 seem all fire and ice, but it would be hard to sell if the
                                                                                 finger onto which a ring is slipped, or the neck that a
Figure 4.3 A good lighting plan includes many lighting techniques
and utilizes a variety of lamps or bulbs. Shown here are recessed                necklace caresses, looked waxy or marred by blemishes.
floodlights for the ambient light; fluorescents in the raised ceiling            Therefore, a soft, glowing incandescent lamp, placed near
area, to wash the focal architectural element; and drop, or pendant,
lights to accentuate an area in the rear. Around the Shoes, Tokyo.
                                                                                 a mirror, will enhance the customer’s skin tones as she
Design: Nishiwaki Design Group, Tokyo.                                           looks at herself bejeweled. Even if the diamond itself, at

36      Pa r t 1 : G e t t i n G S ta r t e d — V i S u a l M e r c h a n d i S i n G a n d d i S P l ay B a S i c S
that moment, is not super-blue-white gorgeous, the cus-                    Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL)
tomer’s appearance while wearing the jewelry is at its best.
That’s salesmanship! That’s display!                                       With users of electric lights demanding more energy-
     Fluorescent fixtures and lighting can be shielded,                    efficient and longer-lasting bulbs, many companies are
filtered, or softened with grids, baffles, or diffusing                    now producing compact fluorescent bulbs. These lamps
panels—all to the good. A baffle is any device used to                     look somewhat like distorted incandescent bulbs and can
direct, divert, or disseminate light. It can be a louver over              be screwed into sockets traditionally designed to accept
a light, an egg crate grid, or even an angled panel that                   incandescent bulbs. Compact fluorescents can burn for a
redirects the stream of light. Fluorescent lamps can also                  much longer time and will yield more light for the wattage
be used in showcases or hidden beneath shelves to add                      consumed. These lamps are mostly used for general,
the required warmth or coolness that the particular mer-                   ambient lighting, but some will find the color not as warm
chandise warrants.                                                         or pleasant as the incandescent. When using compact fluo-
     In any area, a ceiling may be regarded as another                     rescents, it is important to make sure you are getting the
wall, or the sixth side of a cube, with the walls comprising               color of light you want. Often, these screw-in fluorescents
four sides, and the floor the fifth. As much as it might                   are used to retrofit existing ceiling light fixtures and can be
be desirable to use different colors of fluorescent in dif-                combined with HID lamps for accenting.
ferent areas, to do so would break the ceiling pattern and
call attention to the changes of color overhead. It is advis-
able to test and then select a proper mix of perhaps two                   Incandescent Lighting
different color tubes that can be used in the same fixture
and provide the best overall colored light for the store. A                This form of illumination is on its way out! With retailers
grid or diffuser will hide the fact that in a single fixture,              and users of electricity becoming more “green” and looking
daylight and warm white tubes are being used in tandem.                    for more energy-efficient and effective methods of lighting,
(See Figure 4.6.)                                                          they have found that the traditional incandescent uses more
                                                                           energy than other lamps; gives off more heat, necessitating
                                                                           the use of additional energy for air cooling; and requires
                                                                           more frequent bulb replacement. Many incandescent bulbs
                                                                           are being phased out of production, and we are looking
                                                                           forward to newer, more efficient, more ecology-favorable
                                                                           lighting devices—some of which are mentioned on the fol-
                                                                           lowing pages.
                                                                                Incandescent spotlights are high voltage lights and are
                                                                           called Parabolic Aluminized Reflector (PAR) bulbs. They
                                                                           can be used as a primary light source but are usually used
                                                                           as secondary lighting. Although these lamps cost more to
                                                                           purchase, they do have a longer lamp life. A PAR bulb can
                                                                           burn for 3,000 hours or longer.
                                                                                An alternative to the PAR bulb is the R, or reflector,
Figure 4.5 Fluorescent tubes encased in the long frosted-glass-            bulb, which is lower in wattage (about 150 watts) and
fronted fixtures make a strong pattern against the blacked out             made of clear glass, with a metallic reflector surface
ceiling while providing the general, or primary, lighting for this young   mounted behind the bulb. Although it costs less to pur-
people’s store. Pencil fluorescent tubes in red plastic sleeves add
to the visual excitement and hectic tempo of the shop. S. Oliver,          chase than the PAR bulb, the reflector bulb does not burn
Berlin. Design: Plajer & Franz Studio, Berlin.                             as long.

                                                                                      c h a P t e r Fo u r : l i G h t a n d l i G h t i n G   37
                                                                                      Floodlights are also incandescent bulbs, but they usu-
                                                                                 ally have frosted glass envelopes, or enclosures, and are less
                                                                                 concentrated, having a wider beam spread than spotlights.
                                                                                      Incandescent bulbs can be set into recessed high-hat
                                                                                 fixtures in the ceiling, clustered in chandeliers, or hung as
                                                                                 droplights. They can be mounted into housings that ride
                                                                                 back and forth on ceiling tracks and can be directed, or
                                                                                 focused, on merchandise or displays. Bare bulbs, silver-
                                                                                 bottomed bulbs, 5-inch globelike bulbs, or tiny, round
                                                                                 complexion bulbs can be decoratively lined up, clustered, or
                                                                                 “polka dotted” on the ceiling to please the eye, add charm
                                                                                 to the design scheme, and “stroke” the merchandise. (See
                                                                                 Figures 4.6–4.8.)

Figure 4.6 Rows of round bulbs are lined up over the runway in the
center of this women’s shop and, along with some recessed floods
in the cut out circles in the dropped ceiling panel, serve as the
                                                                                 High-Intensity Discharge (HID)
primary light source. The spotlights, on tracks that run from the front
to the rear of the store, highlight and accentuate the merchandise               Lighting
display on or off of the wall. Lime, Toronto. Design: GHA Design
Studios, Montreal.
                                                                                 The HID lamp, which is very energy efficient, is becoming
                                                                                 a strong contender in the field of general, overall store
                                                                                 lighting, in some cases replacing the fluorescent with its
                                                                                 long and readily apparent fixtures. HIDs are relatively
                                                                                 small in size (compared with fluorescent lamps) and will,
                                                                                 like incandescents, provide shadows and highlights.
                                                                                       The mercury-type HID may be too green, the metal-
                                                                                 halide-type may appear too blue, and the sodium type is
                                                                                 quite yellow, but new developments are producing warmer
                                                                                 and more flattering types of light. General Electric’s Multi-
                                                                                 Vapor is an improved metal-halide-type lamp that produces
                                                                                 a light similar to a standard coolwhite fluorescent, which is
                                                                                 satisfactory in some areas. It is still cooler and bluer than an
                                                                                 incandescent lamp, however. Ceramalux has a high-pres-
                                                                                 sure sodium lamp (HPS), which works well at the warm
                                                                                 end of the color wheel, but it is still yellower than an incan-
                                                                                 descent lamp.
                                                                                       Incandescent spotlighting can be used to accent and
                                                                                 highlight with HID overall lighting but may require colored
Figure 4.7 The trend toward blacked out or very dark retail spaces               filters (like a pale, “daylite” filter) to go with a MultiVapor
accented only by sharp, bright spots of light is illustrated here. The           arrangement so that the different types of light do not jar
lighting is almost all accent lighting, with the light on the product and        each other. The Ceramalux provides a warm ambience and
none on the setting. Metal halides are used almost exclusively, except
for the fluorescent tubes used to wash the walls of the recessed                 mixes well with warm white deluxe fluorescent or with
areas. Levi’s, Berlin. Design: Checkland Kindleysides, London.                   regular incandescent. However, because HID lamps do

38      Pa r t 1 : G e t t i n G S ta r t e d — V i S u a l M e r c h a n d i S i n G a n d d i S P l ay B a S i c S
provide so much light, they are best used in areas where the       than the incandescent lamps; they burn cooler and do not
ceiling is at least 15-feet high; otherwise, they will create an   harm the merchandise.
excessively bright and sharply lit selling floor.                       The popularity of the MR16 is based, in part, on its com-
                                                                   pactness, its 2-inch diameter, and the efficient low-voltage
                                                                   tungsten-halogen light source. When first introduced they
MR16 and MR11                                                      did require a rather bulky transformer, but with advancing
                                                                   technology and the development of lighter and smaller
The MR16 and the MR11 (miniature reflector) are two of             solid-state transformers, the MR lamps are indeed smaller,
the newest and most popular accent/focal lamps currently           lighter, and more compact. The MR11 is only 13/8 inches in
in use. They are miniature, low-voltage tungsten-halogen           diameter and requires a much smaller lamp housing than
lamps that emit sharp, bright light and produce a color bal-       the MR16, which is still very small when compared with
ance that comes close to sunlight. The 75-watt MR16 lamp           the standard PAR incandescent lamp.
will provide a more brilliant light than a traditional 150-watt         The MR16 and MR11 are available in a variety of beam-
incandescent spotlight and will illuminate merchandise at          spread widths, from very narrow spots at 7 to “floods” at 30.
four or five times the ambient level of other lamps. Colors        The MR16 is available in 20-, 42-, 50- and 75-watt versions,
appear truer under the MR16 and MR11, and, once these              whereas the MR11 is currently limited to 12 watts for the
low-voltage lamps have been installed, they are efficient,         narrow spot and 20 watts for the wider beamspread. There
relatively inexpensive to operate, compact, and clean. Also,       are optional attachments for the front of the unit, such
because they are low voltage, they produce much less heat          as projector lenses to “frame” an object, steel-cut pattern
                                                                   templates to create decorative shadows on walls or objects,
                                                                   and attachments to “wash” the wall with light. There are
                                                                   also special diffusion lenses to feather the light beyond the
                                                                   edges of the beamspread and lenses in gentle colors to bal-
                                                                   ance the tungsten-halogen light with incandescent lights
                                                                   that may be used in the same area.
                                                                        Purchasing and installing the lamps and the housings
                                                                   for them are expensive, but the results are worth the invest-
                                                                   ment because they do burn cool, have a long life, and are
                                                                   very energy efficient.

                                                                   Metal Halide Lamps
                                                                   These lamps are an extension of the HID lighting system
                                                                   and produce a high output of light, considering their small
                                                                   size. Like the other HID lamps, these create strong beams
                                                                   of focused, clear light under high pressure, but they do
                                                                   also produce heat. The lamps require special light fixtures
                                                                   as well as electric ballasts to regulate the arc current and
                                                                   deliver the desired voltage to the arc.
                                                                        Metal halide lamps are especially effective for spot-
Figure 4.8 Some examples of the variety of shapes and sizes of     lighting and accenting product displays or creating shop
incandescent bulbs (not drawn to scale).                           interiors with pools of dramatic lighting in otherwise dark

                                                                              c h a P t e r Fo u r : l i G h t a n d l i G h t i n G   39
interiors—like an Abercrombie & Fitch store. The lamps                          LED (Light-Emitting Diode)
are available in correlated color temperatures ranging from
3,000 to more than 20,000 K (kelvin). With “pulse start”                        LED is the new kid on the block and one to contend with.
technology, there is improved color rendition, and the K                        It is being heralded and adapted most readily for all sorts
variance is plus or minus 100 K.                                                of uses. Its small size, long life expectancy, and adaptability
     PAR and Ceramic Compact Metal Halide (CDMT)                                make it a popular choice, especially when accessibility to
lamps now produce four times more light than a halogen                          the light source and maintenance are involved.
lamp of the same energy, and it is also possible to control                           LEDs are solid-state devices that, unlike an incandes-
glare and focus better with CDMT lamps because they can                         cent, do not require heating of a filament to create light.
be used with reflectors and lenses. As of now, the size of the                  The electricity passes through a chemical compound that
CDMT lamp makes it difficult to use in some areas, but the                      is excited and then generates light. LED lighting requires
lighting companies are working on making the fixtures and                       a circuit board that allows electricity to pass through it
reflectors smaller and more adaptable to other uses.                            at a specified current and voltage. The circuit board also
                                                                                requires the components that allow the LED to operate at
                                                                                voltages such as 12 Vdc, 24 Vdc, or 120 Vdc.
Ceramic Metal Halide Lamps                                                            General Electric has come up with a new LED module
                                                                                that simplifies LED lighting in directional applications, such
This is a variation on the old mercury vapor lamp. A ceramic                    as recessed downlights, tracks, pendants, and sconces. Small
tube containing mercury, argon, and metal halides is used,                      and puck shaped, the twist makes it easy to upgrade LED
and the electric charge is introduced. The metal halide salts                   lighting with a simple twist of the module into the socket.
are partially vaporized, and inside the hot plasma, the salts                         The LED’s current popularity is due to its broader life
are disassociated into metallic atoms and iodine. The tem-                      expectancy. It also has no toxic elements. LEDs can last
perature within the tube can be greater than 1,200 K.                           30,000 to 100,000 hours, compared with incandescents
     The metallic atoms produce a bluish light that is close                    and halogens, which last from 2,500 to 5,000 hours. LED
to daylight, with a color rendering index (CRI) of 96. It is                    PAR20 floods and spotlights (7 watt) can be used for shop
also possible to get warm-white lamps with a 78 to 82 CRI.                      interiors. Color rendition is improving, and colors in the
Some manufacturers, including General Electric, are pro-                        white and blue spectrum are getting brighter and warmer.
ducing ceramic metal halide lamps like the new 23-watt GE                       With its multiple colored light possibilities, LED is being
ConstantColor CMH Integral PAR38. This lamp provides                            used for creating color effects in wall washing and signage.
excellent energy savings and can be used for ambient and                              Some of the benefits associated with LED have been
display lighting in retail settings. The lamps are available                    outlined by Environmental Lighting Company, a resource
as 10-degree spots, 25-degree floods, and 36-degree wide                        for these lighting products:
floods with a warm, 3,000 K color temperature.
     Eye Lighting International of North Carolina produces                      u     Extremely low power consumption
a line of Cera Arc ceramic metal halide lamps with 39-, 70-,                    u     Extremely long life (50,000 to 100,000 hours)
and 150-watt ratings. These feature an R9 value of 90 and a                     u     Durable and insensitive to vibration
CRI rating of 92—high ratings in the industry. According                        u     Dimmable and programmable
to the manufacturer, “These values create rich colors, espe-                    u     Lightweight and compact
cially red, which is the most important color in retailing.”                    u     Color without the use of filters or lenses
Rated at 3,600 K, the Cera Arc blends well with fluorescents                    u     No reflectors required to direct light
and, in addition to the brilliant reds, offers great greens,                    u     Environmentally friendly
blues, and white—all essential in showcasing clothing, jew-                     u     No mercury or other toxic elements
elry, and flowers.                                                              u     Recyclable

40     Pa r t 1 : G e t t i n G S ta r t e d — V i S u a l M e r c h a n d i S i n G a n d d i S P l ay B a S i c S
     With LED lighting offering so much, and being so                the merchandise appears sharper and more brilliant, the
new, there will be new advances made daily in the uses and           textures are defined, and the details are brought into promi-
applications of the LED technology for store lighting and            nence. The strong, focused light of the accent lamp can make
point-of-purchase displays and signage. What is important            a product stand out in a highly illuminated selling floor or
is that LED is cost effective, energy efficient, and “green.”        in a sunlit window. It works most effectively when the sur-
                                                                     rounding area is low-keyed and rather dim so that the accent
                                                                     light seems even more brilliant by contrast. Incandescent
Secondary, or Accent, Lighting                                       spotlights are used as accent or highlighting lamps in the
                                                                     showing and selling areas, in display windows, on platform
Flat, shadowless, overall lighting can create a lethargic and        and ledge displays, and on island setups. (See Figure 4.9.)
boring selling floor. Glare or overly bright, strong light
can be irritating and a detriment to selling. Shadows and
highlights are necessary; they can delight, intrigue, and            Colored Lights and Filters
pique the imagination. Sparkle and shimmer can stimulate
and titillate. A selling floor, and especially a display, needs      Just as pigments can be mixed to produce new colors, col-
changes from light to dark, from highlights to shadows.              ored lights can be mixed to create new and different color
They need flash and sparkle and should make the viewer’s             effects. The primary colors of light are red, green (not
eye travel over the area. Secondary, or accent, lighting             yellow, as with pigments), and blue.
should accomplish all this.                                               White light can be produced by mixing the three pri-
     Secondary lighting devices can be “candlelit” chandeliers,      mary colors of light. Red and blue light together will produce
wall sconces that suggest warmth and elegance with only a            a magenta or a purplish red. Blue and green will combine
minimum of actual light, lights on a track that serve to supply      to form cyan or cyan-blue, which is actually a bright blue-
extra light where it is needed, and hidden lights that wash a wall   green. Red and green create a yellowish or amber light.
with light or color and beckon the customer into the depart-         Thus, the secondary colors of light are magenta, cyan, and
ment for a closer look. Secondary lighting can also diffuse a        amber. (See Figure 4.10.)
ledge area with a glow or an aura of light. It can be a spotlight
on a display or the light in a case or under a counter.
     Incandescent bulbs—from tiny bee and twinkle lights,
to small, candlelike, or complexion bulbs, and on up to
full-sized globe, pear, or reflector-type bulbs—are most fre-
quently used for secondary lighting. The long showcase, or
“sausage,” lamp is an incandescent that somewhat resembles
a small fluorescent tube in shape, but it gives off a warm light
and fits, almost invisibly, into display cases or under shelves.
     When lamps are hidden behind valances or recessed
under grids or baffles, and warmer colors are not needed,
fluorescent lights may work effectively to provide secondary
lighting. However, incandescent secondary lights will add
                                                                     Figure 4.9 Chandeliers, wall sconces, lamps, and backlit photo panels
highlights, provide shadows, mold and dimensionalize the             are all secondary lighting devices that do not necessarily add much
merchandise, and flatter the customer’s complexion.                  light to the setting but that do provide a sense of atmosphere. Here,
     Accent or focal lighting not only highlights the product        the decorative, custom-designed chandeliers contrast with the stark
                                                                     white walls and ceiling and add to the exotic quality of the boutique.
or the group of merchandise, but also makes it stand out             Zainab, Los Angeles. Design: Seyie Putsure, Seyie Design, Los
from its surroundings. Under the accent light, the color of          Angeles.

                                                                                 c h a P t e r Fo u r : l i G h t a n d l i G h t i n G   41
      The display person should be especially concerned
with the mixing of colored light on solid, pigmented sur-
faces. This is usually accomplished with colored filters
and gels. A red filter placed over a white light on a white
or light neutral surface will turn that surface red. The red
filter absorbs all the blue and green light waves present in
the white light that is going through the red filter; only the
red wavelengths will pass through to the painted surface. A
blue filter will absorb the red and green wavelengths, pro-
ducing a blue light on the white painted area.
      Tables 4.1 and 4.2 show the effects of different colors of
light on various pigment colors. There are, however, many
colored glass filters and plastic gelatins on the market, as well
as shades and tints of these colors, that subtly can add to the
intensity of a color or gently neutralize some of its intensity.                   Figure 4.10 Mixing colored light.
      There are all sorts of pinks and blush tones available to
warm up skin tones or suggest a sunset. There are ambers
that go down to pale straw and strained sunlight. A “daylite”                      changing the actual color. Strong, deep colors are used to
filter is a clear, light blue that will fill in an area with the sug-              create atmosphere—the dramatic side or back lighting; for
gestion of a spring day or will chill shredded Styrofoam with                      example, the mood lighting of a window or ledge display.
icy blue shadows. The green gels go from the pastel yellow-                        Deeper-colored lights are mainly reserved for modeling
greens to the deep, atmospheric blue-greens, or cyans.                             and shaping the merchandise by adding color to the
      In most cases, lighter tints are used on displays                            shadows and folds as well as by reflecting color from one
to enrich the color presentation without appreciably                               surface to another.

     Table 4.1        hischartshowstheeffectsofcoloredlightsonprimaryandsecondarycolored
	                     Primary	Colored	Pigments	                    	                      Secondary	Colored	Pigments
	                     Red	           Blue	                         Yellow	                Green	         Orange	                 Violet
     Primary	Colored	Lights
     Red              Brilliant red         Brown-purple           Almost white           Dark gray              Pale orange     Rich wine
     Blue             Violet                Bright blue            Green                  Turquoise              Gray-brown      Blue-violet
     GReen            Brown                 Turquoise              Yellow-green           Bright green           Old gold        Dark gray-green
     Secondary	Colored	Lights
     AmBeR            Orange-red            Dark gray              Pale yellow            Gray-green             Bright orange   Brown
     CYAn             Gray-brown            Blue-green             Light green            Blue-green             Brown           Deep cold blue
     mAGentA          Lake or cerise        Ultramarine            Orange                 Blue-violet            Bright red      Red-violet

42        Pa r t 1 : G e t t i n G S ta r t e d — V i S u a l M e r c h a n d i S i n G a n d d i S P l ay B a S i c S
  Table 4.2        t
	 Paint	Color          Approximate	          Incandescent	                   Warm	White	                      White	Fluorescent
                       Reflectance	Factor    Filament                        Fluorescent
  Cherryred           .13                   Brilliant orange-red            Pale orange-red                  Pale orange-red
  Orchid               .44                   Light pink                      Pale purplish-pink               Gray-pink
  Plum                 .04                   Deep orange-red                 Dull reddish-brown               Dark brown
  Chestnutbrown       .19                   Medium yellowish-brown          Light yellow-brown               Gray-brown
  Peach                .58                   Pinkish-yellow                  Light yellowish-pink             Light yellowish-pink
  Orange               .44                   Bright orange                   Light orange-yellow              Pale yellow
  Canaryyellow        .44                   Orange-yellow                   Fair match (sharper)             Greenish-yellow
  lightyellow         .58                   Vivid orange-yellow             Medium yellow                    Medium yellow
  lightblue           .46                   Light yellowish-green           Pale grayish-blue                Weak greenish-blue
  mediumblue          .23                   Blue-green                      Light gray-blue                  Purplish-blue
  Silvergray          .97                   Light yellow-gray               Light yellowish-gray             Light brownish-gray
	 Paint	Color          Standard	Cool		       Daylight	Fluorescent	           Warm	White	Deluxe	               Cool	White	Deluxe	
                       White	Filament                                        Fluorescent                      Fluorescent	
  Cherryred           Yellowish-red         Light red                       Orange-red                       Good match
  Orchid               Light pink            Good match (grayer)             Pale pink                        Light pink
  Plum                 Light reddish-brown   Deep bluish-purple              Reddish-purple                   Darker brown
  Chestnutbrown       Light brownish-gray   Light gray                      Dark brown                       Good match
  Peach                Very light pink       Fair match (lighter)            Light orange                     Good match (yellower)
  Orange               Light yellow          Gray-yellow                     Yellowish-orange                 Good match
  Canaryyellow        Light yellow          Fair match                      Good match (brighter)            Good match
  lightyellow         Light bright yellow   Light greenish-yellow           Deep yellow                      Bright yellow
  lightblue           Blue-gray             Fair match (lighter)            Grayish-blue                     Grayish-blue
  mediumblue          Light gray-blue       Fair match (lighter)            Purple-blue                      Reddish-blue
  Silvergray          Very light gray       Bluish-gray                     Yellowish-gray                   Light gray

     A word of advice for the display person on the use of          Planning Store Lighting
light on skin tones—both of mannequins and customers:
Green light should be avoided. It plays havoc with the color        Shoppers respond to light, to the quality of light and the
of cheeks and lips and with blond and red hair, as well as          color of light, to the brightness and intensity of light.
enhancing every skin blemish. Cyan is even worse, although          Light makes the colors of a shop come alive and creates
it may work for Halloween or an “out-of-this-world” pre-            the overall ambience. It leads and directs the shoppers
sentation. Pinks and rose tints are becoming to most skin           around the selling space and makes them stop to see the
tones, from the palest white to the darkest browns, and they        highlighted displays or merchandise. Light also forms the
enhance the warm colors in merchandise. (See Figure 4.11.)          shadows that add depth and texture to the retail setting and

                                                                              c h a P t e r Fo u r : l i G h t a n d l i G h t i n G   43
Figure 4.11 Bee lights, neon, and other novelty lights can be added to a lighting plan for assorted effects. Here, a green neon strip runs
just under the ceiling to effect a tinted wall wash and play up the brick textured wall in the men’s jeans area. In addition, neon signage
is decoratively employed throughout this store to designate the shops within the shop and to highlight them with color. River Island,
Amsterdam. Design: Dalziel & Pow, London.

to the merchandise. With the great variations in state and                       the retail ambience.” In low light, people tend to whisper in
city codes, the ever-increasing desire for an upscale image,                     hushed tones and move as though they were in a museum. The
and the specialization of areas on the selling floor, a trained                  merchandise becomes untouchable and remote. The shopper
lighting specialist is required to perform the lighting magic                    can be inhibited, and that’s not good for selling.
needed to bring the store to life.                                                    Properly lighting a store requires a palette of lamps
     David A. Mintz, a lighting authority, has lighted more                      and light sources to create the total effect. It requires incan-
than 40 million square feet of retail space for many of this                     descent plus fluorescent lights, tungsten-halogen lamps,
country’s largest department and specialty stores. According                     and even novelties, like neon strips. According to Mintz,
to Mintz, “Perception is what the lighting actually enhances.                    there is no single ideal or best lighting design for a store.
It is the customer’s perceived attitude toward lighting and                      There are too many variables: the changing feeling, texture,
merchandise.” Lower levels of illumination usually suggest to                    and look of the merchandise; the location of a department
the upscale customer better or more expensive merchandise.                       and what type of merchandise it carries; how the adjacent
Retailers too, feel that incandescent light means that softer,                   areas or shops relate to one another. The lighting design is
finer merchandise is being offered. However, a light level that                  also affected by neighboring establishments (especially in
is too low may not necessarily make a shop look elegant and                      malls), the nature of the clientele and their perceptions, the
exclusive; it might just look dull and gloomy. Mintz personally                  colors and textures that comprise the decorative scheme,
opts for an “upbeat, brighter rather than duller luminosity in                   and the height and type of ceiling.

44      Pa r t 1 : G e t t i n G S ta r t e d — V i S u a l M e r c h a n d i S i n G a n d d i S P l ay B a S i c S
     With respect to which light source and types of fixtures            Store lighting should be flashier and more exciting and
are best for a store, Mintz feels that the choice of light source   stimulating than home lighting. The lighting designer’s job
is determined by many considerations, including the mer-            is to create an interesting space rather than simply light up
chandise, for which there are certain guidelines. Cosmetics         the floor, walls, and fixtures. When lighting a selling floor,
areas are almost always lighted with incandescent—warm,             there should be variations of light intensity from shop to
glowing, flattering light. Better dresses and gowns and             shop, from area to area, from a low-keyed “living room”
designer shops usually use incandescents, but not always.           ambience to a brilliant, high-tech attitude. The shopper
Menswear areas are often filled with fluorescents for the           seeks warmth and security, and the smart retailer knows
general light but supplemented with incandescents or low-           that a customer who looks good in the store mirror will buy
voltage tungsten-halogen lamps for accents or focal light.          the garment. In those areas where the shopper and the gar-
The standards, codes, and energy restrictions are all inte-         ment come together, in front of mirrors, in fitting rooms,
gral elements in the lighting design. The lights and types          in places where the real selling takes place, the lighting is
of lamps can be changed to accommodate these codes and              vital and must be carefully balanced between animate and
standards. Mintz suggests that visual merchandisers use             inanimate objects.
lamps that will be similar to the light ambience that the                Lighting is what shows, directs, points out, and makes
objects will ultimately be used in; for example, furs are used      selling possible. It is part of the store’s image; it shapes the
out of doors; refrigerators are in kitchens; gowns in incan-        customer’s perception of the store’s fashion attitude and
descent-lighted rooms. “It’s very important to have different       the value of the merchandise being offered. Lighting must
lights from different sources for different looks. The selling      be planned and lighting experts and consultants help with
space needs variety and interest, but try to minimize the           the planning.
number of lamp types used so that the store will maintain
the established light design by replacing burnt-out lamps
with the same original lamp for color, light and wattage.”          Suggestions for Using Light
     Another light authority, Joseph A. DiBernardo, has
been extensively involved in lighting hotels, restaurants,          Effectively
and public spaces and brings a new perspective to the
lighting of retail spaces. DiBernardo sees lighting as a vital      1. Avoid bright, white lights directly on a mannequin’s
part of the store’s image. “The department store visit is usu-         face, elbows, or shoes. Save the brightest lights for
ally of short duration. It isn’t like you live there or spend          the merchandise, and avoid anything that will detract
many hours there. The lighting has to get the customers                from the merchandise.
immediately, grab their interest, hold their attention, and         2. Use colored light to create the right setting for the
show them what they should see.                                        merchandise. Save it for props and backgrounds. If
     “We use accent lights to define selling spaces, or the            colored light is used on a garment to intensify the
aisles, and in some cases we may use the accent lights to              color, stay with the pastel filters: pale pinks for the
light up the entire store.” Some shops today are almost                reds and red-violets, pale straw for the yellows and
completely illuminated by the MR16 low-voltage tungsten-               oranges, daylight blue for the cool colors, and Nile
halogen lamps. DiBernardo also feels the fluorescents are              green for the greens.
a part of retail lighting. How much they are used and how           3. It is more effective to light across a display than
they are used depends on the fashion level or attitude of the          directly down on it. Direct downlighting can create
store and the type and class of the merchandise. He will use           unpleasant and unattractive shadows. The upper left
them to light surfaces, to wash walls or ceilings, or for cove         light can be directed over to the lower right side of the
lighting. He also likes to keep them recessed and incon-               display; the upper right light is then directed over to
spicuous, and he uses them for indirect lighting.                      the lower left. This creates a crossover of light, a more

                                                                               c h a P t e r Fo u r : l i G h t a n d l i G h t i n G   45
                                                                                       or image. Similarly, sensors that turn on the lights of
                                                                                       a display setup when they “sense” the presence of a
                                                                                       person nearby can be used to save energy—and as a
                                                                                       dramatic plus.

                                                                                      Just as you would seek help from a professional health
                                                                                 care provider if you had an ailment, so should you con-
                                                                                 sult with a professional lighting designer/planner when it
                                                                                 comes to lighting a retail space. The retailer needs help in
                                                                                 planning not only the most effective use of energy required
                                                                                 by law, but also the best way to use the energy to enhance
                                                                                 the merchandise presentation and displays and create the
                                                                                 desired image for the store. (See Figures 4.12 and 4.13.)
                                                                                      Let there be light: the best light you can afford. This is
Figure 4.12 To create a more intimate, human-scaled feeling to a                 not the place to economize.
space with a high ceiling, designers may paint the ceiling a dark
color, drop floating panels down from the ceiling, stretch panels
across the space, or even, as shown here, drop the lighting fixtures.
The white boxes with baffled bottoms light up the tabletop displays
while adding to the sense of intimacy. Note the dark brown canvas
baffles stretched across the shop and the dropped light tracks.
Stark & Whyte, Toronto. Design: Ruscio Studio, Montreal.

   even, more diffused light, and nullifies areas in the
   display space that are too bright or too dark.
4. The lighting in a window display should be checked at
   night. Many imperfections, such as wrinkles, are more
   apparent under the artificial light when the softening
   influence of daylight does not enter the window.
   Colored lights will also look different when there is no
   other source of light with which to contend. What may
   have seemed perfect during the daylight hours at night
   may appear harsh or garish. It is also advisable to check
   that the lights are not “flooding over” into the street—
   into the eyes of passersby and the road traffic.
5. There is nothing particularly attractive about
   electric wires unless they are meant to be part of the
   decorative scheme. Find ways to “lose” them—hide
   and disguise them.
                                                                                 Figure 4.13 Daylight, long kept out of the retail environment, is now
6. Display lights are expensive to use. They use up                              making a welcome entrance into stores, and not only through all-
   energy. It is wise to set up a timer device that will                         glass façades and storefronts—daylight is also coming in through
   automatically turn off all lights sometime during the                         skylights and glassed-in ceilings. In an effort to cut down on energy
                                                                                 costs, designers are going “green” and adding natural light into
   night after the street traffic has diminished and the                         the lighting plans. Zara, Bratislava, Slovakia. Design: Gruschwitz
   store lighting no longer serves any purpose of display                        GmbH, Munich.

46      Pa r t 1 : G e t t i n G S ta r t e d — V i S u a l M e r c h a n d i S i n G a n d d i S P l ay B a S i c S
                                                      Light and Lighting: Trade Talk

baffle                                             highlights                                          secondary, or accent, lighting
colored lights                                     incandescent light                                  secondary colors of light
color of an object                                 led                                                 shadows
filters                                            light                                               spotlights
floodlights                                        Mr16 and Mr11                                       store’s lighting plan
fluorescent light                                  pAr bulbs                                           visible light
general, or primary, lighting                      primary colors of light
hid                                                r, or reflector, bulb

                                                       Light and Lighting: A Recap

F   in an open-back window, the lighting up front must be strong             F   incandescent bulbs produce warmer and more flattering light
    enough to keep the shopper’s eye from going past the display,                than the fluorescent but emit more heat. the lamps do not
    into the interior of the store.                                              burn as long or as efficiently as the fluorescents. they are
F   in a closed-back window, the display person can use a range                  available in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and wattages. the
    of lighting effects, including colored lights and light filters, to          lamps can be decorative as well as useful. the incandescent
    create a more theatrical display.                                            spotlight is a display “must.”
F   the most effective sources for window display lighting are               F   the hid lamp is an efficient and relatively inexpensive light
    incandescent lighting and Mr16s.                                             source that is being color improved for use inside the store.
F   when planning a store’s interior lighting, a variety of light            F   leds are solid-state devices that do not require heating of a
    sources and lamps can be used to create a particular interior                filament. they are cost efficient, energy efficient, and green.
    lighting “palette” and to draw shoppers to various areas within          F   different light sources can be used on the same selling floor.
    the store.                                                                   it is possible to highlight and accent a fluorescent primary
F   General, or primary, lighting is the overall ceiling light of                lighting scheme with incandescent secondary lighting.
    a selling area. it does not include the accent or decorative             F   white light is composed of a rainbow of colors of different
    lighting.                                                                    wavelengths, from violet to red.
F   secondary lighting is the accent and decorative lighting:                F   the primary colors of light are red, blue, and green.
    chandeliers; sconces; wall washers; indirect lighting;                   F   the secondary colors of light are magenta, cyan, and amber.
    spotlights; and lights under shelves, in cases, and in counters.
                                                                             F   A colored filter produces a particular color of light by filtering
F   fluorescent lighting is efficient and relatively inexpensive to              out or absorbing all the other colors in the white light except
    install and maintain. the tubes are available in a wide range of             the color of the filter or gel.
    “white” light, from cool bluish to warm white deluxe, which has
    more of a peach tone. smaller tubes can be used in showcases,
    under shelves, and behind baffles as wall washers.

                                                                                           c h a P t e r Fo u r : l i G h t a n d l i G h t i n G   47
                                                  Questions for Review and Discussion

1. what is the relationship between color and light? explain                    7.    why has it been said that incandescent lights do the “selling”
     your answer by detailing the reason why when looking at a                        in the store?
     red dress, we see red, rather than some other color.                       8. what are the special qualities of hid lighting?
2. why can wavelengths of light be seen by humans, but not                      9. what types of light sources would you select for a lingerie
     ultraviolet light, X-rays, gamma rays, infrared light, and radio                 department or shop? why?
                                                                                10. why have Mr16 and Mr11 lamps gained favor in visual
3. explain how you might plan lighting for a menswear store                           merchandising and display?
     that is shallow and wide and where a great deal of natural
                                                                                11. what advice would you give to someone regarding the use of
     light floods the space.
                                                                                      colored lights in display?
4. define general, or primary, lighting, and provide examples of
                                                                                12. in selecting the types of lighting and light fixtures for a store,
     this category of lighting.
                                                                                      what factors should be taken into consideration?
5. provide examples of the differing effects that various types of
                                                                                13. where should the brightest light be focused within a display?
     lighting have on merchandise and skin tones.
                                                                                14. what adjustments, if any, should be made to the lighting
6. highlight the advantages and disadvantages of incandescent
                                                                                      within a display window for day and night?

48      Pa r t 1 : G e t t i n G S ta r t e d — V i S u a l M e r c h a n d i S i n G a n d d i S P l ay B a S i c S
                                                            Chapter Twenty-Six
Visual Merchandising and the Changing Face of Retail

After you hAve reAd this chApter,
      you will be Able to discuss

                                F   three retail store formats that have been taking an increasing
                                    “slice” of the retail pie over the past two decades
                                F   specific visual merchandising considerations for a big-box store,
                                    or superstore; discount/factory outlet store; and vendor shop
                                F   ways in which large, hanger-style stores can be “warmed up”
                                    through effective store planning and display

         uring much of the twentieth century, most people                           Another recent addition to the retail format vocabu-
         in the United States shopped in department stores,                    lary is the vendor shop. Although the concept of brand
         large specialty stores, and small mom-and-pop                         name shops within a shop is not new, the recent approach
         stores that usually were geared to local neighbor-                    is. Today’s vendor shops are miniatures of the designers’
hood trade. The 1950s saw the start and eventual spread of                     or brand names’ own retail stores and though located
malls and shopping centers and the small specialty chain                       in department and speciality stores, the brand name
stores that began to proliferate across the country. It was the                manufacturer controls how the shop looks and how the
late 1960s and early 1970s that ushered in the “boutique”                      merchandise is presented.
phenomenon: small, specialized shops within a shop that                             In this chapter we consider how these new retail con-
began to show up in the major department stores, targeted                      cepts rely on visual merchandising and display—on the
at specific markets and age groups. Designer shops also                        selection of fixtures, graphics, signage, and decoratives to
appeared on the better fashion streets in the larger cities                    create the desired image for the buying public. Visual mer-
as the “prêt-à-porter” concept became a viable opportunity                     chandising and display more than just attracts customers—it
for designers to spread their wares about.                                     keeps them in the store as well.
     Americans have always been brand conscious and
responded to names in advertising. With the growth of
TV, and more nationally distributed magazines, name                            Big-Box Store, or Superstore
brands featured in ads and commercials became a draw
when those names appeared in department and speciality                         It is all size and selection. These giant retail boxes are
stores. People through the ages must have waited for sale                      often located along main highways and feature bold
events to shop “discount,” though they didn’t know that                        graphics, signage, and colors on their façades to attract
that was what they were doing. It wasn’t until the 1970s                       the traffic and invite the shoppers into their open parking
that discount shopping, factory outlet stores, and value-                      lots. Everything here is done to make the shopping expe-
oriented malls became a considered competition to the                          rience appear to be easy and fun; the shopper isn’t actually
traditional retail stores.                                                     aware of the miles of walking that is involved. Concrete
     The 1980s were a decade of expansion—and of con-                          floors may be tiled, there may be areas of carpeting or an
solidation. Speciality stores, like Banana Republic, Gap,                      occasional wood floor, but mostly the floors are painted
Benetton, and The Limited, seemed to pop up in malls and                       in colors to help the shopper move around the space and
on shopping streets across the country, while department                       to define different areas in the store. The open, exposed
stores were disappearing, changing names and identities.                       ceiling is almost always filled with pipes, ducts, and vents
Many mom-and-pop shops and small, independent stores                           that control and carry the electricity, water, heating, and
gave up the fight against the spread of the specialty chains.                  air-conditioning apparatus. Sometimes, the high ceilings
     The 1990s has witnessed the growth of a new phe-                          are pierced with skylights that allow the natural daylight
nomenon: the big-box store, or superstore. In giant,                           to mingle with the many sources of artificial light pro-
hangar-like constructions of concrete, cement, steel, and                      vided to illuminate the space properly.
glass—covering areas ranging from 20,000 to more than                               Today’s shopper wants comfort, convenience, and
100,000 square feet—retailers collect a vast assortment                        value. The shopper also wants selection, service, and enter-
of usually one specific kind of product and then turn                          tainment. He or she wants to enjoy the time spent in the
these monster spaces into category killers—so called                           store, so the retailer, the architect/designer, the visual mer-
because their greater selection and generally better                           chandiser, and the display person have to “warm up” and
prices (not to mention, easy-to-shop spaces) allow them                        personalize the vast space into smaller, more comfortable,
to “kill off ” the smaller stores carrying that same cat-                      life-size spaces that have a feeling of intimacy. Also, the
egory of merchandise.                                                          retailer’s goal is to prolong the shopper’s stay in the store,

322    Pa r t 5 : V i s ua l M e r c h a n d i s i n g a n d P l a n n i n g
so the retailer has to provide reasons to stay. Cafés and food             cook. These are settings with personality and the vignettes
courts, interactive displays, video monitors, music, aromas,               add life, vitality, and color to the warehouse setting as well
lighting effects, and places where children can be safely left             as humanize the products.
to play and be amused while the parents are free to shop are                    In these wide open spaces, signage is very important.
some of the best “reasons.” (See Figures 26.1 and 26.2.)                   From the entrance, the would-be shopper wants to know
     The big-boxes are humanized by lifestyle displays on the              where to go to find whatever he or she is looking for. It is
drive aisles, or major aisles. Drive aisles are main aisles that           the oversized signage, and sometimes the giant graphics,
lead and direct shoppers. These displays feature the mer-                  that serves as directional guidepost. Color-keyed banners,
chandise that is stocked behind, often on giant industrial                 streamers, and pennants add spice and color as they hang
fixtures that may reach up 10 to 12 feet from the ground.                  down from the exposed ceiling, and they can also help
The merchandise might be home appliances, computers                        divide the space into specific areas—all coded by color: for
and electronic equipment, home repair, or home fashion                     example, blue = home, green = office, red = travel, yellow
accessories. The displays will show compatible pieces of the               = entertainment. The on-the-aisle displays and the com-
merchandise arranged in “live-in” settings that often suggest              puterized kiosks stop the shopper and reveal the things he
a particular lifestyle. There could be a vignette setting of a             or she hadn’t planned to look at or consider. A centrally
sophisticated kitchen for a working couple, a rustic hunting               located and well-identified information or service desk is
lodge kitchen for a weekend house, or even a kitchen for a                 essential for those who are too impatient or unwilling to
person who would rather paint or play an instrument than                   read signs or follow fluttering flags.

Figure 26.1 Blacked-out exposed ceilings and lowered ceilings that carry the lighting, clearly defined walk areas, and dramatically lit and
well-displayed merchandise define the newer big-box stores. Merchandise displays and focal point presentations make the excursion around
these large spaces more of an adventure than a chore. Habitat, Liverpool, United Kingdom.

                                   c h a P t e r 2 6 : V i s u a l M e r c h a n d i s i n g a n d t h e c h a n g i n g Fa c e o F r e ta i l   323
                                                                               be available to be seen, touched, tested, and tried. Easy-to-
                                                                               read, easy-to-understand signage should be provided near
                                                                               or on the sample product to make it self-explanatory. Here,
                                                                               too, a simple display, a prop, a background panel, a graphic,
                                                                               or a floor pad—whatever—can enhance the product and
                                                                               make it more relevant to the shopper: a wicker basket over-
                                                                               loaded with colorful T-shirts standing next to a washing
                                                                               machine, a stuffed toy dog with a doggie bowl standing and
                                                                               staring at a refrigerator, bags of popcorn and pizza boxes
                                                                               piled up on the floor in front of a TV set, and so on.
                                                                                    The big-box phenomenon is now moving into town
                                                                               and taking over old, no-longer-used movie houses,
                                                                               deserted supermarkets, and—quite naturally—unten-
                                                                               anted warehouses. The major problem is providing
                                                                               sufficient parking spaces, especially when shoppers have
                                                                               to pick up and move large, clumsy, and often heavy crates
                                                                               or cartons. Big-box stores are not only for hard goods. The
                                                                               two- and three-story Borders and Barnes & Noble book-
                                                                               stores, for example, have a vast selection of books for all
                                                                               ages and interests, as well as magazines, writing materials,
                                                                               reading-related gifts, CDs, DVDs, and computer software.
                                                                               They seem to have everything and anything anybody
                                                                               would hope to find regarding literature, how-to, hobbies,
Figure 26.2 Category killers must visually reduce their tremendous
selection into easy-to-view, easy-to-select, and eye-pleasing areas
                                                                               and entertainment. Here, too, the café/coffee shop has
of merchandise presentation if they are to encourage a shopper to              become the add-on “entertainment” factor, along with
make a selection. In the multilevel Hamleys store on Regent Street,            celebrity appearances. These attractions do prolong visits
in London, the display team has organized the hundreds of stuffed
bears into easy-to-shop clusters and enhanced the setting with                 to the bookstores. In some instances, the café has become
the giant tree and the imaginative tree house.                                 the primary reason for the visit, and the book-related
                                                                               purchase is the afterthought.

     The lighting in the store must reinforce the displays
along the way—highlight them and turn them into focal                          Discount and
points that will attract and stop the shopper on his or her
way. The graphics should not only set the lifestyle concept                    Factory Outlet Stores
for the product, but also help explain how, when, and where
the product will work. Some big-box operations have elec-                      Discount, factory outlet, and value-oriented shopping:
tronic stations near the entrance where shoppers can punch                     These are buzzwords that get the shopper’s instant atten-
in what they want and be shown, on a monitor, the quickest                     tion and are often enough to bring on a shopping spree.
way to get to the product. Some computerized stations, in                      These magical terms seem, more and more, to be the
the departments, will provide answers to specific questions                    “open sesame” to sales. Time- and money-conscious
about the products contained in this area.                                     shoppers all have the same goal in mind: they want the
     Although merchandise in the big-box stores is often                       best for the least and preferably in the most comfortable
crated and boxed and stacked ceiling high, samples must                        and convenient stores.

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      Unfortunately, some retailers haven’t learned that just            find the desired color, size, style, and price range in neatly
offering merchandise at reduced prices is not enough. The                and intelligently organized groupings. Just as these shoppers
merchandise has to look good; it has to look as though                   are likely to frequent upscale malls and better department
it is worth more. There is a big difference between a dis-               stores, they expect to see displays showing the garments
counted dress and a distressed, “as is” garment. Showing                 arranged, accessorized and coordinated, and given dramatic
the discounted merchandise in a cold, sterile warehouse                  life via dimensional forms and arresting props. Shoppers
setting doesn’t necessarily work, either. Harsh bright                   will understand the absence of chic, of-the-moment man-
lights, cold fluorescent ceiling tubes, shiny chrome fix-                nequins, but they cannot accept the worn, weary, and wigless
tures, screaming signs, and garish decor do not add stature              forms of a generation ago. Again, simple and smart manne-
to the fashion image or the product of the store. They only              quin alternatives will do nicely to suggest the body and form
say, “cheap,” and shoppers are not looking for cheap. They               and carry off the whole ensemble.
are in search of value.                                                       Although more energy-efficient and economical fluo-
      There has been a proliferation of factory outlet malls,            rescent lamps may be used in the lighting plan, the plan
centers, and strips across the United States, and the concept            should also include the atmospheric and accent lighting
is being introduced abroad. It is not unusual in these “value-           necessary for the store’s image and for accentuating the
oriented” shopping clusters to find famous fashion names,                featured merchandise. The display person must always
like Calvin Klein, Liz Claiborne, Ralph Lauren/Polo, and                 remember to flatter the shopper as he or she tries on a new
Anne Klein, or respected, well-advertized brand names, like              garment. Within spending or budgetary restrictions, these
Timberland, Mikasa, Bass Shoes, Bogner, and London Fog.                  discount and factory outlet stores are still promoting the
Shoppers arrive by the carloads; tour busses can be found                fashion images the shopper associates with the designer or
filling the parking lots like a herd of lumbering elephants as           the brand name as these images appear in ads in magazines
they disgorge thousands of bargain hunters daily. The hunt               and on TV. (See Figure 26.3.)
is on! Often these factory outlet/discount malls will rival the
regular malls for ambiance, amenities, and for the comforts
and conveniences they provide. These are attractively land-              Vendor Shops
scaped areas, sometimes with interesting themed buildings
and a plethora of inexpensive fast foods available in well-lit           Levi’s, Coach, Calvin Klein, Liz Claiborne, Ralph Lauren/
and well-cared for food courts. The only thing that is “dis-             Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, and so many other well-known and
count” is the price of the merchandise. Because many of these            nationally advertized brand names and fashion designers
individual shops bear illustrious names, as much care, effort,           share a unique situation in retailing today. They are not
thought, and taste go into the design and merchandise pre-               only the manufacturers and suppliers of the merchandise
sentation inside as go into the boutique, of the same name, in           that carries their names, but they are also the retailers. It is
a department store or on a fashionable shopping street. The              not unusual to see free-standing stores—even superstores—
materials and detailing may be less elegant or refined, but              bearing these illustrious names on major fashion streets,
the shopper is still aware of the fashion attitude—the image             sometimes next to stores that also carry those brand name
behind the name on the front of the retail space.                        products. Backed up by the image created by their national
      As important as the lighting and the overall design of             campaigns on TV, in magazines, and on giant billboards,
the shop is the visual presentation. The shoppers who are                they have further enhanced their image with a store design
attracted to these outposts of savings are also looking to save          and merchandise presentation that becomes as much a part
time and conserve energy—as well as money. Although it                   of their design signature as the photos and graphics used
can sometimes be fun and an adventure to go rummaging                    in the ads.
through piles of garments heaped indiscriminately atop                        However, these major suppliers of fashion have in the
lopsided tables, it is certainly simpler and less of a hassle to         past and probably will in the future continue to sell their

                                 c h a P t e r 2 6 : V i s u a l M e r c h a n d i s i n g a n d t h e c h a n g i n g Fa c e o F r e ta i l   325
products in major department and speciality stores. The                              The vendor shop will often be a miniature of the brand
brand name/designer supplier has often tried, and not                          name/designer’s freestanding store or will try to recreate, in
always successfully, to establish its own look and identity                    the limited space, the essence of that retail image. The fix-
within the department where it is located. By featuring the                    tures, the lighting, the use of graphics, and merchandising
graphics and signage, and the fashion attitude of the line,                    techniques will attempt to establish immediately a conti-
the supplier tried to promote the brand name by separating                     nuity with the brand name/designer’s freestanding stores.
this line from the others around it. Today, we find, more                      It is a fully realized shop within a shop, carrying a selection
and more, small distinctly different “shops” or “boutiques”                    of the brand name/designer’s products. There are excep-
within a single department, each with its own fixtures and                     tions, but usually the supplier will provide the fixtures and
furniture; graphics, signage, and lifestyle imagery; mer-                      décor for this space, specify the lighting requirements, and
chandise presentation, and sometimes even lighting. We                         also dictate how the merchandise will be visually presented.
are seeing more of these vendor shops taking over whole                        The retailer (the department or specialty store) yields up
departments in stores.                                                         some of the precious sales floor space in exchange for the

Figure 26.3 The old-time “pipe rack and fluorescent fixtures” company outlet store has been replaced by smart and sophisticated settings more
in keeping with the brand and the product. The Cole Haan shop, though minimal in décor and ambiance, bears a resemblance to the taste
level of the product, whereas the simple, unpretentious design is a reflection of the discounted price offer. Cole Haan outlet store.

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Figure 26.4 For this Timberland vendor shop, FRCH Design created a selection of tables, floor fixtures, and displayers and a modular wall
system so that the pieces could be combined in a variety of ways to show off the Timberland collection. The modularity of the elements
means that the fixtures and graphics can be reconfigured to fit into a space of any size or shape. The graphics and signage units are all
part of the vendor’s package to the retailer. The vendor shop is the “ultimate” in point-of-purchase design. Timberland vendor shop.
Design: FRCH Design Worldwide, Cincinnati.

national or worldwide advertising campaigns and special                     blocks; they can be added on, subtracted from, rearranged,
promotions sponsored by the brand name/designer. The                        and changed to suit spaces ranging from 100 square feet
right mix of brand names in a department can add stature                    to more than 1,000 square feet. Gerald Birnbach, of Retail
to the store’s fashion image and create a magnet for certain                Design & Display of Granite Falls, New York, notes, “When
target markets. The brand name can be a bankable asset for                  a retailer willingly gives up some real estate to a brand name
the store. (See Figure 26.4.)                                               marketer, that vendor is also able to display its full range
     The new vendor shops are being designed by store                       of products in a tailored environment that helps eliminate
designers who are accustomed to working with retail space                   some of the competition. In return, the vendor participates
as a total entity. They are sensitive to the retailer’s image               in the cost of the shop.”
even as they create the specific and signature look for the                      These upscale, well-designed, beautifully fixtured
brand name/designer. The designers create flexible and                      shops are, in a way, demanding that retailers live up to
adaptable modular components that can be integrated                         the design standards being set by the vendor shops. There
into most retail settings. The basic pieces are like building               are many valid reasons for including vendor shops within

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larger retail stores, but there are problems as well. The big-
gest problem is that the retailer is inviting stiff competition
into his or her sphere of retailing and opening up how the
store’s own lines are being presented in comparison with
the slick, professional look of most vendor shops. If the
retailer’s lines don’t look as good—or better—then the
retailer’s profit line can suffer.
     The answer is to look to the visual aspects of the
business: the store’s design and the lighting; the visual
merchandising of the stock; the displays that add interest,
image, and personality; and the amenities provided for the
customer’s comfort and convenience.

Kiosks and Retail Merchandising
Units (RMUs)
Big-box stores and category killer stores are part of today’s
retail scene, but there is also action at the other end of
the retail scale. We are seeing small and compact retail
stores making an appearance, and some of them are on
wheels. They are moveable and can be brought to where
the shopper is.                                                                Figure 26.5 The simplest cart combines a pair of large wheels with
     Carts have been around since the advent of wheels. All                    legs that will help keep the unit upright when at rest. It is readily
it takes to make a cart is a flat bed, a railing or fence to                   moveable and can show merchandise on all four sides. There
                                                                               is even a cash drawer in the compact design. Lighting here
keep the wares from tumbling off, a pair of wheels, and a                      would probably be battery operated. Design: Custom Woodcraft,
vertical post to keep the cart standing upright when not in                    Little Elm, Texas.
motion. Today the cart has evolved for more specific uses
and become a retail merchandising unit, or RMU. This new
hybrid has been appearing with more and more frequency                         cept or a new product and its possibilities for success in
not only in the wide open aisles of malls and shopping cen-                    the market without having to rent a store and furnish and
ters, but also in air terminals, train stations, movie houses,                 insure it. Neither does he have to stock much more mer-
ballparks, sporting arenas, museums, and a multitude of                        chandise than needed on an RMU. If the RMU succeeds,
other public spaces where people can gather and indulge in                     the next stop can be a move into an actual retail space.
browsing and shopping for fun.                                                 In addition to being an incubator for a concept that can
     The advantages of the kiosk/RMU are manifold: It is                       grow and develop, it is also a means of bringing more vis-
moveable, adaptable, and compact and can go almost any-                        ibility to an existing brand name or product by having
where and show off almost anything. The unit is readily                        it appear in malls and traffic centers in readily identifi-
open for business and just as simply closed up at the end                      able and recognizable kiosks. Most ballparks and sporting
of the business day. What makes it especially important                        arenas have souvenir stores where team-endorsed prod-
is that in a relatively small space—maybe 5 by 5 feet—it                       ucts can be purchased, but the management has found
is possible for a startup entrepreneur to test out a con-                      that several RMUs spread around the park or arena are

328    Pa r t 5 : V i s ua l M e r c h a n d i s i n g a n d P l a n n i n g
even more effective in bringing the branded merchandise                  special areas. Sometimes, the superstructure will contain
out to the fans. (See Figure 26.5.)                                      plastic panels that carry the tenant’s name or the brand
     RMUs have found great favor with mall operators. The                name, which is illuminated by fluorescent tubes set behind
advantages are many, but the most important one is that                  the panels. The internal illumination makes the signage,
RMUs add to the tenant mix and the sense of excitement                   and the kiosk, even more visible in the mall aisle.
one feels in a mall where the small, colorful kiosks-on-                      With the 5- by 5-foot floor space and the wraparound
casters fill the wide, spacious aisles with color, light and a           shelves on the lower portion of the RMU, there is often a
new selection of arts, crafts, and small impulse items. The              central, vertical display area that rises up from the counter
design of the retail merchandising unit can be individual-               height to show off merchandise at eye level. The slotted
ized and specialized for a branded product, or the kiosk                 uprights make shelving and face-out hanging possible. With
can be designed as an integral part of the architecture of the           this format the vendor is usually stationed beside the unit and
mall—or the ballpark, train station, or museum. Although                 thus available to serve shoppers on all sides. Some kiosks are
mall management may dictate the style of the kiosk/RMU                   designed larger and may take up spaces 5 to 7 feet in width
it provides to freelance vendors, franchisees, and licensees,            and up to 10 feet in length. In these designs the attendant is
it will often have only limited control—mainly size—on the               often positioned inside the unit and surrounded by counters
RMUs brought in by national brands that rent floor space                 on four sides, with vertical displays at the ends.
in the mall. Jim Allen, of Simon Property Group, one of the                   These larger units are designed as modules with parts
largest mall management companies in the United States,                  and pieces that can be added or subtracted as needed.
says, “The primary method of tailoring the units is through              There may also be auxiliary units that stand beside the
colors, materials and surfaces that are used in the mall. We             RMU that can, if desired, be incorporated into the unit.
also tailor the design of the top of the unit to fit in with the         Some designs include corner elements that can be moved
property.” According to Tony Horton, a designer of RMUs,                 in where rounded shelves might ordinarily be and used for
“With the focus on successfully presenting merchandise,                  storage or as cash/wrap surfaces. In those RMUs that have
the wagon wheel (of the cart) was eliminated, and lower                  the salesperson surrounded by the modules, usually one
shelving was added. Fluorescent lights were replaced with                section will roll out or slide back to allow the server to get
low-voltage halogen fixtures. Kiosks became taller, and                  in and out of the unit. (See Figure 26.6.)
identification became more prominent. Support columns
were slotted to allow for additional merchandising.” Many
of these rolling kiosks feature wraparound shelving and
storage areas for additional stock within the space.
     The usual RMU is 5 by 5 feet in footpad, and most malls
restrict the height to between 7 and 9 feet. Thus, the signage
on top can be seen from a distance over the heads of the
mall strollers. The unit’s superstructure or roof is vital for
purposes of identification and recognition. It is here that
the designer can add decorative elements and materials to
the unit that will tie in with the design of the mall—or the
brand’s retail image. It is also here that the all-important
lighting is concentrated. The lighting can be in the form
of electrified tracks that carry the adjustable lamp holders,            Figure 26.6 The basic RMU, or kiosk, is shown here both with the
or the low-voltage halogen or incandescent lamps may be                  stock on view and closed up for the night. The doors that close up
                                                                         the unit swing out during business hours, and the grids attached to
extended out on brackets to illuminate the merchandise on                the doors are used to display product. The lighting is self-contained
the unit. Gooseneck fixtures can be used and bent to target              in the unit. Design: Creations at Dallas, Dallas, Texas.

                                 c h a P t e r 2 6 : V i s u a l M e r c h a n d i s i n g a n d t h e c h a n g i n g Fa c e o F r e ta i l   329
                                                                                    Although the big wheels are gone, there are casters with
                                                                               stoppers on them to allow the RMU to be moved from area
                                                                               to area. The out-of-door units may be designed with larger
                                                                               casters and greater mobility, as they may be moved more
                                                                               frequently and over greater distances. Security is always a
                                                                               serious consideration in an RMU design. Obviously, the
                                                                               tenant will not be removing all the products nightly, only
                                                                               to restock each morning. As the merchandise needs to be
                                                                               protected when the vendor leaves, the kiosk may feature
                                                                               roll-down canvas covers that can be lashed and locked
                                                                               or wraparound wire mesh guards that “disappear” into a
                                                                               hidden slot during the daytime hours. Some kiosks are

Figure 26.7 An RMU with lower shelves on three sides and a cash/
wrap counter that fits into the rear of the unit. This kiosk was
designed exclusively for the South Park Mall so that there would
be a consistent look to the portable minishops on the main aisles of
the mall. Each shop carries the vendor’s name under the mall’s logo.
Design: TL Horton Design, Dallas, Texas.

Figure 26.8 This illustration shows the kiosk’s several individual             Figure 26.9 The RMU goes out to meet the shopper. This unit is part
modular pieces, which can be combined in a variety of ways; it all             of the out-of-door excitement that is the Fremont Street experience
depends on the size and shape of the space the kiosk/RMU will                  in Las Vegas. The casters on the bottom make this unit easy to
occupy on the floor and the type of merchandise to be displayed.               move, and the awnings are necessary to shield the shopper and
The central core of four uprights anchors the design, carries the              the merchandise from the strong Vegas sunlight. Design: TL Horton
overhead lighting and signage, and can be capped with a “roof,”                Design, Dallas, Texas.
or ceiling, or slotted to accept brackets or shelves, and so on.
Design: Creations of Dallas, Dallas, Texas.

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                                                                            or two and then gone! Disappeared! Vanished! It was not
                                                                            an illusion; it was a pop-up shop, a relatively new retail
                                                                            phenomenon. Pop-up shops (known as guerilla shops in
                                                                            Europe) are retail spaces designed to last for a very lim-
                                                                            ited time. No matter how successful they are, their days are
                                                                            numbered. They make an entrance—an appearance—and
                                                                            fulfill a particular purpose, like introducing a product or
                                                                            some new designer, and then—poof—gone!
                                                                                 An excellent example of the pop-up shop phenom-
                                                                            enon is the Nau store that opened just for the 2009 holiday
                                                                            season in Soho, in New York City. As designed by Jean-
Figure 26.10 The Nau pop-up/green store is shown in its Soho,               Pierre Veillet, of Siteworks, in Portland, Oregon, Nau was
New York, setting. The concrete floor and whitewashed walls                 not only a successful pop-up shop, but—because of Veillet’s
are complemented by the skylight at the back of the store.
Visible are the tables and wall treatment constructed of reclaimed          commitment—also a fine example of greening. Although
corrugated cardboard. Nau, New York.                                        the design work Siteworks usually creates is meant to last
                                                                            for decades, Veillet accepted the challenge of creating a
                                                                            store that would exist for just a few weeks—and did it on
designed with sliding doors that can be locked to close                     a budget of $4,500! During a pop-up store’s lifespan it is
off the merchandise on the upright displayers while the                     designed, built, used, disassembled, and discarded, with
shelves below fold up against the body of the RMU, and the                  many of its materials added to landfills. Veillet opted for
displayed stock is locked in cabinets built into the lower                  an ecofriendly approach instead, creating the store with
part of the RMU.                                                            materials and objects that he found on sidewalks, along
     With branding becoming more and more important,                        train tracks, on the sides of roads, and in garbage heaps:
and the desire to take the brand name and merchandise up
front to the buying public, the RMU is growing as a retail
venue. All sorts of spaces are opening up and inviting
kiosks/RMUs in as viable vending setups. Being able to
merchandise where shoppers are is key. What the RMU
does is show a selection of what is available, swiftly satis-
fying the impulse shopper. It is all about impulse; about
seeing something where you ordinarily would not expect
to find it and buying it in a hassle-free situation. The RMU
allows a concept to have an “out-of-town” tryout before
hitting the “big time.” It is also the fastest way for the
brand name retailer to get exposure in many markets and
in a signature vehicle that can become as recognizable as
the brand name or logo. (See Figures 26.7–26.9.)

Pop-Up Shops                                                                Figure 26.11 A close-up on the clever rack fixture created out of found
                                                                            materials for the Nau pop-up shop. The makeshift fixture not only
Now you see them—now you don’t! They were here—on                           served its purpose, but also added to the casual look of the Nau
Main Street—in a real store for just a few days or a week                   products shown on it. Nau, New York.

                                    c h a P t e r 2 6 : V i s u a l M e r c h a n d i s i n g a n d t h e c h a n g i n g Fa c e o F r e ta i l   331
scraps of wood, metal, cardboard boxes, and cable. All
these rescued materials from New York City’s waste stream
were reclaimed and reused. In addition, designer-quality
clothing racks were fashioned from metal pipes, casters,
old beams, and tense cable. Furniture was crafted from
discarded cardboard, tossed crates, and repurposed lad-
ders. Much of the actual space was original, and the floors
and ceilings showed the age of the building. (See Figures
     What made the Nau pop-up unique is that another
retailer took over the space shortly after it closed. The new
retailer hired Veillet and his Siteworks team to refashion the
already-recycled materials into a permanent showroom/
retail store for its natural sleep products.                                   Figure 26.12 Discarded pieces of metal and wire, plus inexpensive
     Big retailers like Target are also great believers in the                 items purchased out of the limited budget, were recycled once
                                                                               again in a new shop that opened in the same location. Note how
effectiveness of pop-up shops and frequently use them to                       the bare bulb fixtures accentuate and decorate the simple wall rack
introduce new designers or lines of merchandise.                               system. Nau, New York.

332    Pa r t 5 : V i s ua l M e r c h a n d i s i n g a n d P l a n n i n g
                          Visual Merchandising and the Changing Face of Retail: Trade Talk

big-box store, or superstore                     drive aisle                                          pop-up store
category killer                                  factory outlet store                                 shop within a shop
discount store                                   mom-and-pop store                                    vendor shop

                            Visual Merchandising and the Changing Face of Retail: A Recap

F   during the twentieth century, retail store formats have evolved        F   Although the emphasis in a discount/factory outlet store is
    from department stores, large specialty stores, and small                  on energy efficiency and economy, atmospheric and accent
    mom-and-pop shops, to malls and shopping centers, and finally              lighting can be used to supplement fluorescents to create
    to the emergence of big-box stores, or superstores; discount/              an image for the store, to accentuate featured merchandise,
    factory outlet stores; and vendor shops. these new formats                 or to flatter the shopper as he or she tries on a garment.
    offer new challenges to the display person/visual merchandiser.        F   vendor shops are shops within a shop—retail formats that offer
F   big-box stores are giant retail boxes that need to be “warmed              brand name or designer merchandise in a boutique setting
    up” through layout, lighting, and display techniques into                  within a larger retail or department store setting. often these
    smaller, more comfortable, life-size spaces. lifestyle vignettes           shops are miniatures of freestanding designer stores.
    are an effective way to personalize a display and lead the             F   New vendor shops are designed to provide a signature
    shopper into a selection of nearby merchandise.                            look that can be accommodated to various dimensions and
F   large, legible signage or graphics are needed to help shoppers             settings. Modular components provide the store designer
    navigate within the big-box stores. some stores include                    with flexibility, allowing very small or very large spaces
    electronic or computerized stations that provide directions                to present merchandise in a visually consistent way.
    to merchandise within the store or answers to specific                 F   pop-up shops are design spaces meant to last for a very
    questions about products.                                                  limited time. the 2009 Nau pop-up store, in New york city’s
F   discount and factory outlet stores are oriented to time- and               soho district, used recycled and repurposed materials in
    money-conscious shoppers who want the best for the least,                  the creation of its temporary space.
    but in a store that is still comfortable and convenient. the
    store layout, lighting, and merchandise displays here should
    emphasize “value,” not “cheap.”

                                              Questions for Review and Discussion

1. Name a specific big-box store or superstore with which                        shoppers in its design and merchandise displays when people
     you are familiar. how does this store use lighting, graphics,               who shop in these stores are looking for a less expensive
     signage, or lifestyle displays to enhance the merchandising                 alternative to mall and department stores?
     of its products?                                                      3. list the advantages and disadvantages to a brand name
2. why would a discount or factory outlet store want to consider                 supplier/designer of presenting its merchandise in a vendor
     ambiance, amenities, and the comfort and convenience of                     shop within a larger department or retail store.

                                    c h a P t e r 2 6 : V i s u a l M e r c h a n d i s i n g a n d t h e c h a n g i n g Fa c e o F r e ta i l   333

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