Catch customers’ eyes and draw them inside with window displays throughout the year.

What do shoppers see when they pass by your store windows? Piles of products with no clear connection? Or a themed display that catches their eye and draws them inside? We asked pet business owners who excel at the latter to share their favorites.


Karen's Canine KitchenLEESBURG, FL

Owner Karen Egert created this window display for the more than 250,000 visitors who attend Leesburg Bikefest. She drew inspiration from the famous “Dogs Playing Poker” paintings, placing dog mannequins — chomping on Etta Says “cigars” and sipping from Silly Squeakers bottles — around the table, with a “We ship anywhere the dog travels” sign behind them. Egert sees a significant sales boost from the annual event, and this display got plenty of positive feedback. “You could hear people walking by the store and laughing. Lots of folks stopped to take pictures.”


DogaholicsCHICAGO, IL

Former Dogaholics store owner Candace D’Agnolo was known for her windows. She was able to change them frequently and inexpensively thanks to her artistic talent and ready supply of Chalk Ink Markers — instead of buying props, she drew them on the glass, such as with this Hanukkah display. Because the ink will wash off in rain, D’Agnolo says she outlined her designs in chalk on the outside, drew them in marker inside and then erased the chalk. “Otherwise, trying to paint in reverse can be tricky!”


Harbor Pet GREENPORT, NY

Like many owners, Kim Loper changes her windows with the seasons and holidays. Harbor Pet’s island setting inspired this summertime display featuring essential supplies for keeping dogs safe and playful around water. Sea creature toys called to vacationing pet parents shopping for souvenirs.

The store’s most recent Halloween windows built upon plastic dog and cat skeletons Loper found on sale. “I knew I needed to use them somehow. I also needed a way to showcase the lighted collars and leashes we sell. This seemed perfect.”

Loper’s humorous skeleton setups created buzz. “Our sales counter is close to the door, so we hear comments by people on the street. One gentleman said we were going to give kids nightmares! Most people, whether offended by or in love with the windows, came in to say something and make a purchase. If nothing else, we got a ton of people taking pictures of them.”


Bow Wow Beauty ShoppeSAN DIEGO, CA

This holiday window continued Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe’s “pinups and pups” theme. Owner Leel Michelle smartly used the layout for several displays, changing out the poster and merchandise to fit the season or holiday. “I already sell pet and pinup posters in my store, so I thought it would be nice to have a huge one in the window,” she says.


The Dapper Hound MOUNT AIRY, NC

Owner Shelby Boles likes to celebrate holidays while highlighting specific brands, such as with this July 4th camping display featuring P.L.A.Y. teepees and Dog Is Good’s Never Camp Alone apparel. The scene also brought attention to the smaller Fluff & Tuff raccoon toys, which shoppers may overlook inside The Dapper Hound. In addition to spurring immediate sales, she says, “We like to think our window displays help bring in potential customers, if not to purchase, to spread the word about our store to friends.”

 

WOW WITH WINDOWS

Ruth Mellergaard, an interior designer for retail environments, offers this advice:

1. Not creative? Someone on your staff likely is. Or partner with a local art school — students could get credit for creating your window displays.

2. Less has more impact. Clutter turns shoppers away.

3. Keep scale in mind. Go bigger if you get more drive-by traffic than on foot.

4. Light for day. Opt for a neutral white LED, 3000K-4000K, as it will render true the products in your window display.

5. Light for night. LED cubes can be programed to change color, drawing the eyes of passersby.

 


This article originally appeared in the January 2018 edition of PETS+.