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Ideas to Make Your Holiday Decorations Sell and Your Store Stand Out

Decorating a store for the holidays is not like decorating a home.

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ABUNDANCE IS THE MESSAGE Christmas decor should communicate — an ample amount of product and bountiful décor. Even with a small budget, you can still create a great holiday environment; chunky garland, well-decorated trees and pre-wrapped product are all things everyone can do.

Display companies are a great place to buy garlands and other decor. They’re cheaper, and the decorations are what the big retailers use. However, you can also use existing items you may have.

Trees are great, but they should be full and as deluxe as possible. Something fun is to decorate them with dog and cat toys. A festive lighting idea is to use small white lights along with large, old-fashioned colored lights. And trees need to be thoroughly decorated. An anemic tree is a negative, as your customers are comparing it to everywhere else they’re shopping, including your competitors.

Instead of having thin garland around the entire store, combine two or three thin garlands to make a thicker one. Then use it in fewer places.

Macy’s is a good place to get decorating ideas. Just ideas — no one has the money to decorate at Macy’s level. I’m referring to the store in general and not just the holiday shop. Go in and look at the trees, the big garlands and the quality of their ribbons and bows.

You will most likely have an end cap with Christmas-specific product like clear plastic stockings filled with toys. A way to add another festive end cap is to double-expose product and do an end cap with all red product. Include toys, harnesses, leashes and beds. Just make sure it’s all red. Or green. But keep it to one color.

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Pre-wrap is another way to add decoration to the store without spending a lot of money. If you have a lot of stock in a particular boxed item, make a stack and giftwrap them. As you’re now featuring it, you’re telling the customer you believe in the item, and wrapping it makes their life easier during a hectic time of year. Use simple giftwrap. Red foil is great, and it adds color to the store. Don’t use patterns, and be consistent throughout the store.

Most people wouldn’t think shampoo is a good gift, but if the shampoo comes with conditioner and a brush, the customer will see it differently. Wrap a ribbon around a set of bath products, or better yet, put them in cellophane with a bow on top. This is frequently done in cosmetics departments. They put a number of a fragrance’s products in a basket, and put cellophane around it. It’s a much nicer gift than just a bottle of perfume, and they’re making bigger sales.
Window displays should be clean and simple. You want the customer to see the store from the outside, and see how full and festive it is. Framing the window with thick garland is a great idea. This is a great place for red, green or gold product.

Decorating a store for the holidays is not like decorating a home. Customers have higher expectations. Remember, abundance is the goal. Here’s to a successful holiday season!

Tom Crossman has designed entertainment centers and retail stores for FAO Schwarz, Dollywood and Toys ‘R’ Us. He was a featured speaker at Global Pet Expo in 2018. His work can be seen at tomcrossman.com, and he can be reached at tom@tomcrossman.com.

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