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  • Welcome to the Retailworks Blog!

    Our close-knit team has over 250 years of experience in art, design, branding, visual merchandising & display, architecture, general contracting and cabinetry work. We're here to impart information that will make you think, laugh, and wonder. If you are looking to strengthen your "customer's experience", and increase traffic, sales and profit, then follow us. You'll never look at your environment the same way again. Read, learn, and enjoy!

The Importance of Having a Year-Round Seasonal Display Program – Part 1

Changing out displays for the season is a great way to rejuvenate both your store and your customers. People are naturally attracted to contrast, so when you move merchandise around and update your display props, repeat customers will be drawn to the “something new” about your store. When a display is novel or updated, the merchandise will seem new and customers will view it with fresh eyes. A well thought out seasonal display program will bring festivity into your space, make your merchandise pop, and have customers looking forward to seeing what is different in your business every season.

fall interior

Start with your window. This space is free advertising! Engage consumers from the outside to draw them in. Give passersby and holiday window shoppers an excellent first impression of your store with cheerfully decorated windows. Add a seasonal graphic, window cling or banner. Create a large oversized prop, or use color, contrast, and/or repetition to create a display that attracts attention from a distance. You’ll see how these displays can entice consumers into your store. Illuminate these displays well into the evening – after all pedestrian and auto traffic has slowed down for the night.

fall window display

On the inside of your store, there should always be a focal point display within the first 15’ of the entrance. This display can be nesting tables with seasonal merchandise and props, a group of three mannequins, or a stack of merchandise that makes a statement. Hang a banner above, place beautiful fabric runners and unique coordinated risers on the tables, or place fun props in/on/around as necessary. Make people stop in their tracks! Get them to look, touch, think. Inspire them!

cupcake photo

In addition to the front focal point display, it’s important to create additional, coordinated seasonal displays throughout the store, to not only get customers to walk around your store, but to create a festive interior environment. It sets a “mood” and gets shoppers motivated.

We can’t stress enough how important it is that ALL your seasonal décor is well coordinated, and stylish. Old, worn out pieces of this and that will not help your brand, and will add visual chaos to the interior. Pick a theme and stick to it. Also, props should reflect the quality of your merchandise. The higher the price point of your merchandise, the higher quality of your props. If you recycle old props (we love to recycle btw) just make sure you make them look fresh and trendy. Some spray paint, a few new vases, or new fabric is sometimes all that’s needed to provide an updated punch. Just be sure to make a strong professional statement with your décor!

decorated pumpkins

Follow these suggestions and you’ll see how seasonal displays can increase traffic into your store, increase sales, and show customers that you’re on top of trend!

winter display

Stay tuned for our blog next week to learn how to do this throughout the year while staying in budget. We’ll also introduce our new Seasonal Display Program. Just can’t wait? Visit us at or call us at 262-238-1860 for more information or to sign up!


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Retailworks’ Three Room Theory ™

At Retailworks, we firmly believe that customers judge your business based on their experience in three key rooms: your reception area, your conference room and your restrooms. That’s why we developed the Three Room Theory, the idea that these three key spaces should showcase your brand and consistently impress in order to provide consumers with a memorable and positive impression of your company.

Reception area designed for The Kids Dentist by Retailworks.

Reception area designed for The Kids Dentist by Retailworks.

Reception Area – The First Impression Room

The reception area is the first place your customers experience your brand when they enter your building.

Ask yourself,

  • Does your reception area “wow” those who enter?
  • Do visitors know where to go or what to do when they walk through your front door?
  • Do they get a sense of your brand, culture, values, products and history?
  • How are you engaging and enticing those who have to wait?

This is how first-time visitors form their thoughts and opinions about your business, including who you are, how you maintain and organize your company, and what you value. Do not take this space for granted. It absolutely, positively, must make a statement, tell a story and leave a positive first impression that consumers will be sure to remember.

The waiting area is a great place to showcase your history! Allen Edmonds timeline created by Retailworks.

The waiting area is a great place to showcase your history! Allen Edmonds timeline created by Retailworks.

Conference Room – The Make-it-Happen Room

The conference room is the heart of your corporate space. It’s your most influential room. It’s the “make-it-happen” room. Think of all the things that occur in this space (if walls could talk). It’s where deals are made, employees are hired (and fired), news is shared and celebrations occur.

This space needs to sell, engage, support, persuade, convince, educate and inform. Whew! That’s a lot for one room. Are you giving your conference room the credit it’s due?

It deserves to be spectacular.

Be proud of your company

Be proud of your company’s accomplishments. Showcase awards in a display like this one! Made by Retailworks for Kesslers Diamonds

The Restroom – The Necessary Room

Don’t underestimate the power of this room. Women in particular will judge their entire experience on the condition and design of the restroom. I repeat, do NOT underestimate the value of well-designed and clean restrooms. Don’t skimp on the décor. Have fun (without being weird or tacky) and brand it, message it, make it cool. You won’t be sorry.



How do these three rooms measure up in your business?

Contact us – we’ll make them memorable. We’ll give them the “wow” they deserve.


Phone: 262.238.1860



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8 Tips for Finding the Perfect Fit(ting room)

For something often shoved at the back of a store, the fitting room is quite an important place. Many purchasing decisions are made here, so it is essential that dressing rooms make customers look and feel great both in their own skin and in your clothes. In the fitting room, consumers cross the line from browsing to making a personal connection with a brand by imagining how they will incorporate a piece of clothing into their own sense of fashion. Be sure this space makes them feel comfortable and remove distractions so that they only have to focus on the decision at hand: is this product something they want to buy?


Not only will having spectacular dressing rooms increase your bottom line, it will give you an edge that the ever-growing competition of online shopping doesn’t have. Your customers will be able to be completely confident that the items they are purchasing make them feel beautiful before they even open their wallets.

Read on for eight tips for designing impressive fitting rooms:

It’s called dressing ROOM for a reason

The best dressing rooms have ample space for customers to stash their purses, try on clothes and stand back enough to see their entire outfit in a mirror. Be sure your fitting room is large enough so that putting on a shirt doesn’t require bumping elbows into walls. Including a small bench for consumers to stash their personal belongings doesn’t hurt, either.

new dressing room1

Off the Hook

Not only should your customers have enough space, but there should also be enough room for the clothing. If your dressing room only has one hook for hanging clothes, consumers will have to concern themselves more with staying organized than whether or not they actually like the product. Instead, help your customers make a decision by including enough hanging space for sorting several garments into “yeses,” “noes,” and “maybes.” Not only will this help you make more sales, but it will save you from picking wrinkly clothing off the floor all day.


Help them See the Light

Dressing rooms should be well lit so that the customer and the clothing are not cast into shadow. The lighting in your changing rooms should be as close to natural light as possible, so that conditions are as similar as possible to how shoppers will look wearing the clothes once they bring them home. Lighting the sides of the dressing room mirror, as well as incorporating a variety of types of lights in the space, is key for showing your customers how much they love your clothing.

Forth & Towne, Gap

Mirror, mirror

Speaking of the mirror, this is one fitting room fixture you never want to skimp on! A cheap mirror can make bodies look warped or distorted, something you never want your customers to experience while they are wearing your clothes. Investing in quality mirrors will help consumers feel and look better in your garments. Remember, when shoppers are in the dressing room, the mirror becomes their focal point. Don’t be afraid to add a sprinkling of fun décor to the edges or pen “gorgeous!” in the corner with an erasable marker.


Make them Smile

Amazing customer service shouldn’t disappear when your customers do. Be sure to train employees to check on shoppers in the fitting rooms and offer them help finding alternative clothing or sizes. If a customer has to go through the work of putting all of their own garments back on to go hunting for a different size, they may feel deterred from returning to the dressing room. Offering customers assistance and compliments contributes to a fun and successful shopping experience.

new dressing room 2

Dress it up

Don’t forget to decorate! Your dressing room is one more space to show off your brand’s personality. Boldly splash your motto across a wall, display trendy photos or find other creative ways to integrate the theme of your brand. Pink makes skin tones look great, so incorporate a pop of this fun color into your design. The dressing room is a wonderful space for displaying outfit combinations and the perfect pairings of clothing and accessories to help consumers feel inspired.


It’s all about the Little Things

Small details, such as clearing clothes out of the fitting room after every customer and displaying an offering of bite-sized snacks, can go a long way. Consider what you can do to make this space a little more special for your customers. What about an accessories display for them to choose from while putting outfits together? Also consider how you can minimize distraction for shoppers. Being sure to have dressing room curtains or doors that stay completely closed so that this isn’t a worry for customers who are debating a purchase.

Adventures_Unlimited Dressing room

Dressing room by Retailworks, Inc.

Bells and Whistles

If possible, stay up-to-date by including a bit of technology in your changing rooms. Interactive memory mirrors help customers view themselves in several different articles of clothing and also create a more engaging shopping experience. Can’t afford something this high-tech? Don’t worry! Other options, such as call buttons and occupancy sensors, can create a more seamless experience for both you and your consumers.

Screen Shot 2016-10-12 at 12.52.16 PM

Want customized fitting rooms for your store? Contact us at for anything from a dressing room audit to custom-designed statement fitting rooms! Don’t forget to follow us on social media for more tips and tricks.


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Retailin’ Around the Christmas Tree: A Guide for Preventing Holiday Stress

So, you own a small, independent retail store. Fourth quarter is right around the corner. If you’re like most retailers, you need the holiday season to pay overdue bills and cover expenses for slow and dreadful January. With a really good season, you can make some much-needed capital improvements. This step-by-step guide will help make fourth quarter the figgy pudding and the “Jingle Bell Rock” of the year.

So, how do you guarantee a successful holiday sales season for your employees and customers?

christmas display


First and foremost, prepare your personal life. During the months of November and December, you’re lucky if you remember your name. You’ll work twelve-hour days without much time to take care of your personal needs or see your kids. Stock your fridge. Get your personal appointments out of the way like haircuts and dentists. Do your Christmas shopping and baking early. Let friends and family know you’ll be out of commission until January 3rd. If they want to see you, they’ll need to bring coffee (or something stronger) and be prepared to stock shelves.


Set your goals. What are your goals for the quarter? How did you do last year? Now is the time to visualize and record what needs to happen financially. Be sure to have fourth quarter planning meetings to discuss financial, marketing and operational goals with your key employees.

Get ready to make your list and check it twice:

1) Recruit your full and temporary employees. Train them. Vet them. Get their paperwork done. Order their name tags or uniforms. Let them know what the expectations will be and prepare them.

santa hats

2) Order your supplies and inventory. Order bags, inventory, receipt paper, toilet paper, sidewalk salt, light bulbs, anything that needs to be refilled on a regular basis. Know when items will be delivered.

3) Decorate your store. Put your holiday decorations up (after Halloween) and decorate your windows. You’ll have it done and it adds to the buying mood. Don’t forget to market St. Nick’s, stocking stuffers, and Hanukah gifts near the register. 90 percent of shoppers will buy something that is not on their list, and this is where your impulse buys come into play.

holiday blog 1

4) Clear room for storage. You’ll be getting deliveries daily. Figure out a solution for excess inventory and boxes. Will extra inventory live in your home garage so, it’s ready to go if you need it? Who’s taking out the empty boxes and where do they go? You don’t want to leave boxes around the store for long, extended periods of time–it looks messy and can become a hazzard.

5) Figure out your holiday gimmicks and in-store promotions. What will make your store stand-out? Free hot cocoa and cookies on Thursdays? Free discount coupons for a January “Come Back” Special? Are you promoting BOGO offers and gift wrapping service? Is there a Black Friday Promotion or a Small Business Saturday Special? Will you be collecting emails? Will you be asking people to “check-in” on Facebook for a free gift?

holiday sale

6) Have a marketing plan in place by third quarter. All ads should be scheduled with media outlets by the end of October. Use a software such as Hootsuite to pre-program your social media alerts. Have email blasts announcing offers scheduled and ready to go.

7) State your policies clearly on receipts and post them visibly in-store. Do you take checks? What’s your return policy? Which credit cards do you take? Have your helpline numbers accessible for your credit card processing machine. If your Internet or processing goes down, no one will be able to buy using a credit card. It’s important to anticipate the “glitches” that could time-suck your energy on the busiest Saturday of the year. You would rather be helping a customer than staring at a long line at the check-out counter because you lost the key to your cash register. Bah humbug!


8) Make sure you and the bank (and your credit cards) are on speaking terms. What’s your line of credit? Call your bank ahead of time and explain what you’ll need, such as more change for the till or a larger line of credit. Be sure you have a good relationship with your banker. If you don’t, find a new one.

9) Line up third-party services. You’ll need some extra help to shovel snow and clean windows. (This includes collecting plenty of local restaurant menus that deliver food to your door).

holiday window

10) Have a plan in place for taking care of your employees during the season. The holiday season can be brutal. Treat your employees to a lunch, offer them an employee discount, compliment them in front of customers and remember to give them a holiday bonus. Keeping great employees is a lot more affordable than having to find new ones! Plus, they’ll know other great employees if you end up needing additional help.

As a retailer, having access to all of Santa’s elves during the holiday season would be ideal. Imagine what could get done! It’s up to you to make the holiday season a success. Your fourth quarter can make-or-break the year. We can’t control the weather or the economy, but we can prepare for the worst…and the best. Being prepared will improve the odds of success, while making the holiday season less stressful…and much more successful!

holiday success

Need extra help preparing your retail space and decorating for the holidays? Visit us at and follow us on social media!

Retailworks Logo


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Checking Out: Ten Tips for Transaction Counters

The cash wrap is the last part of a consumer’s shopping trip before they head out the door. Be sure your transaction counter experience makes a memorable last impression from its design to customer service!

#1) A store’s layout should be setup so that there is a natural path around the store. The transaction counter should be at the natural stopping point where this path ends.

Transaction counter designed by Retailworks for Kesslers Diamonds

Transaction counter designed by Retailworks for Kesslers Diamonds

#2) The check out counter should be in a place where your staff can see all areas of the store, especially the entrance. This way, employees can keep tabs on the store’s activity and greet all incoming customers.

#3) Consider the number of employees who will be using your checkout counter at any given time, as well as the maximum number of customers who can be served at a time when designing your transaction counter.


#4) Create one last branding impact in the customer’s mind by keeping the cash wrap consistent with the theme of the rest of the store. Be sure to incorporate your brand’s logo and color scheme.

Transaction Counter designed by Retailworks for Olive - Fine Organic Living

Transaction Counter designed by Retailworks for Olive – Fine Organic Living

#5) Place a few impulse buys near the register. However, keep in mind that less is more. Often, if too many impulse buys are available, the resulting clutter deters sales.

Transaction counter designed by Retailworks for Steins Gardens & Gifts

Transaction counter designed by Retailworks for Steins Gardens & Gifts

#6) Be sure your employees are trained to offer stellar customer service, especially at the check out counter. The sales clerk is usually the last person who will interact with a consumer before he or she departs. Employees should be friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.


#7) Make use of the valuable wall space behind your transaction counter. Not only is this a great place for a statement wall, but also for featuring impactful displays or infographics.

fro yo counter

#8) Because customers spend a bit of time lingering at your cash wrap, be sure to consider the little details! A textured counter or wall covering will be sure to impress.


#9) Add an extra flare to purchases before customers walk out the door. Tie a fancy ribbon around their shopping bag handles. Display ribbon choices on your transaction counter for added decoration and to allow customers to choose their favorite, creating a more interactive experience.

#10) Remember, this is your last impression! Display your business card or a takeaway with your social media links on it so that customers are more likely to think of your brand once they depart.

Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 12.03.25 PM

For a custom-made transaction counter of your own (and/or a full store audit), visit us at and follow us on social media!


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