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Window Displays; John Lum featured on


by Ana Montoya

Drawing lots of customers into the store is something every shopkeeper wants and sunglass retailers are no exception. There’s no better way to do this than with enticing window displays. Here are some tips from a few merchandising experts on how to do this.

Various studies have shown that about one in four people who stop to look at a window display go into the store, and often buy some-thing. And something that is showcased in a window is three times more likely to be sold than one on display inside the store. The odds are with you—the better your display, the more you’ll sell.

The first step is to decide on a theme or concept and stay true to it. This can be built around, for example, a season or brand, geo-metric or color idea, or announce-ment of a sale. John Lum, Architect of Focus Group West, an eyewear branding and design company, offers some advice: “You can decide to emphasize the modernity of the sunwear and follow up by using simple cubes to display it. Super-cute window displays don’t give seriousness to the shop—it’s better to err on the professional side.”

“A window should always be eye-catching and inspirational,” says Brian Wolcovitch, Director of Design of Modular Design Systems, Inc., a company that specializes in optical office and dispensary design. 

Photo Courtesy of Focus Group West

“Keep it simple,” says Wolcovitch. “Put out the best of the best of whatever product line(s) you’re promoting,” he adds. Interior de-signer Barbara Wright of Barbara Wright Design, a specialist in optometric offices, also speaks to the idea of “less is more.” “Having space around the frame helps attract attention. It shows that the item has a lot of value,” says Wright. “I like to use floating boxes with only one or two frames floating on cables that can be adjusted up or down.”


To set off the sunglasses, use materials that contrast with the frames. “Shopping bags are perfect props—they have color and a brand name on them,” asserts Wright. Manufacturer posters and countercards also offer a good background. Lum suggests using intense lighting that focuses on the sunwear while Wolcovitch says that halogen lights have the best color-rendering properties.

You can either hire an interior design specialist or choose someone on your staff who has a design sensibility to match the product with the window display. Encourage her to look at great displays in your area for ideas and to also think about what kind of display would attract her to a store. In addition, sunglass manufacturers offer P-O-P materials that you can use; ask the reps to recommend what has worked for others. Wolcovitch suggests photographing each window you do so you have a portfolio of what has achieved results for you.

When to put up a new display depends on your success rate with the existing one—it can be weekly, monthly, or seasonally—and on how heavily trafficked your store is. What you want to do is to show off what you have to give potential buyers—a reason to come in for a look. Sunglasses are often an impulse buy, so you want to be sure and have a display that will grab your potential customers’ attention.

Lum sums it up: “If a display is carefully put together, it means that the store cares about their customers, it exudes quality.”

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