There's a certain art to ensuring your stall looks inviting, well thought-out and importantly your products highlighted to maximise sales. We spoke with the master Kari, from Night Tiger and got the low down on Visual Merchandising for your market stall.
I first learnt about visual merchandising when I was working for a designer label called 'RICH' in Melbourne. It was a large store on Brunswick street Fitzroy consisting of Australian made but Italian sourced fabrics with Men's and Women's clothing shoes and accessories.
My manger had been professionally trained and every Monday we would re-merch the store for a fresh look. She taught me everything she knew and I realised I loved the process. I worked there for about two years and then for a few other labels in Melbourne.
When I moved back up to the Byron Shire I worked with my dear friend Rowie, from Rowie the Label. I worked for her for about four years at the headquarters managing stock and online customer service, retail in her shops and sometimes doing markets. I worked in a lot of different roles at the label, one of them being a favourite, Merchandising her stores.
I created Night Tiger because I had always loved making my own clothes and dressing up (I also have a background in dance where I made a lot of costumes). After a while people wanted me to make clothes for them because they liked the garments I was wearing so I realised that I could make a small business out of it. I did a course in Fashion Design and Technology and it kept growing from there.
My 5 tips for merchandising your market stall would be:
- I never over clutter my stall. Variety and options are good but simplicity is key, especially clothing racks, not having too many items on each rack so the customer can easily touch and see each item.
- Have an inviting space. Possibly something the customer can walk into and a centrepiece of some sort, maybe a table or rack in the middle is good for me. Occasionally I will hang macramé or hanging pants to compliment the clothes but not always. A little bit of extra decor is always nice though as customers don't like feeling to exposed in a bare open selling environment.
- For each rack in my stall, the clothing is hung in a complimentary colour scheme. I also hang things in a way so that the longer items and shorter items aren't bunched together and it all has a flow and balance on the rack. These factors are aesthetically pleasing to the human eye and unconsciously it draws customers in as there is an ease for them to look at it all. My racks and the way the clothing is presented is the main focus of my stall.
- Having some sort of Mat or floor is really good because it separates you from the path outside and psychologically 'slows' people down in your stall to stay a while and relax and have look.
- The stall should just have an over-all simple shop feel. I try to keep all equipment that is not necessary out of the stall i.e. marquee covers, rack ropes, trolleys.....anything that's not nice to look at. And my extra clothing boxes of stock I put under a table or cover with nice discreet throws out of the way.
Thanks so much Kari for this incredibly insightful info! You can find Night Tiger at most TVM events, including the next one on Sunday 5 August 2018.