The “theatre” of the countertop

Posted in Displays Written by Chris Schotsman

Imagine going to a theatre production. Let’s say it’s The Lion King. Now imagine the stage is blank. There’s nothing but ropes and curtains as the actors sing and dance their hearts out. Sure, you’re still getting the “meat” of the experience: the performances. But you’re not getting the full experience. You need that lush jungle set design to buy into the performance. A beautiful and believable set helps sell the experience.

The same thing can be said about retail countertops. With a bland countertop, you still have cheese, meat and baked goods to sell. But when you complement those products with an attractive and engaging setting, customers will be more attracted to your displays and, therefore, your products.

Here are a few things to consider when designing a more “theatrical” countertop experience:

  • Lighting and signage: It seems like a no-brainer to make sure your countertop displays are well lit, but all too often we’ll see countertop products that just aren’t visible enough. Signage can add some spice and creativity to your displays.

  • Connect the counter to the staff: Continuing with our “theatrical” theme, you can tell a bit of a story with your countertop, especially if people are working and preparing food behind it. If it’s a bakery counter, you can add a mixing bowl and spoons or a blender. If it’s a deli counter, try a cutting board and knives.

  • Display complementary items: Add some tasteful shelves or racks to the counter to display items that complement the main products being offered. Consider marinades, rubs, or wine options that pair well with the types of meat, deli items or seafood at the counter.

  • Rotate displays: Retailers tend to rotate their displays over long periods of time, but you can also consider rotating throughout the day, tied to mealtimes and times of the week. Consider snacks in the early afternoon, then shift to dinner items late in the afternoon, and as the weekend approaches, treats, snacks, and party items can work well.

  • Free samples: Customers love free stuff, and what better way to convince people to buy than with a delicious sample? Plus, when displayed right, a free sample display can catch customers’ eyes.

  • Complement the cases: The aesthetics of a countertop display should always work seamlessly with the cases. Imagine a play with an outer-space setting, but the characters are dressed as medieval knights. It just wouldn’t make sense. Keep the lines clean and the themes and colors consistent.

  • Beware of clutter: In all of these cases, though, it’s always important to beware of cluttering up the counter. A cluttered counter can be off-putting for customers or even confusing.

When you’re creating the “theatre” of your countertop displays, much like with a stage production, you want to make sure your customers buy into the experience and find it visually appealing. But most of all, you want them to want to come back for more!

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