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Turning Merchandising Into Offbeat Art

Get creative with your window merchandising. Can you turn your windows into eye-catching, offbeat art?

Independent home improvement stores in San Francisco decked out their window displays for Valentine’s Day this month – and they weren’t showcasing chocolate and roses.

The stores’ artistic window displays attracted passersby due to their creativity, and offered unique merchandising opportunities for the businesses.

Cliff’s Variety set a glowing heart in its window to show off a remote-controlled light bulb the store sells, according to an article from the San Francisco Chronicle.

And Brownies Ace Hardware’s three window panels each displayed hearts made from products. For example, one was “made from a bike cable, its ends secured with a red padlock. Another is made with four flexible pipes that are commonly seen supplying water to toilet tanks,” the article says.

The third window pane featured red cloth twisted and suspended in the air on wire with a paint brush and paint bucket, displayed to look like a heart-shaped painting project.

“People do talk about them a lot,” Brownies Ace manager Lee Snyder told Hardware Retailing. “We’re trying to sell things, but we’re trying to have an artistic spin on things.”

Other home improvement stores in San Francisco didn’t necessarily follow holiday themes, but also found quirky ways to merchandise common products. For example, this month, Cole Fox Hardware had a toilet seat arranged next to an oversized chess piece in its window, the article says.

“Many of the people who come in here come from places where local hardware stores have been wiped out by Home Depot,” Cole’s floor manager Will Schindler says in the article. “These people just don’t have their old hardware store anymore. So they look at our window, and they come in here laughing. You don’t do that at Home Depot.”

Read the San Francisco Chronicle story here.

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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