The holidays are over and 2016 is off and running, and even if you’re slightly relieved that the holiday rush is behind you, it’s always fun to look back. For us, that means remembering which retail toy displays stood out, connected with shoppers, and boosted sales. This year, while Minion toys from the hit movie “Despicable Me” and its sequels still dominated the market, the real standout products were, as everyone expected, the new Star Wars movie. You couldn’t go anywhere without seeing a lightsaber, an action figure of the characters, or even costumes! So, which displays really worked best this holiday season? And what can we all take away from the top retail toy displays?
Make it Graphic
The most successful retail toy display is always on that’s easy to identify, making it instantly recognizable because it’s branded with the name of the franchise, company or movie it’s associated with. Especially during the holiday season, it’s your job to make it simple for your customers to find that “one toy” that is on the top of their child’s Christmas list. Do this by customizing your display with bright colors and by including popular characters from films in your graphic choice. Also, if you’re selling products based on a film, be sure to incorporate the ideas of the movie in your display — not only is it fun, it also helps parents who might not be 100% sure what they’re shopping for go home with the right toy. For example, if you’re selling lightsabers from Star Wars, you could choose to have your display made to look like the interior of the Death Star, with Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader on either side. Using cardboard cutouts of characters is another easy branding recommendation, and one we noticed a lot of this winter.
Win the Window Game
We all know that holiday shopping is synonymous with window displays — in fact, some stores, like high-end fashion retailer Bergdorf Goodman in New York, are so famous for their holiday windows, they were even a part of a documentary film.
The key is to start planning early, and to do your market research before the holiday rush. Figure out the most popular toys, and let anxious shoppers know you have them in stock by putting them in your window display. It’s really the time to get creative in your displays, so in addition to your colorful cardboard displays, create a little world for your toys to exist in. Tell a story in your display — one that could potentially continue inside the store! If you’re selling Star Wars merchandise, line the window with sand to look like Tatooine, or add Princess Leia braids onto a popular doll. One fun trick we love: put something that “doesn’t belong” somewhere in the window — customers will wonder what it’s doing there and come inside to find out.
The right retail toy display can generate excitement through creativity and ultimately be the best way to go. Don’t be afraid to have fun with it, and remember, there is no such thing as “over the top” during the holiday season.