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Evan Crass
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For some, the creation of a beautiful in-store display is an exercise in frustration. As soon as the items are arranged (and maybe a picture taken), they are unceremoniously disassembled and put in the shopping cart of a customer. But rather than being frustrated, we should be celebrating. A well executed display assists a customer in seeing how different items can be brought together to make a memorable outfit or a new look in a room.

Learning Through Imitation

At the recently completed Spring 2018 SMCo Thrift National Training Conference, Victoria Holland led a session on merchandising. She described some theories in design as well some best practices that can help in creating visually appealing displays. (You can read some of her tips & tricks in the post Staging Shows How An Item Will Look.)

But for those who weren’t in attendance, the next best teacher may be Cracker Barrel.

Cracker Barrel combines home cooking with a country store in each location. The country store includes a vast array of products in a small space, displayed creatively. Browsing through this space can yield tons of ideas to use in your thrift store.

Combining Different Items

Unlike traditional department stores that group together all items of the same type, the displays at Cracker Barrel include different items that complement each other. Each grouping still includes a theme, which is critical in the creation of a good display. But the varied nature of the items is what creates the interest that compels a customer to slow down and notice.

Since most customers of Cracker Barrel are visiting to eat, the created displays help facilitate an impulse purchase. The customer doesn’t even know they need what is displayed until they see it. Doesn’t that describe the customers of thrift stores too?

Visit a Cracker Barrel near you and put their ideas to work for you.