Boutiques are more popular than ever because of the unique and custom designed clothing that they sell. Boutique owners need to find interesting and unique ways to showcase their clothing to stay ahead of the competition. Promoting and merchandising are a little different for boutiques because of the cutting edge ways in which they need to go about it to work on their brand image.
First, consider the feel of your store. The atmosphere is set in many ways, but for boutiques, it’s all in the details. Your lighting alone should showcase certain areas of the store and set the tone and mood. Customers should feel a certain way as soon as they walk in. Using lighting to calm or excite is one way to start out. Many boutiques use drop down decorative spotlights and lamps to keep things highly illuminated without resorting to harsh overhead lights.
Think about what customers will see when they come in, as they walk around, and as they look through your clothing racks. They should initially see varied textures and displays at different heights. Use tables, garment racks, and interesting things to hang from, such as antique armoires or hat racks. You can even hang art or abstract items on hooks from the ceiling to accent different areas of the store.
Make sure that your displays are always kept orderly and neat. In a boutique, there are often a lot of unique items that don’t fit into categories. These can be showcased in a lot of different ways, just make sure that you don’t make any one area cluttered, or people won’t feel like sifting through. Many boutiques effectively maintain an orderly disorder and it adds to the charm of the boutique.
Details come in many forms. Think about what details you want to add from floor to ceiling. The floor may call for interesting rugs. Be careful not to put rugs in heavily trafficked areas where people might trip over the edges. Hopefully customers will be looking at the merchandise and not the floor! Use rugs in small areas where you have seating or larger items that sit on the floor so that they don’t become a liability.
Your garment racks themselves can be interesting. There are many on the market that are designed for boutiques. They have decorative details and designs that entertain as they display. You can also use other things, like dressers and tables to display so that it doesn’t end up looking like a regular retail store. Avoid a lot of circular or really long racks. It doesn’t do much for the eye and will end up being ignored for more interesting displays.
Have your tags and hangers custom designed. Many wooden hangers can be embossed with your logo, a saying, a picture or a brand. Wood hangers also add to the charm and sophistication of the boutique. Plastic hangers may be cheap, but they’ll say something about the quality of your clothes and are much more likely to damage your inventory. Wood hangers exude the sense of quality and strength. They also come in a lot of different styles, like shirt hangers, skirt hangers, and dress hangers. The specialty hanger sizes and styles are well suited to the custom clothing that you carry.