Antique Store Wisdom: Stage Your Booth Like a Pro and Increase Sales

This weekend I smuggled my camera into Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie (sister companies). Both stores hire artists to stage a deliberate boutique experience, both stores project a thrift store/flea market chic aesthetic; and their sales are booming.

I browsed both of these retail giants and took note of Five Staging Tricks you should use to make your antique store displays alluring and successful.

1. Avoid Clutter and Group Like Items
Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters are not trying to recreate a bargain bin or thrift shopping experience- if they did that they couldn't raise the prices in their Made in China wonderlands! These stores have uncluttered and beguiling displays where merchandise is easily spotted (and quickly purchased!)

2. Be Unique
Experiment. Be artistic and try something that hasn't been done before. People will be attracted to your unique display, so don't be afraid to let your true style shine through.

3. Tell a Story
I love how Anthropologie's displays tell a story. Show how your items solve a problem, tell a story your shoppers can relate to.

4. Switch it Up Often
Retail stores add new merchandise and change displays frequently, this gives shoppers incentive to come back. I switch up items weekly and add new inventory monthly to keep my booth fresh.

5. Be Cheap
Don't spend a dime on your staging efforts. Use scrap paper, fabric, and everyday items in your displays. This will force you to be creative and innovative while saving your cash for more important things. (Like rewarding yourself with an item or two from the antique store. And hell yes, I'm an instigator.)

[All Photos taken by me at Urban Outfitters & Anthropologie in the St. Johns Town Center.]

I'm going to apply these tips to my booth this week, and you should too! I'll report back and let you know if my sales improve simply from using these five staging tricks.

Previous Antique Store Wisdom Posts:

[2/02/2011]
Don't Underprice Your Items
[2/10/2011] Should You Rent a Booth at the Antique Store?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

18 comments:

  1. I wish I had enough items that went together but it's hard with genuine vintage stuff. I do try that trick though and I find it does help. All milk glass stays together, all Pyrex, etc etc. Nice tips and I wish you much success!

    Ps: one other tip that I find is super important? Switch it up OFTEN! It's all about the merchandising and re-merchandising. If you have something that has been sitting around for a month or so, move it somewhere else. You will often find that it will suddenly sell! The key to many of these large chain stores is that nothing ever stays the same for very long. Make that happen in your space too, even if it just means reconfiguring once a month.

    :)

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  2. Oh and I know you mentioned that tip already but I just wanted to stress that one again!! ;)

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  3. Great ideas and great pictures! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. great post! these stores have amazing displays!

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  5. Great ideas!
    It's good to learn from other stores that are doing well..they must be doing something right:o)
    Hope you visit my Moroccan Boho Fashion & Design blog at:
    www.maisonmarrakech2010.blgspot.com
    Thanks!
    Reina

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  6. The Vintage Cabin: Thank you so much for the tips, every bit helps! It difficult to arrange unique vintage items nearly, they're not ubiquitous and factory produced like the ones on retail shelves.

    I was going to remove some items and place them in the antique store's "common area" to achieve a cleaner look.

    (Also, I amended to rule and added "Often" for extra emphasis on its importance :)

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  7. I always thought Urban Outfitters also has a nice color scheme. The colors pop when contrasted against each other, yet they still seem to have that muted color tone individually. I think that's also what keeps that vintage/thrift appeal.
    Also...I want all of those owls!

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  8. Excellent observations! You know, I totally agree with the first point especially. Like items and enough space make it easy to see what's there. Thanks for the photos, too. Makes it easy to 'see' each point.

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  9. What a unique blog. My family has always had antique shops, I'll have to share you with them.

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  10. If you have a really eclectic mix of items that prevents you putting like items together; then I find grouping by colour very effective. People are drawn to their favourite colours instinctively. When shopping for the home in particular, people often have a very specific colour scheme in mind. Grouping like colours can make for a very cohesive and successful alternative merchandising strategy.
    Fabulous post :)
    Px

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  11. awesome tips i actually saw anthropologies for the 1st time last week at ny and I gotta say I loved their displays!

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  12. Loved these pictures since I don't have these stores around my parts. Thanks! :D

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  13. These are all smart tips. I often go into Anthropologie just to look at their displays.

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  14. I couldn't agree more about staging your booth ! We go every week to make little changes and spiff things up. Even though I love booths that are full of items sometimes it is hard to see or move around. I am trying to come up with some thrifty shelving.

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  15. There are too many persons who are fond of antiques and want to keep a collection of these things but they are unable to do so because they can not identify antiqueness for an antique. Those will surely get satisfied from here as this is providing ways for identification of woods and their antiqueness. Thank you very much for taking time to discuss such type of informative post.

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  16. Nice post! I liked the way you get to the point - which is always useful. Most blogs are a bit too verbose for me, this one fits nicely. Cheers!
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