Willow Street Merchandising- the exterior

Since I have taken my class at the Fashion Institute of Technology, I've learned to see stores through a different eye. I am able to see it from the eye of a consumer, but I'm also able to see it through a merchandiser's eye too. The difference between the two is that a customer sees what they want to buy or be inspired. They don't notice if there's something wrong with the way a store displays their products, or the texture of the interior, or how the merchandise is presented. That's what a merchandiser does. They notice how the store signage impacts the communication of the products being sold, they notice how the products are presented, and a customer's journey throughout the store. 

Today, I went to Willow Street in Summit, New Jersey to look at it through a Merchandisers view and here are the observations from the exterior of the store that I found interesting. 

Store Name: Willow Street in Summit, New Jersey. 


Neighborhood and store type: Women's boutique in a suburban, upscale neighborhood.

Exterior building architecture: Located on a Main Street. There is a basic store front with glass windows, so people could see the kind of styles that they sell.  The building cornerstone states 1897!


Shop front/Facade: The three mannequins were lined up at the shop front as a way to attract customers. There were a lot of local activity ads on the front of the door as you walk in to show that Willow Street is also active within the community. These activities included a Halloween Parade, Fire Prevention week poster and an Oak Knolls Royal Boutique fundraiser. They also had a promotion for an AG Denim trunk show.


Signage and Identification: There was minimal signage on the exterior of the store. Customers knew when they were open and they times they were because it was visible on the glass windows. 


What are the main focal points of the windows?: They exposed their more casual, layering pieces by showing the mannequins in fall sweaters, jackets (one vest and one leather), matching hats, bags, and one men's shirt. They seem to change the window quite often due to high foot traffic on the Main Street.


What is the overall theme of the store?: The overall theme of Willow Street, just from the appearance of the exterior, was casual with a hip and edgy flare. A fur vest was for the "hip" customer, while the leather jacket was intended for the "edgy" customer. Looking at these three mannequins, they appeal  different customers.


Stay tuned for my post next week on the elements of interior design!


Alexis CareyComment