How to make your Retail Merchandise Unit Profitable

How to make your Retail Merchandise Unit Profitable

The footfall and broad demographic such venues offer, create a unique opportunity to put your goods in front of thousands of potential customers.

To do this you may want to consider your very own display unit or Retail Merchandise Unit (RMU)

Retail Merchandise Units create a niche-like slot in your promotional activity to really launch products to a targeted audience. But how do you turn this into a profit and keep it profitable?

Many of the different types of venues already mentioned have strict guidelines on size both in floor space and height. Venues look to maximise sight lines and ensure that Retail Merchandise Units look and feel part of these environments.

More than 80% of information processed by our brains comes through our sense of sight. This is why we sometimes see too much visual noise when retailers get it wrong with overwhelming printed promotions on virtually every shelf in-store.

By renting, or even commissioning your own custom-made Retail Merchandise Unit, every square centimetre of that retail space costs you money. So, in order to turn this into a profitable, money making space you need an effective and appealing display.

Visual merchandising is a tried and tested retail concept that concentrates on the attractive appeal of the product or display to grab the customers attention.

With this in mind let’s look at 7 ways visual merchandising can help make your RMU profitable.


Your Shop Front.

Yes, believe it or not, your Retail Merchandise Unit is your shop front and the only shop front shoppers can walk all the way around! So, make a good first impression right from the start by showing shoppers what your brand is all about. Think of your retail unit as a stage and your brand is the performance.



Decide on a theme that best illustrates your products to create a visually attractive display. This could be as simple as an integrated glass display cabinet instead of the whole retail merchandise unit.

Change your themed display regularly, not just to show-off new products, but to show shoppers your creativity, which is one of the best ways for increased shopper engagement.

Keep the visual noise down and do not confuse shoppers with mixed messages. Your story is unique to you. Allow space around your products so they can breathe.


Product Placement and Story Telling.

Stir shoppers imagine by displaying products together that can tell a story. For example, attract the inner make-up artist or beautician with tempting images of face make-up along with displays of applicators, brushes and make-up. This can be from particular products in a range or by age group. What you are looking to do is pull this all together into one unique story.



Avoid horizontal and vertical lines. Your shoppers are not at the supermarket, so throw your display out of kilter with an oddity. For example, an object or graphic that is totally irrelevant to the display but makes the shopper look twice.


Pecking Order

Though your Retail Merchandise Unit may be limited to your rented space, this does not mean you have to think small with your product display. Play around with the available height and avoid displaying products on one level. Create a pecking order so that one product is displayed at a different height to the next. This way, you will create a more engaging display to grab the shoppers attention and interaction.



Instead of laying your products flat, elevate them using small acrylic display stands or other props, or why not lean two products together!? Shoppers will see more of the product.

Why not ‘hero’ a product as a special offer and let other products flow around it?



It is all around and has a very emotional reaction to us human beings. So, why not  engage colour into your Retail Merchandising Unit?  Careful consideration of the use of colour will have a dramatic effect on shopper’s mood and perception. They will remember a colour before an object so colour choice is imperative. Research indicates that shoppers will decide to make a purchase within 90 seconds from their first encounter with products or people and over 60% of that first encounter is based on colour alone.



Use a subtle colour to any background to your display to help keep shoppers focused on your products. Solid, neutral colours work well as background colours.

Do not be afraid to experiment with colour. You want to stand out from this highly competitive thing called retail so don’t just copy what your neighbour has done. Your product is individual to you. Making the shopping experience individual is what will set you apart from the competition.



There is no getting away from it. Digital media, used in the form of Digital Signage, Touch Screen interactivity, Near Field Communication (NFC) and Augmented Reality (AR) is set to increase.

Movement will catch the eye instantly. Over 63% or people recently surveyed said that digital media grabs their attention. That attention is held further with engaging content and direct calls to action.

The integration of the media will increase the profitability of your Retail Merchandise Unit and should be considered as early as the initial design stage. The final sign-off for the overall design of your RMU will be at the venue’s discretion so early adoption is highly recommended.



Include a digital screen within your Retail Merchandise Unit that promotes your product and brand. Use it to promote a flash sale or special offer. Remember that all important “Call To Action”.

A digital touch screen will help show your full product inventory as well as allow shoppers to order on-line direct from your retail unit.



A well lit Retail Merchandising Unit will create a targeted light source that will attract the shoppers attention. Your space is limited so the best form of lighting is accent lighting, which draws the shopper to a specific product display. LED lighting technology has developed rapidly over the last 10 years. Research shows that areas lit by a warmer light, as opposed to cooler light cause shoppers to spend longer in these areas. Good packaging design and your retail space will only attract shoppers if your lighting is right.



Integrate shelf lighting at levels, especially on the lower shelves. Increase this with more dynamic lighting to hold the shoppers attention longer in this often forgotten area. Combine accent with back lighting particularly at the back of shelves.



Venues will restrict height down to as little as 1.5m in height, sometimes even lower.

Signage is everything when it comes to retail. Too much and you run the risk of being switched-off by shoppers because of information overload. Too little and the message you are looking to put out is mis-read or totally missed.

Your signage should draw the shopper to your product. Unless you are a recognised big brand, shoppers will not care who you are. What they care about is what you can give to them that satisfies their needs. If they are hungry tell them why they should eat your food.



Keep your signage simple, clear and to the point. Remember the 5 second rule. Does your signage get across the keys points in less than five seconds? If not, reword it or place the message across a number of signs.

Don’t waffle. Be direct and let the shopper know exactly what they can expect from you.

To help your shoppers to understand exactly what it is you provide, write using headline  text. Sometimes, this may be all a sign needs. For example “Flash Sale - Today Only”

If you can, back light your signage, particularly your brand to help identify you especially in environments that are brightly lit.

Above all, remember the call to action. A sign is your advertising board. They instruct and tell the reader what to do. Shoppers need a clear call to action to make your advertising successful.


For further help, or to arrange an informal chat about Retail Merchandise Units and how they can help support your product and increase sales revenue, then call James Hogg Display on 0330 333 6106 or email

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