Theatrics in display merchandising can be very effective if applied in moderation and arranged for maximum impact.   So what has gone so wrong?

  • Red and black plays to the idea of drama, but here it is overwhelming.  Students often fall into the trap of designing according to emotional ideas instead of dispassionate analysis.
  • The merchandise is relegated to bits of white and must compete with reflections from the mall concourse above.
  • The glossy black stone has some reflective properties but it is not used to any advantage.  The red is dark, and absorbs light, limiting  the sparkle to a viewers direct line of vision and all but eliminating secondary reflections.
  • The white floor and light mall concourse surrounding force the red and black store to merge into a single static mass.
  • The entire composition ends up looking like a dark dinner plate on a light table.  The silver disappears.


In the new prototype here the Swarovski design team has manage an amazing correction.    They  have grabbed the attention of passing shoppers and claimed their place in the mall-scape with, quite literally, a tiny product.  What works?

  • The rule of contrast has been bravely broken, i.e. attention may be drawn to an object by surrounding it with a bigger contrasting object.  Actually, it was not so brave, considering the hard lesson learned from the old store.
  • merchandise light boxes, varying light levels and especially the “white box” are the means, by dint of their reflective properties, of exponentially increasing the visual impact of the store.
  • Add sparkling merchandise ganged for affect, shinny surfaces including the faux crystal sign band and lit logo;  now reflections of secondary color set the space in motion.
  • By happy accident, the white line of mall tile extends the storefront in both direction, encouraging the shopper to follow the path directly to the store.
  • Such a visually stimulating environment is dynamic enough to captivate even the most preoccupied shopper.
  • Like a carnival in the cityscape, a passerby wants to see what is going on.