Southern California Sign Blog

LA Signs | Retail Industry: Move Merchandise with In-store Signage

Posted by Julie and Chris Ramirez on Thu, Dec 8, 2011 @ 06:12 AM

Retail Industry: Move Merchandise with In-store Signage

Whether the seasons are changing or the next generation of a product has arrived, every retailer faces the same challenge of moving older stock to make room for newer products. Well-placed, professional signage can help liquidate the last of your stock and make room for the new best-sellers.

Paco Underhill is the CEO and founder of Envirosell, a global retail research and consulting firm.  He offers many helpful tips about in-store signage in his book Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping.

“Putting the right sign in the wrong place is worse than putting a so-so sign in the perfect place,” according to Underhill, “Putting a sign that requires twelve seconds to read in a place where customers spend four seconds is just slightly more effective than putting it in your garage.”

Underhill says every store is a collection of zones and retailers have to map them out before placing in-store signage in the optimal spots. For example, it is very ineffective to place any signage or merchandise immediately inside the store’s entrance. Shoppers are adjusting to the abrupt change in stimuli from the outdoor parking lot to the store interior. They will breeze past anything in this “readjustment zone.”

Bob Radcliffe, Jr., Director of Marketing for Display Dynamics, Inc. recommends creating a “Power” display at the front of the store that acts as both a speed bump and a billboard. It doesn’t necessarily have to contain merchandise, but should encourage consumers to get in the shopping mindset. Target Stores has had great success with this tactic, creating a “1 Spot” Dollar Store power display at the front of the store. It encourages customers to begin shopping the moment they enter the store and makes them think other deals are available further into the retail establishment.

Once ideal sign placement has been determined, Underhill recommends the following for sign content:

  • Get the audience’s attention. If you don’t get their attention first, nothing that follows will register.
  • Present your message in a clear, logical fashion (beginning, middle, end).
  • Deliver the information the way people absorb it- a bit at a time, in the proper sequence.
  • If you tell them too much too soon, they’ll get confused and give up, ignoring the message all together.

According to research from the In-Store Marketing Institute product imagery on signs is highly effective:

Floor Decal

Excellent content can be further bolstered by having signage professionally printed in contrasting colors. Radcliffe also says signs can multiply the power of a price reduction by a factor of six. Utilize the above tips to provide high-impact, point-of-purchase messaging that drives sales and liquidates older inventory.

If you have any questions or need further information, please give us a call at (818) 843-9200 or visit our website at – You can also reach us by e-mail at


Topics: sign advertising, Store Signs, Merchandise Signs