Let’s Talk Exterior Presentations


We’re starting from the outside and working our way into visual merchandising, getting more in depth as we go. So next up is exterior presentations.

Exterior Presentations Create First Impressions

Visual merchandising starts on the outside of a retail store. This is because the quality of a storefront is the first determining factor in whether or not a customer will enter. A great exterior presentation will, within seconds, attract the customer’s attention, spark their interest and encourage them to enter.

Changes to the exterior presentation of a retail store will give the impression changes have also been made to the shop’s interior (ie. new products). This can also draw customers into the store. The type of visual merchandising used in the stroefront should continue into the shop to tell a seamless story.

The Exterior Make Up of a Shop

This is known as the storefront and is where first impressions are first made on the customer. It generally consist of the following:

An Entrance

These are designed with customer convenience and store security in mind. There are several types of entrances, each of which portray a certain image:

Revolving – these are commonly found in upscale stores and also allow large numbers or people to pass in and out. Revolving doors can also have an added security benefit as they can restrict entry to one person at a time.

Push/Pull – usually found in small food, coffee and retail outlets with lower foot traffic.

Electronic – these are normally ar self-service store where customers push carts.


Signs convey the shop’s name, logo and identity (ie. typeface and graphics). They can also communicate information about a retail store’s merchandise or promotions, as well as emphasise a theme.


Window Displays

This is where the selling starts. Window displays give a brief introduction to the store, suggesting the type of merchandise it carries. They also help in image creation. There are a wide range of window display types and styles, which vary based on form (eg. shape and size) and function (eg. Promote a sale).

The Building Itself

A building’s architecture plays a role in communicating a retail store’s image. This includes the type of building materials, structural style, colours and textures. Take for instance a Victorian brownstone. A shop with a cozy and tastefully cluttered image would find this to be the perfect home.

Want to dig in deeper to visual merchandising? Or, need a pro to ensure your exterior presentations mirror your shop’s image? Speak to VM Central about our workshops and consultancy service.

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