Retail Stores: using display for increasing sales

Retail stores all have a key objective- to sell as much of their product as possible and they all have different ways of achieving this dependant on the product, the price point, and customer demographic. The store display is geared to target their identified consumer.

Furniture stores all have the same objective: to sell as much of the product as possible, and the way this is approached is something we have spent the last thirty-five years refining.

Customer demographic is an important starting point, who are you aiming your product at?

What type of consumer is your likely customer base?

Store Display To Increase sales

For many of our clients, the demographic is wide as they would like to appeal to as wide a group of consumers as possible and their store display is geared to reflect this.

DFS Furniture Stores widened their appeal by buying other furniture retailers (Sofa Workshop, Dwell and Sofology) with different demographics to their own. Sofa Workshop appeals to a quality buyer, less interested in price and more interested in having the ability to choose the fabrics and styles to obtain a distinct look tailored for them. Dwell appeals to a younger, more design minded customer, and recently acquired Sofology broadens its appeal even further.

With this in mind, we design the stores in a way that plays to their core customer base without alienating customers that don’t fit into a particular category.

DFS stores have traditionally been out of town sites of between 10,000.00 -15,000.00 square feet and have been able to display a wide range of sofas and groups of varying styles and price points.


store display


This means that the presentation and planning of the stores is crucial to their success. The first and most important stage of any project is a knowledge of the product. We like to have as much information as possible to enable us to correctly place items within the store so that the customer journey works in a sequence that flows and allows all of the sofas and groups on offer to be viewed.

I always feel that initial impressions are very important, more so nowadays than ever before, as most people when shopping for a large ticket item such as furniture, will have looked online and formed opinions of the retailers and their offering, prior to arriving at the store. Retailers online can and do, present their furniture in a very attractive way using the right room settings and accessories to make the product look as attractive as possible.

To me, it is important that the store display can carry on this design level, so as not to disappoint the customer. If a product is not presented in a way that enhances its appeal and reflects what customers have seen on the website it can confuse and at worst, the sale is not made.

We always try to impress as soon as the customer walks through the front door, in fact even before because as soon as they drive into the car park we want our stores to stand out.

We want the customer to form the opinion that this is a brand they can trust, that they will find what they are looking for at a price that they are happy to pay.

We want the products on sale to look as appealing as possible, to this end we match the backdrops and room settings to the specifics ranges. The ceiling details are designed to enhance and the lighting is chosen to bring out the best in terms of colour rendition and impact.



Floor coverings have a dual purpose, they are there to display the product of course but they also have another role which is a little less obvious, we use them to guide the customer around the store and make them pause and look at specific items. The way we achieve this is to change colour or material so that they define areas. We have found that by changing a floor finish in a specific way we can make the customer stop and look around creating a pause in their journey around the store, which allows for considered positioning of point of sale, promoted items or interactive screens.

Technology has been a large part of the development of store display as it has allowed stores to showcase more ranges without physically having all the products on display. An example of this is at DFS. By the movement of a hand on an Ipad, a life size image of a sofa in the colour and style required by the customer can appear. Meaning that the store can be smaller with less stock and still be able to display all the ranges.

This has led the retailer to open smaller stores in shopping centres such as the Westfield Centre in London. I don’t think these would have been as successful as they have without the current technology available.

I am really excited to see what advantages technology has to offer us in the future as I really feel it will alter the landscape of retail, in fact I think it already has.


Image Credits

Feature Image: DFS

Main Body

Image 1: DFS

Image 2: Harveys

Photos by: Billy Bolton and Mike Swartz