Gift Shop

Gift Shop Pets Winter 2020

magazine for retailers at gift shops and specialty stores

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GIFTSHOPMAG.COM 15 Circle 674 Circle 673 people feel like they're discovering something new every time they go into a retail store," said owner Rob Van Sickle. He added that he likes to create "surprise moments" for customers and may leave with a few extra impulse buys. Polkadog employees are empowered to put their own twist on displays so merchandising strategies vary from store to store. "Everybody who works with us has a different viewpoint," Van Sickle said. "One person's imagination and creativity can open up a door to other opportunities." Displays strive to tell a story, whether it's through color, texture or functionality. Polkadog also has an unusual merchandising challenge in that the shop carries its own branded products as well as products from other vendors. "Telling that story cohesively while simultaneously being mindful of the difference between Polkadog the retail store and Polkadog the brand dictates a lot of our thinking and strategy," Van Sickle said. "As our retail business has grown and matured, we've grown and matured with how we're merchandising things and how we're thinking about branding." Several locations use branded crates to differentiate Polkadog products, but Polkadog's newest retail location in Boston's Seaport neighborhood tackles this challenge with wooden and steel shelves that carry Polkadog branding. "It allows us to showcase our own manufactured products in a clean, organized and attractive way," Van Sickle said. However, one unifying strategy is that Polkadog employees try to make displays look overflowing and full but not messy, often grouping like items together. "Imagine a product display at a really nice grocery store," Van Sickle said. "It looks bountiful but it's streamlined." Susan Johnston Taylor is a full-time freelance writer whose work allows her to apply her childlike curiosity and love of language on a daily basis. Her writings appear in national newspapers, magazines, blogs, company websites, and consumer magazines.

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