Use store displays to appeal to local culture

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Retailers can use visual merchandising strategies to tap into local culture. Often when customers come to a store, they enjoy being in a specific neighborhood or city. This also makes going out to a store seem more like going to a destination. Retailers can play up localization strategies by using store display ideas.

Even big brands use these types of strategies. For instance, according to VMSD, Adidas has been establishing store locations that appeal to the specific geographical areas they open in. The brand used signage to appeal to locals, as well as keeping each store location unique. The Adidas logo has been merged with a map of the cities these stores reside in to create an individual experience at each location.

A separate VMSD article highlighted a similar strategy from Walgreens. Though the brand has mass appeal, part of its approach is through local culture. For instance, rather than making each location look the same, the company has adopted to unique locations and preserved the elements that make them special. One of its Chicago locations has taken over a space formerly inhabited by a bank. Rather than renovate it completely, the Walgreens store maintained the vault, which now contains the vitamin section.

How to use visual merchandising for localization 
Business large and small can employ localization strategies to make their stores more appropriately fit the area. Employing these ideas is also a good way to turn a store into more of a destination.

Use props and decor
Many stores use props and decor like backdrops and screens, creates and contains and other elements to create an engaging environment. If you're in a specific city, consider using elements of the skyline or natural life, such as nearby mountains, to set the scene.

Make a mannequin display
Mannequins are a great prop to create an environment. Once you've created the atmosphere, use clothes and accessories on your mannequins to demonstrate how your merchandise belongs in this setting. Customers will see themselves out in the city, wearing your clothes. Are there specific fashion trends people in your neighborhood are interested in? Tie them into the display. Make it feel authentic.

Utilize signage
No localization strategy is complete without signage. Eye-catching signage makes the approach cohesive by calling out to the locals directly. If you're in a specific neighborhood, like the Wicker Park area in Chicago, use this landmark in signage. Use the names of local sports teams, or local inside jokes. Using the right language ensures that you get the image of the area right. 

Retailers can successfully use visual merchandising to create a sense of place that appeals to local customers. Whether you're a big brand in a specific market or a small business that wants to appeal to local culture, the right combination of props, mannequin displays and signage can go a long way.

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