By Marc Dudley, Director of Visual Merchandising
This month we are talking about CAUSES and how individual retailers can help with their chosen Cause.
A CAUSE is defined as “a person or thing that acts, or exists in such a way that some specific thing happens as a result.” It is a “principle, ideal, goal, or movement to which a person or group is dedicated.”
There are many different causes that we as individuals or Retail Stores can become involved and support. I recently heard of a young man who wanted to raise One Million Dollars to give to the Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas to repay for the help that the Hospital had given to him. He, with the help of the community, raised that much and more. I saw this week on the Today Show a man who biked across country to raise awareness for Congenital Heart Defect, a cause which affected him. These are only two examples of Causes to get involved with. Others are Diabetes, Women’s Health, Prostate Cancer, Autism, HIV/AIDS, and many, many more.
How do you choose a Cause to support? The important thing is to make it Personal, both to you and to the community. Many Causes are nationally known, but if you personalize your cause in your retail store, it will have a Human Factor, and a human interest story.
Another cause is the support of Transplant patients. If you know someone in your community who is a transplant, honor that individual and others during Transplant Awareness Time. On a personal note, my Father is a Kidney Transplant survivor, and each October we honor him with a “birthday party” for his soon to be 15 year old Kidney.
Since this is about Visual Merchandising Tips, and we are approaching Breast Cancer Awareness Month let’s get to some TIPS:
- PINK PINK PINK : this is the color for OCTOBER
- On the wall where you will do your display, paint PINK and use pictures of local survivors, or well known persons. Use saying, words, or phrases to personalize your display. Some ideas are: love, support, care, laugh, dream, visualize, rainbows, pray, friends, follow your dreams, or plan ahead. These can be hand painted by a local artist or involve the school. Many teenagers are looking for a Cause to get involved with and many are affected by the loss of a Mother, Sister, Aunt or friend. They can become a “teen-angel” for your Cause. This, again, is involving the community.
PINK RIBBON is the symbol for the month. You can make your pink ribbons by using strips of satin ribbon attached with small safety pins. Place these in a bowl for your customers to help in the Cause. Make a LARGE PINK RIBBON by using ½ “ thick foam rubber, cut into 9” x 72” strips. Wrap Pink Satin around the cut foam, or stuff like a pillow case.
- Above the display area hang objects like many different sneakers, painted pink, representing the Walk for Breast Cancer, or paint a bicycle or 2 and hang them to represent the “ride for the cause” that may be in or around your community
- Select all the PINK merchandise in your store and feature on a table for the month. Don’t forget to rearrange and rotate this merchandise so that it continues to look fresh and new.
- Make it personal. Both for yourself, your staff, and for the community
- REMEMBER: This is a CAUSE, a movement to which a person or group is dedicated.