The art of the window display

Window displays are an integral part of the charity shop experience. in hand with the visual merchandising inside the shop they are what define a shops character. In a time when charity shops are ever on the increase on our high streets, defining a shops ‘personality’ is what can really set a shop apart and make it a destination shop. Creativity and charity shops are a match made in heaven, there’s nothing quite like the treasure trove of a shops backroom, full of unusual bits and bobs  all perfect for an imaginative volunteer to turn into a unique display.

There are so many different types of window display. I would define them as :

  • The window with a message – The message in this type of window could be anything but the main types would be conveying the charity’s aims, asking for donations and recruiting volunteers. The purpose of this type is usually to gain something, it works best when the messaging is kept clear and simple. The customer needs to look and understand its point almost instantly.voluntee
  • The window to sell, sell, sell –  By this I mean a window that is jam-packed with stock, with the sole aim of selling. This is probably the most difficult type of window to make look visually attractive. However if done well it can look amazing and it’s probably more suited to certain product types such as homewares.packed
  • The themed window – This kind of window can look great and make money. A well planned window calendar and stock saving can really show customers that a shop knows its stuff and that when they enter your store they can expect a well-edited selection of stock. Creating unusual themes in the window is also another great bonus that charity shops have over general high street retail, they just can’t compete.


  • The Installation window – This type is a great way of making the best use of all the treasures that get donated and can last longer in the window. For example creating seasonal scenes but spending a lot more time on them so they can last a quite a few weeks without looking boring can be really effective. For example creating a wintry scene complete with full size trees and polar bears with space to display a regular changing products from the shop. Another kind could also be the creation of something smaller that catches the eye like a Christmas tree made out of books or a tie mannequin. Neither item is for sale but the impact on the customer will send them into your store interested at what they may find.


On this blog, we will be featuring pictures of great displays from the nations charity shops. It will be similar to our Facebook page but we will go into more details about the displays.


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