If there is a choice between merchandising clothes between size order or colour then surely there is a choice between merchandising books. If your charity shop is a bookshop or has a very large book selection then alphabetizing is probably just a given, customers are expecting a well ordered and comprehensive selection. But if your a general shop with only a very small selection of books where your main customer is just looking to pick up a book that’s caught there eye or just a quick, cheap read, then how about merchandising by colour.
I do just mean fiction, to merchandise non – fiction by colour would be a whole level of confusion that would just distress customers. Colour blocking books looks excellent and really makes a book department stand out in a high street where charity shops book offerings seem to either of a very high standard or one module of disorganised chaos with a 4 for £1 offer. So where is the good middle ground of creating interest around a very small book department. The argument that’s for organised books by alphabetical author is that it makes it easy for the customer to find certain authors, but how many people are looking for an author over style of fiction. Can books not just be like clothes, where a customer picks up a new top just because its caught their eye not because they were specifically looking for it?
There is a reason for the colour of most fiction books and if your organised by colour you find that most similar type groups will be together. Many romance books are pinky/red covers, thrillers and crime are often black. Colour blocking your books could certainly create an impact and if your book department sales have gotten sluggish then what a great way to attract attention to them and get your customers talking and looking at the department. It could always be a short term thing and after its attracted people back to your book department then it could always go back to an alphabetised offering.
Of course if merchandising the department by colour is perhaps a step to far for you, then how about in a window display, books are often used in fashion and home displays because of their colour to add to the look of the window. But the use of colour of a larger selection of books in the window can make a big impact and can be used to create all sorts of different things in a display.