With the cost of retail space rising, many brands are incorporating concession displays into larger stores. A designated area within a host retailer, allocated to a specific brand, the shop-in-shop concept has long been popular in specialist department stores.

Fashion and beauty retailers, in particular, have seen the benefits of operating smaller retail outlets within a larger store. And, a familiar sight in shopping centres, airports, and other retail environments, showcases, kiosks, and stand-alone counter solutions are also helping retailers to increase brand impact, customer interaction, and sales - at a fraction of the cost of a full store space.


The benefits of a concession display

The attraction of a concession within a larger store or commercial space is that both brands benefit from the mutual association. For example, a new label sold in an esteemed shopping centre - such as Selfridges - can piggyback off the reputation of the larger retailer, adding to its prestige. Likewise, concession retailers don’t have to worry about directly targeting new customers, with a captive audience readily available.

In return, some concessions are so popular that they become shopping destinations in their own right; delivering increased footfall to department stores. And, speciality shops help to inject new life into large retailers; with pop-ups, in particular, creating excitement around a product or brand. For example, after pairing up temporarily with tattoo parlour Metalmorphosis in Topshop's Liverpool store, this model has since rolled-out across the country, including in Topshop’s very own Oxford Circus flagship store.

However, while this reciprocal agreement works, all too often there is nothing to distinguish between smaller retailers when it comes to concession displays; and with engaging shoppers key to the long-term success of any business, retailers everywhere need to up their game or risk being left behind.

To help our retail customers, the design and display experts at Unibox have collated their top three tips on how best to create engaging brand concession displays:


Light it up

Lighting helps to create a powerful, multi-sensory experience that evokes genuine customer emotions. As such, how light is used in retail concessions is crucial.

Feature lighting brings brands to life and is increasingly being used by retailers to communicate a unique identity. The unfortunate truth is that retail displays have become predictable, resulting in decreased customer engagement. All too often there is very little to distinguish between concessions, so to get noticed, bespoke lighting solutions are recommended to ensure individuality, maximise impact, and reinforce brand awareness. Consider neon-like LED derivatives to capitalise on the latest design trends, without the hassle of traditional neon, or use LED lightboxes in new and exciting ways.

Of course, shoppers react best when they can properly see a product. As such, light is integral to featured products. To make goods stand out, retailers must invest in a quality combination of general and accent lighting - increasing brightness in some areas and lowering it in others - to help draw the eye and focus attention.

However, a word of warning – customers are becoming desensitised to light alone - especially in busy stores. As such, savvy retailers are increasingly turning towards lightbox technology that moves and reacts to shoppers. Technology such as Kinetik, which creates interior backdrops and engaging promotional spaces, or Kontakt shelving which can animate lighting sequences based on proximity and/or engagement.


Reconfigure regularly

Relevancy is a challenge that faces all retailers. At certain times of the year, particular products may be in higher demand than others, and design trends change all too quickly. It’s no wonder, therefore, that concession displays can swiftly look dated or out of sync with customers.

Rather than keeping the design of a shop-in-shop fixed all year round, retailers must be able to make changes to continue to re-engage customers. Modular and customisable, Retail Merchandising Units (RMUs) are an excellent way to meet the changing needs of you brand, space, and products.

A high-quality, versatile solution for retailers and shopping centre owners, reconfigurable displays help to create attention-grabbing product displays and counters, with bespoke configurations that can be scaled up or down as required. For example, the Sol modular display system offers a comprehensive range of extruded aluminium profiles, connectors, and accessories, which, when combined, create truly bespoke retail displays, stands, and solutions.


Invest in social selling

In a nutshell, social selling uses the data, insights, and relationships generated by social channels to increase sales.

Using social channels as part of the sales process has become the norm rather than the exception, with modern customers experiencing multiple touchpoints with brands on their path to purchase.

By establishing relationships with shoppers - before they’ve even come into a store - social selling helps retailers to make sure that customers know where to find them – even if they are not quite ready to make a purchase.

Incorporating social media accounts into graphic displays could help you to enhance the customer journey beyond the physical store. However to be successful at social selling, simply being on social media and sharing your account names isn’t enough. Instead, retailers must consider how social selling sits alongside more traditional sales and marketing activity.


At Unibox, we transform ideas into a technical reality, collaborating with retailers and design agencies to create attractive, engaging retail displays and environments that sell products more effectively. To find out more about how we can help you, contact us today for an informal chat.