Of all the elements incorporated within visual merchandising, window displays are often the most direct in attracting potential new customers.

They are usually the first point of visual contact a consumer has with a store and the starting step of the retail experience.

Eye-catching and appealing window displays can easily be the difference between a consumer coming into the store to view more or walking by. 

The importance of window displays

Retailers need an effective window display in order to drive traffic into their stores. It's a unique form of advertising which defines a store and gives the consumer an idea of what the brand is all about.

They are an effective form of merchandising and often creative and different types of window displays create talking points amongst consumers and other retailers.

Research from Russell R. Mueller suggests that displays can increase sales by 540%, and a well-planned hotspot can increase sales by 229%. Hotspots are the areas of your store that get the most traffic and are the most visible.

More than half of those surveyed (63%) in a recent report admitted that digital signage catches their attention.


Types of window displays

There are many different types of window displays and the one used will often depend on the store. Each brand will have a different focus and approach which will reflect in the style of display they use. The variety and importance of window displays are demonstrated by Mulberry and Thorntons: with Mulberry focusing on heritage and luxury, displaying very few high-value products, in contrast to Thorntons, who are at the higher end of high street retail, and utilise their window displays to cross-sell products before visitors even enter the store.

The main types of window display include: closed, semi closed, open, elevated, corner, island and shadow box.

Open Window Display

Importance of window displays

In Topshop's latest window display they worked with Blacks VM to create engaging visuals.

The ‘Neon Summer’ installation takes its inspiration from summer and features neon lighting words, mannequins in festival themed clothing and white plinths lit up with neon lighting tubes.

The open back window displays give glimpses further into the store.


Closed Window Display

Importance of window displays

Mulberry also created engaging visuals in their latest window display.They took their inspiration from the AW17 Ready-to-wear collection in which checks make a feature. They created a grid structure which added depth to the display and sat against a deep green closed display. 


Island Window Display

Importance of window displays

Island window displays are usually found in large department and flagship stores, where retailers have a huge space to fill but also want to create a sense of focus on the latest products or promotions.

River Island launched their new flagship with a central island window display that was tiered to elevate each mannequin above the next. Flanked either side by a full height window display, the island display captures attention because of the clean natured design - in contrast to the range of product colours in the background.


Semi-closed window displays


Semi-closed windows are created in an attempt to mix the structure that closed window provide, and the inviting feel that open windows create. 

This type of window display usually consists of a partial screen or graphic display, that covers the majority - but not the whole - of the window.

Apple, who are famous for their open plan stores, do this particularly well. They frame their latest products with coloured backgrounds or interactive elements, that sit back far enough from the (usually) all glass front allowing passersby to see in-store.


Corner Window Displays 

Importance of window displays

Put simply, these are window displays created on the corner of stores, however, retailers have continued to innovate in their approach to corner window displays. 

Traditionally a tricky area to merchandise from an interior perspective, by freeing up this space for a corner window display, retailers can create continuity in awareness as people walk around the outside of the store.

Elevated Window Displays

Importance of window displays

Elevated window displays are commonly used in jewellery and cosmetic applications, particularly for higher value items where the shopper is likely to only make a single purchase.

This type of elevated display is used to raise featured products enough to catch the eye, usually combined with a graphic display or method of displaying the item itself to raise awareness even further.

Particularly useful for smaller items, elevated window displays ensure products are in the ‘sweet-spot’ of shopper awareness, with lighting below and further messaging higher in the display.

Shadowbox window displays

Importance of window displays

Shadowbox displays feature heavily in the windows of stores that specialise in smaller items such as jewellery and accessories.

They draw the attention of the consumer to the delicate products which would often be lost in a larger scale window display.

Louis Vuitton geometric-inspired shadow box displays feature jewellery collections set against 20’s inspired backdrops with rich colours and concealed lighting. 



With strategic planning and innovative designs, window displays can effectively create brand awareness.

At Unibox, we’re experts in retail display, combining advanced technologies in engineering and light to drive sales for brands and retailers. 

Download our brochure to see our range of retail displays and solutions or contact us for more information