Firehouse Blog

Monthly Archive: July 2013

The Value of Retail Signage

terryblogAt Firehouse we spend most of our time and energy integrating software and hardware to increase productivity for our printing, fulfillment and packaging services. In all of our activity, on two continents, we seldom think about the value of what we do. Here, then, is a short course on the impact of signage at retail.

There is a science to retail shopping patterns and results. The financial stakes are enormous, and the science of shopping is unbelievably sophisticated. Study after study shows that signage is highly effective at creating purchases in the retail store, and that shoppers like and remember signage as part of the experience.

ValueOfRetailSignageIn the constant presence of online access, it’s important for retailers to remember that stores, brick and mortar stores, still account for 95% of all retail sales. Whether for decoration, information or directional, retail signage is a vital component in guiding that purchase decision.

Cutting through all the science and jargon of “retail merchandising,” consumers are grouped into four basic categories:

1. Those who will make specific, planned purchases
2. Those who will make generally planned purchases
3. Those who will make unplanned purchases
4. Those who will make brand substitution purchases

Since records started being kept in 1965, research shows shoppers are doing less specific planning and are more flexible in purchase decisions. A P.O.P.A.I. study on shopper engagement revealed up to 76% of all retail purchases fall into the last three categories. The vast majority of the purchase decisions are made at the point of the product or the graphic display. Shoppers often make purchase decisions only after seeing the actual product in the store. In-store graphics play a crucial role in educating and directing shoppers. Not only that, but brand substitution is largely triggered by the impact of in-store graphics. More than 1 in 6 purchases are made when a brand display is present in the store. And 60% of those displays are now in secondary locations off the main aisle. Cross-promoting (an antacid display in the salsa aisle) continues to increase sales.

Despite the recent advances in technology, this study reveals compelling data that suggests investing in the in-store environment will continue to have a positive impact on retail sales.


Terry Corman
Firehouse CEO