With technology at their fingertips and their nose to their phone, it can be challenging to get students to look up every once and awhile. That’s why Sheila LaFerney, coordinator of textbooks and general merchandise at Oklahoma City Community College Bookstore, decided to get creative.
In an effort to call attention to the array of product offerings at her store, LaFerney frequently updates her window displays with themes that are anything but ordinary.
“I’ve found that the more unusual I make my displays, the more attention the store attracts,” she explained. “I try to highlight products that students may not know we carry and call them out in a fun way.”
Infusing her personality into each eye-catching design, LaFerney often pairs the old with the new.
“Besides the bookstore, my other passion is re-salvaging furniture from auctions or estate sales,” she said. “So, I usually incorporate some of these items as a focal point. We’ve used everything from a refinished French door to an old dresser to accent our own products.”
When seeking new ideas, LaFerney often looks to magazines or other retail stores in the area for inspiration. She also tries to reference popular events students can relate to, as a way to generate buzz about the bookstore.
“I try to take note of what’s around me and think of ways I could apply it to our store,” she said. “Most recently, my favorite display has been our recreation of the Royal Wedding. We sat two of our mannequins, dressed in OCCC gear, on an old church pew and gave the bride a veil and the groom a boutonniere. It was a huge hit with the students!”
Changing themes every 4-6 weeks, however, she says several displays have made an impression on the store’s customers.
“Students love checking back to see what’s new in our window,” she explained. “They’re always asking me how I come up with the ideas. I think the key is to get away from the convention that your displays have to meet a certain standard and just have fun with it!”
Although her themes are sometimes are attention-grabbing, LaFerney cautions that there is a balance. To others in the industry looking to jazz up their displays, LaFerney shared one final piece of advice.
“There’s no need to overload the window with product; less is really more in this case,” she advised.