Retail Thrift Book Departments: How to Create a Profitable Display
In the retail world, displays play an important role in making your store visually appealing and marketing your product. This holds true of books in retail thrift—maintaining robust book displays draws customers into your book section, highlights more valuable items, and ultimately drives sales.
The benefits of book displays are manifold. Because presentation adds value to the product you are selling, you are able hit a higher profit margin on displayed books. Interested in adding or improving a book display? Here are some tips!
Maximizing your book display’s effectiveness:
- Check the display at least three times a day: Bringing fresh product is best, but if there is no new product to rotate into existing stock, making it visually different every day is a great way to keep it fresh!
- Shelve old stock in the general section, at a lower price point, if it doesn’t sell. We have found customers won’t shop stagnant areas.
- Dress it up: Do you have decorative items in your housewares department? Attractive textiles? Great! There are easy, cost-effective ways to make your display more appealing. Cover an old table with a sheet, find some flowers and nick-knacks… voila!
- Keep it clean and organized: Ensure books are facing out with titles visible, the stock isn’t too cluttered, and items that don’t belong are removed during consistent straightening.
How to put together a display in an optimal location:
- Build off flat surfaces: The surface should be easy to reach—not too low or high for customers to browse. Adding depth to a table by setting a glass cube, or a sturdy, covered box, makes your display stand out while increasing shopability.
- Location: The front of the store, preferably directly in front of the register, is prime real estate for displays for two reasons. One, customers waiting in line to purchase may pick up an item that catches their eye. Two, this location directs attention to your general stock when customers are entering your store. However, a display table next to the book section is another great spot to highlight star product.
What types of books should be on display:
- Condition and quality of the product being placed in these areas are crucial! Regardless of subject, clean items with limited signs of use are good candidates.
- New product: Books published in the last few years
- Local History
- Young Adult Series
- Graphic Novels
- Particularly unique or attractive cookbooks, especially on specific themes (examples run the gambit from desserts to in-fashion diets).
- Popular Authors and Titles
- Keep an eye on bestseller lists! The New York Times is a great resource.
- Every region is different. Keep an eye on what sells in your area!
It’s important to reflect a variety of subjects to mirror the diverse interests of customers. For example, some customers come for cookbooks, some like history, and others come for fiction. In this vein, a book doesn’t have to be new to go up front. Themed displays, such as seasonal or genre-based, also work well.
There are many creative avenues to ramp up your book department’s appeal. When you don’t have access to a stand-alone unit to place your product, simply adding star attraction books to your other store displays serves the same purpose. We hope this guide inspires you to boost your sales with a book display!