Nothing is more important than an appealing, attractively designed shop window. In many cases the decision on whether to enter the store is based on the first impression of the window display. An imaginative shop window display maximises store visibility and provides the customer with a first taste of the special and emotional customer journey that awaits them inside.
Depending on the type of retailer and location, shop windows perform several functions. In many cases retailers opt for semi-open or closed-back shop windows, although the location of the store also affects the choice of shop window type. A store nestled between city centre thoroughfares will have different technical requirements of a lighting concept than a south-facing, light flooded store in a rural setting. The overall store design concept is the most important criterion when choosing a shop window type.
Perspective is another crucial factor in the selection process. The exterior and interior store concepts have to be harmonised, so it is necessary to consider the weather-dependent daylight, the shop window lighting and the sales floor lighting.
When we look into a closed-back shop window from the outside, we generally see a sales-promoting product presentation scenario. These kinds of shop windows have illuminated back walls, combined with spotlights at different levels for direct product lighting to make the merchandising concept more interesting.
In semi-open-back shop windows the lighting in the store interior will be influenced by daylight, as well as potential glare through the gaps from the spotlights used in the shop window, which also have to be taken into account. In our experience as lighting concept planners, the layout of aisles and the customers’ lines of vision inside the store have to be considered when designing the shop window lighting concept. The incoming daylight direction should always be checked in advance to ensure that the shop window is generally suitable for a semi-open-back solution.
Daylight is naturally also a factor in open-back shop window designs. In this type of shop window, the retailer has to ensure an adequate strength of lighting in the areas of the store close to the windows so that it isn’t drowned out by the daylight. Whereas closed-back shop windows have a ‘cave effect’, open-back shop windows allow the retailer to make use of the daylight.