- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
Merchants need to work together to promote the downtown area and encourage business downtown.
That was the message Leslie Wolfenden, a survey coordinator with the Texas Historical Commission, had for business owners as part of her presentation on effective visual merchandising Monday.
“You aren’t competing with each other,” she said. “You’re competing with the strip malls.”
The event, sponsored by the Paris Main Street Design Committee, was held in the community room at the Santa Fe Depot.
Merchants need to consider what the storefront says. Store owners have eight seconds to attract a potential customer, she said, which makes first impressions very important.
“Your job is to get the attention of the pedestrian on the street – or the car on the street,” Wolfenden said. “If they don’t walk in your store, they don’t buy anything.”
There should be no doubt about what a business sells when customers look at the storefront, she said. Cluttered storefronts, as well as reflective and tinted windows, tend to turn customers away.
It’s not just about the business owners, Wolfenden pointed out. Empty storefronts can leave a false impression that there’s nothing to see downtown. She recommended the community work together to place displays in empty windows.
The presentation also included discussion about signage, displays, lighting, grouping merchandise, props, backdrops, creating a sense of movement, creativity in displays and how to arrange store interiors.