One Way to Add More Windows to a Window Display

Alison Morris - December 29, 2008

I wound up starting my holiday vacation earlier than originally planned, curtailing my available time for blogging, so I’m sorry if any of you were missing my missives last week. In order to avoid the nasty weather predicted for Wednesday, Gareth and I drove north to Montpelier, Vt., late Tuesday night, where we stayed until yesterday. While in town we made the usual rounds to our favorite Montpelier stops, which include Bear Pond Books, home of wonderfully creaky wooden floors, many a fabulous tome, and (among others) the always welcoming Jane Knight, the store’s sweet and savvy children’s book buyer.

During our brief store visit on Dec. 26th, I snapped a few photos of Bear Pond’s ingenious Advent calendar-like window display (which we’d first seen during our visit to Montpelier at Thanksgiving, when it was brand-spankin’-new). The display had started with the store’s windows wrapped in white paper decorated with a woodsy winter scene, into which numbered "windows" had been cut such that one could be "opened" on each successive day in December. Behind each window sat a different book or gift item the store was recommending.

I stupidly didn’t take any photos of the windows themselves during our Thanksgiving visit, but as luck would have it you can see them in this day-after-Thanksgiving photo of me with Gareth and my parents, taken in front of Bear Pond. See the numbers behind us? Those are the numbered windows in the display that would be opened in December to reveal different gift suggestions.

Here’s how one section of those same windows looked the day after Christmas, by which time all of those little numbered panes had been opened.

I love the idea that the window looked different every day and can just imagine local kids (and adults!) stopping by just to see what treasure(s) had been revealed since their last visit.

Here are some of the children’s books and gifts that were featured in the display.

I was especially happy to see That Book Woman included in the window, as it’s one of my favorite picture books of the year.

Now a quiz to see if you’ve been paying careful attention to the images in this post: On what day in December was That Book Woman "revealed" to the Montpelier public?

Answer: December 11th. If you scroll back up to the photo of my family in front of the store, you’ll see the the patterned hemline of a woman’s skirt next to Gareth’s elbow, with a number 11 just above it, to the right. That same pattern appears at the bottom of the photo featuring That Book Woman above, so you’ve now seen that numbered "window" both open and closed.

Have you seen any really clever, not-that-hard-to-execute window displays that you would recommend we retailers try? If so, please describe them. We’re always looking for new ideas, and darn if they aren’t sometimes in short supply!

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