Retailers can put an interesting spin on merchandising by finding creative ways to mix and match products. Holiday wares mixed with general merchandise can be particularly effective. “Christmas is a magical time when everyone’s imaginations are open, and it’s all about discovery. Mixing merchandise can give you the opportunity to create different stories to frame your assortment,” says Ken Donham, founder of Donham Design Studio in Los Angeles.
 
   
Donham stresses the use of storytelling with displays to encourage customers to explore the store. One example is placing a spectacular display at the front of the store and anchoring that with a Christmas tree, then placing elements that tie into that theme around the store.

Creating compelling surfaces to display mixed merchandise to create a cohesive theme is another way to entice customers. “I’ve worked with everything from sawhorses and a plank of wood, and you can customize it to fit the theme with interesting colors and textures,” Donham says.
 
Take something that you sell year ‘round and put it with Christmas merchandise, and it automatically gets a new life,” Donham says, adding that non-Christmas items become gift-giving ideas in this scenario. “Say you have tabletop and cookware – you can create table settings showing the product in use and make it holiday festive by utilizing a centerpiece or tablecloth incorporating color.”
 
 
 
One thing to always remember – create a theme or storyline and make it easy to shop. "It’s very important to have a storyline,” Donham says.
 
Tell us:  How have you mixed holiday product into your general displays?  Show us by sharing your photos on our Facebook.
 
Adapted from Christmas Source magazine