Store Savvy: What Do Your Retail Signs Say About Your Store?

In Marketing, What's New by Lauren Parker, Accessories Magazine

On a recent trip to Los Angeles, Accessories spent time strolling down Abbot Kinney Boulevard, a cool block of fashion boutiques in Venice Beach. We found ourselves totally charmed by the creative retail signs used to entice and welcome us. After all, it’s hard enough to get consumers to leave their home computers and go outside. And once they do, it’s even harder to get them to look up from their phones and choose your store. Come walk with us, and think which stores you’d want to enter based on these signs:

retail store signs on Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Retailer AUST. wins hands-down for the best sign. One, it made us literally laugh out loud. Two, mentioning it to the saleswoman upon entering the store created a friendly engagement. Three, it explained in a few words that it carried Australian fashion (another conversation starter). Four, it included the Instagram handle should we want to learn more.

retail store signs on Abbot Kinney Boulevard

This quickly became our Happy Place too. The Power of Suggestion is a powerful thing! Tell people that this place will make them happy and it will.

retail store signs on Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Consumers love a challenge, and this sign from Buck Mason pretty much dares them to come in and see if it lives up to its claim. Surely many customers walk in saying “Ok, show me the best-damn-fit-I-ever-tried!”

retail store signs on Abbot Kinney Boulevard

We love Timbuk2’s message of (intergalactic) inclusivity, not to mention the subliminal COME IN message in hot pink.

retail store signs on Abbot Kinney Boulevard

You talkin’ to me?  A sunny sign for a sunny day. Current Elliott made our day, and the brand’s hashtag helped if we wanted to tell the world on social media.

retail store signs on Abbot Kinney Boulevard

British workout clothing line Sweaty Betty made us LOL at this too. It shattered all our objections about working out. Besides, any brand that promises a better butt is a winner in our book.

retail store signs on Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Not sure why we would need the phone number since we were standing directly in front of the store (maybe for after hours?), but Smashbox knows its audience. Millennial-friendly emojis and slang captured attention, as did the words CRUELTY FREE and dog image.

retail store signs on Abbot Kinney Boulevard

We’re not gonna turn down magical shoes! Sabah did a good job creating a mood, not to mention adding that there were refreshments! Sadly, we couldn’t find any shoes magical enough to click our heels and avoid the flight home to New York.

retail store signs on Abbot Kinney Boulevard

The Mac Studio is a tech support “shop ‘n shop” located inside Huset, which is all about Modern Scandinavian Design. While the Apple store might have modern minimalist design, we’ll take our tech support inside a fashion boutique any day.

retail store signs on Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Your Universe’s sign was a nod to Aretha Franklin’s famous song, as the iconic singer had died just a few weeks before. Suggestion: since the sign asked a question of its viewers, maybe a cup of colored chalk could’ve gotten them some interesting answers.

retail store signs on Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Aviator Nation was smart to reference a first date on its sign, as dating is something on every swiping-right, single person’s mind. And comfy dating sweats? Do married date nights count?

retail store signs on Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Any sign with the word “meet” on it is a good thing, making us think there’s a party or a personal appearance inside this Warby Parker store. Even if they’re just sunglasses, we hear they’re “awfully nice.”

retail store signs on Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Margaret O’Leary

Margaret O’Leary used an enticing way to say that there are cashmere sweaters inside. Points for the “fall in love” call to action, and double points for the Fall word pun.

retail store signs on Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Ruti

Ruti’s sign doesn’t just state that it’s designed by an Israeli (American Israeli, actually) fashion designer, but also hints that the designs are forward thinking and a bit different. It challenges passersby to come in and see if they truly do think outside the box. And the dog water dish? Smart.

This was a curious sign as it didn’t have the name of the store or include any explanatory text (although it was positioned right outside so there was no brand confusion). But it did have a photo of exactly what the store sold, which was something none of the other signs had.

Guessing this was a restaurant. Or maybe…

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