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Ways to Improve Your Retail Window Display

Whether you take a stroll through the Woodfield Mall or window shop along the nearby streets, window displays are one of the most effective ways to intrigue consumers. Eye-catching and interesting, these displays put a lifestyle spin on certain products or services to make them more appealing to the general public. Once their curiosity is piqued, consumers will more likely enter your store. Learn a few effective ways to improve your retail window display and keep potential customers from passing you by.

Decide on Your Target Audience

Before you choose the display, it’s crucial that you figure out who your target market is and what they’d take interest in. You may even want to do some additional research into who buys your products and how they use them. Knowing this information ahead of time will allow you to make the most informed decisions regarding your marketing approach.

Create a Story or Theme

Once you know who you wish to target, it’s important that you develop a basic plan for the display before you put it into practice. This will give you time to develop a theme or story to tie the piece together. It’s important that your display demonstrates a cohesive theme to properly immerse the viewer in the story that interests them. Like a good book, this will then cause them to want to know more and compel them to enter the store.

Set an Eye-Catching Focal Point

Despite the story you will tell, at the end of the day, your display is meant to sell a product—and the product is key. Your focal point should be the main piece of the display, and the rest of the props in the window should emphasize it. This will allow the story to revolve around the product and insinuate a relatable experience.

Find a Balance of Lighting

Lighting plays a crucial role in how the onlooker perceives each display component. For widow displays specifically, it’s important to know the differences between natural and artificial lighting to find a proper balance between the two. With the natural light providing more shine, and the artificial lights putting extra focus on the important pieces, the viewer’s eyes will automatically be drawn to the products you want to highlight.

5 Best Gifts for Gamers This Holiday Season

The Holiday season is in full swing, with many facing the pressure of getting presents for their loved ones. Games are a great gift for many, but if you aren’t familiar with games or don’t play them, it can be near impossible to figure out exactly what to get. That’s why we are here to help you with some of the best gifts for games this Holiday season you can get.

Gaming Glasses

A lot of time spent gaming in front of a screen can be incredibly damaging to your eyes. The eye damage comes from the blue light that comes from computer monitors, smartphones, and televisions. Therefore, it’s necessary to have a pair of gaming glasses on. By wearing gaming glasses, they can reduce eye strain, which is why gaming glasses are one of the best gifts for gamers this holiday season.

A New Console

Another great gift you can get for an avid video game player is a new console. There are many different consoles to choose from, with the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 as popular choices that often come bundled with games.

VR Headset

Virtual Gaming is still a relatively new way to game, which is why a VR headset is an excellent gift for a gamer you know. There are various types on the market, such as the Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, and the PlayStation VR.

Ergonomic Chair

There are many gaming accessories available that can enhance the experience, one of which is a comfortable chair. No matter if you are a console or PC gamer, anyone can benefit from a chair with an ergonomic, wellness-supporting design.

New Game

A tried-and-true gift for gamers is a new game. The holiday season is full of great deals and new games that recently came out, including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, Death Stranding, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and many others.

What to Do When You Move Into a New Neighborhood

Moving is so exciting. For a lot of people, moving signifies a fresh start. If you recently moved, read this guide on what to do when you move into a new neighborhood. It’ll help distract you from the hundreds of boxes you need to unpack.

Get to Know Your Neighbors

You must get to know your neighbors shortly after you move in. You’ll see these people daily, and they can tell you everything you need to know about your new area. Throw a housewarming party and invite all your new neighbors. A housewarming party is a great way to get to know them and ask them any questions you have. Ask them if they have any favorite spots. They may recommend a restaurant or store you haven’t heard of. More than likely, these people will become your new friends, so you want to make a good first impression.

Make a List of Trusted Professionals

When you move, you must research trusted companies nearby in case you ever experience an emergency. Ask your neighbors for recommendations on plumbers, contractors, and roofers. Compiling a list before a disaster occurs is smart because you’ll be more prepared if the time comes. That way, if you ever have to deal with a roof emergency or a plumbing problem, you’ll have a trusty number on hand.

Go Out for a Shopping Adventure

The first thing you should do after you settle in is explore the area and see what your new town has to offer. Visit different restaurants and bars, and see if you can pick a favorite. Go shopping for furniture, so you can decorate your new house. If Schaumburg is your new home, you’ll find so much to do and see around the Woodfield Mall. Venture out and experience what the area has to offer. Whether you’re a young adult or you have a family, this area has something for everyone. Make sure you bring your gym shoes because you won’t want to slow down.

Follow these steps if you’re wondering what to do when you move to a new neighborhood. Most importantly, try not to stress and focus on the positives. Soon, you’ll get in a groove and feel right at home in your new place.

4 Tips for Starting a Capsule Wardrobe

Starting a capsule wardrobe is a great way to save money and time and to help the environment while you’re at it. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, a capsule wardrobe refers to a collection of clothing that includes a select few essential items that are unlikely to go out of fashion. The concept is widely adopted by people who are looking to simplify their lives. If you’re interested in simplifying your own closet, consider these tips for starting a capsule wardrobe.

Do a thorough closet clean-out

An important step in crafting the perfect capsule wardrobe is getting rid of some of your clothes. Thoroughly cleaning out your closet is essential to eliminating excess clothing that serves no other purpose than to collect dust. This may be a difficult task, but it’s important to be strict with yourself and to donate any items that you don’t wear on a regular basis. By the end of your clean-out, you should only be left with classic pieces you frequently wear.

Choose a color scheme

If your closet resembles a rainbow, you’ll likely have a harder time putting together outfits without clashing. As such, you should stick to a color scheme. Doing so will ensure you can put together multiple outfits even with a limited amount of clothing.

Invest in high-quality items

A capsule wardrobe is all about curating a collection of timeless pieces. As such, low-quality items that will easily rip aren’t ideal. Instead, consider investing in high-quality items that were built to last. Woodfield Shops includes several clothing stores that are great options for finding stylish, high-quality garments. This step may require a steeper up-front investment, but you’ll save money over time by not having to replace poorly made items every season.

Stock the essentials

Some clothing items never go out of style. They remain a constant in wardrobes regardless of the year or season. Investing in such pieces is an essential step in creating an effective capsule wardrobe full of wearable and long-lasting pieces. Examples of timeless wardrobe essentials include a pair of quality dark-colored jeans, a button-down blouse, a cardigan, fitted pants, and, of course, a little black dress.

The Evolution and History of Black Friday

The holidays are fast approaching, and it’s time to get your wish lists in order. Kicking off the holiday shopping season is the most exciting and hectic shopping day of the year: Black Friday. Stores around the nation participate in this unofficial holiday, including many of our very own Woodfield shops. Black Friday may seem like a holiday staple now, but it wasn’t always such a widely recognized event. Take a trip down memory lane as you prepare for your shopping extravaganza with this brief guide to the history of Black Friday.

The beginning

As with most holidays, the history of Black Friday is a bit fuzzy. While we don’t know the true origins of this holiday for certain, people have long considered the Friday after Thanksgiving the beginning of the Christmas season. Though the name Black Friday didn’t pop up until the 1950s, many businesses saw this day as the perfect opportunity to roll back prices and debut seasonal items. The popularity of Thanksgiving Day parades, many of which were sponsored by well-known retailers, also helped to further the perception of this unofficial holiday. Police officers first used the name “Black Friday” to describe the influx of crowds and traffic that were common at the start of the holiday shopping season. People have also long used the term “black” to describe undesirable events, so the name Black Friday eventually stuck, and people have used it to describe the Friday after Thanksgiving for many years.

Bigger crowds, lower prices

As the popularity of Black Friday shopping continued to grow, it became more and more important for businesses to set themselves apart from the competition. Businesses started lowering their prices more and more and opening their doors to shoppers earlier every year. Today, many stores open their doors on Thanksgiving Day, often in the late afternoon or early evening. The logic behind these changes is simple: the earlier the doors are open, the longer customers have to shop, and the higher the likelihood of purchases. Many shoppers and retailers see this change as beneficial, but it has also led to the phrase “Gray Thursday” or “Black Thursday.” With this change, retailers seem to skip over Thanksgiving entirely, moving immediately into the holiday shopping season instead.

Turning to technology

The retail industry has evolved many times throughout the years, and one of its more recent changes involves a shift toward online retail. With the prevalence of technology in our modern society, many retailers have begun to use online sales in their Black Friday ad campaigns. The popularity of online discounts has led to the creation of yet another unofficial, consumer-focused holiday. Cyber Monday occurs on the Monday following Thanksgiving and enables shoppers to kick off their holiday shopping without ever leaving their house. Cyber Monday first became popular in the early 2000s, and, as technology has become smarter and more accessible, it has only continued to grow in popularity.

5 Black Friday Tips for Small Businesses

As the countdown to the holiday season begins, crazy crowds of shoppers will start to make an appearance. This is the busiest time of the year for small businesses, but also the most profitable. To be as successful as possible, here are some Black Friday tips for small businesses.

Plan Ahead

The first tactic your small business should complete ahead of the Black Friday madness is to plan everything out. Decide which products you want to put on sale, how long the sale will last, and how to make customers aware of these good deals. If you come up with a game plan, you’ll be able to maximize your profits during the biggest shopping holiday of the year.

Promote Your Deals

Social media is the best way to promote your Black Friday deals—it’s a quick and easy way to alert customers of deals. Leading up to Black Friday, develop a social media strategy and execute it to grab consumers’ attention before they start shopping. Additionally, think about offering exclusive deals people can only find on your social media profiles.

Employ Extra Staff

Black Friday has a reputation of summoning large crowds in malls and shopping centers across the country. The best possible way to prepare for this swarm of people is to have extra staff on hand for the occasion. Put out job postings months in advance to ensure you have enough people to keep operations running as smoothly as possible.

Decorate and Organize the Store

Aside from social media, another way to spread awareness for your business’s Black Friday deals is to decorate and organize your store. The best approach is to use color-coding tactics—this will increase the odds of consumers noticing your store’s Black Friday deals. Consider using warmer colors, such as red, on signs and displays as research shows this color scheme grabs customers’ attention.

Don’t Compete with Big Business

Our final Black Friday tip for small businesses is to avoid competing with big corporations such as Walmart, Target, and Best Buy. Big businesses tend to dominate Black Friday as they have the resources to offer perks such as opening late in the evening on Thanksgiving. However, this doesn’t mean your small business still can’t capitalize on the ultimate holiday shopping season. Instead, do what is best for your business and take advantage of the areas you can. For instance, small businesses should highlight unique and rare items that you cannot typically find at major US retailers to stand apart from the pack.

7 Ways to Prepare for Black Friday Shopping

Black Friday is on its way, which means incredibly hectic stores and streets. Whether you shop for yourself or for others on Black Friday, this day can be uber-stressful if you don’t plan it out correctly. To help you obtain the smoothest possible experience, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite ways to prepare for Black Friday shopping. From pre-shopping tips to in-store survival tricks, we’ve got what you need to get through the day.

Make a Budget

One of the most important things you can do before you go Black Friday shopping is prepare your budget for the holiday season—and then follow through with it. You don’t want to overspend for the season before it has fully begun! Make sure your budget is reasonable, and give yourself a bit of wiggle room. Nail down items that you have to have, and make sure you leave room for incidentals.

Stay Organized

If you don’t want to add more stress to your plate, then you’ll want to stay as organized as possible. Make a to-do list of the things you have to buy, and clean out your wallet and purse. Make sure you keep receipts, cards, and cash organized to avoid any identity theft. The more organized you are, the less hectic you’ll feel.

Compare Ads

If you’re out to get the best deals possible, do your research and take a look at different store ads before you head to the mall. Compare the ads and see who will give you the best deals. The sooner you familiarize yourself with this year’s ads, the more prepared you’ll be when it comes time to shop.

Figure Out Your In-Store Game Plan

When it comes to actually getting in the store, you’re going to need a total game plan. Decide which stores you’ll visit and what order you’ll visit them in. If you have to drive to different locations, figure out where you’ll start and end your trip. If you need to go to multiple sections in a store, figure out which one you’ll go to first.

Only Get What You Came For

A lot of people leave with impulse purchases when they go Black Friday shopping. If you actually want to stick to your budget, then you have to limit your impulse buys. Sure, that cute pair of shoes is a great steal, but those great steals will eventually add up to more than you budgeted for. Put on your blinders in the checkout lane—you don’t need those fuzzy socks or another candle.

Be Prepared for Alternatives

Some things you planned on buying may already be out of stock, or the store may not have the size or color you want. Have some alternatives in mind for these cases, and try your best to be a flexible shopper. Maybe that TV you wanted is already sold out, but a similar model is still available at a reasonable price.

Practice Patience

Finally, practice patience. Don’t get angry at the checkout assistant, and don’t snap at the person who accidentally hit your heels with their cart. Don’t get frustrated when the item you wanted is out of stock. Keep your mind on the reason for the season.

Don’t Get Scrooged: Tips to Avoid Holiday Identity Theft

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s important to follow these important tips to avoid holiday identity theft. From phishing scams to complete financial identity theft, you need to make sure you take the proper steps when holiday shopping. Don’t get us wrong—we love online shopping and shopping at the mall, but we like it even more when it’s done safely. Keep your holiday season looking merry and bright, and check out the holiday identity theft avoidance tips below!

Understand the Different Types of Identity Theft

First, you should educate yourself on the different types of identity theft. The seriousness of these crimes ranges, but during the holidays, you’re most susceptible to things like social security identity theft and financial identity theft. Before the holidays truly begin, make sure you know how these crimes can impact your life.

Be Alert for Pick Pocketers

If you will go out to do your holiday shopping, especially during busy days like Black Friday, make sure you look out for pick pocketers. In general, one of the best ways to avoid holiday identity theft is just by staying aware of your surroundings. If you let your attention go lax, you’ll catch a thief’s eye. Make sure you keep your purse or wallet on you at all times, and put cards back where they belong after purchases.

Use Secure ATMs

Whether it’s the holidays or not, you should always use secure ATMs whenever possible. During the holidays, however, you need to be even more cautious about where you pull money from. Make sure the ATM you choose is well-lit, and don’t use it if anyone suspicious is lurking around. Truth be told, it’s better to just use an ATM connected to your bank—it will greatly lessen your chances of identity theft.

Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi

This is another tip you should follow all year—don’t use public Wi-Fi. Online shopping in a public area using the general Wi-Fi will heavily increase the chances you’ll get your identity stolen. Criminals can access information you send through public Wi-Fi, so make sure not to check your bank account or credit card statement in a public area. If you do, make sure you use a secure network. It may even be a good idea to install a Virtual Private Network, as it will secure and privatize the network if you need to use public Wi-Fi.

Check Your Bank Statements

During the holiday season, stay vigilant about checking your credit card statements and credit reports. Inquire about any suspicious activity you notice to catch any attempt at identity theft before it gets worse. This can end up being your saving grace!

Use Protection Tools

Take advantage of the different protection tools out in world, such as identity theft alerts and enrolling in a company’s identity theft protection plan. Even getting a new chip card before the holidays is a good idea, as this will add another extra layer of protection before your shopping begins.
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