Catch the Pokemon Wave

Seemingly out of nowhere Pokemon Go took over the world earlier this July. The free downloadable app was, and still is, the talk of social and news media. Turns out chasing imaginary creatures is getting everyone off of the couch and, for at least a moment or two, forgetting about elections, violence and all the bills they have to pay. It’s basically like a much welcome break from reality during a very hot and tiresome summer here in the U.S.

The app was launch without much anticipation or fanfare, but none the less has resulted in big bucks for Nintendo, the parent company that owns the Pokemon brand. Their evaluation was up way over 25%, or $11 billion (that’s with a “b”) in just a week according to an article on Even if you don’t believe what they say as far as valuation goes, there is no denying the initial impact of the app on our short attention span society.

How long will the party last? Who knows. But what can and should you do to make the best of an incredible situation?

Merchants Seize the Opportunity

Not surprisingly, savvy merchants are taking advantage of everyone getting off of their couches and getting out to find imaginary creatures in our cities, towns and parks. A pizza shop in Long Island spent $10 on “lures” to lure Pokemon, and the people looking to capture Pokemon, to their shop and their sales were up 75% over the weekend.

Soon merchants will be able to sponsor their location to attract even more customers.

The beauty of the app is it’s getting people of every demographic off the couch and out into society looking for these critters. Families are putting down the iPads and wanting to go on hikes, or visit downtown to find Pokemon. Business people are taking a few minutes at lunch or before work exploring to find Pokemon. And when people are exploring, they get hungry, thirsty and want to visit your store.

A Spearow by Starbucks? Why yes, I’ll stop in for a latte.

Take Advantage of the Pokemon Go Trend

In the game there are “PokeStops” where gamers can get much needed enhancements to the game. As a merchant, download the app and figure out where the closest PokeStop is to you. If you’re lucky your venue may even be one, which should already be attracting people. In our town there are several churches and businesses that are PokeStops or PokeGyms.

As mentioned, it doesn’t cost much to “lure” Pokemon and their explorers to your shop. You get a couple free lures when you sign up, and additional ones only cost a few dollars and last for a half hour. Spread the word on social media that you dropped a lure and wait for customers.

Once there, be creative with how you seize the Pokemon phenomenon. Tout your business as “Pokemon Central” by offering provisions for explorers – water, food, licensed product. Maybe make it social by starting a club or offering discounts for people who’ve found certain Pokemon. Create photo ops for people to take pictures with their yet to be captured Pokemon in front of your store.

Missed the Wave?

No idea what Pokemon Go is, or you missed it completely? No worries, in our short attention span society there will surely be another app, event or trend that you can seize to amp up your bottom line.

Take the time to be aware of trends as they happen. Regularly read the news, and pay attention to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to hear what people are talking about. Observe you customers and talk to them to find out what they’re interested in.

My family didn’t pick up on Pokemon Go until three days into it, by then it was on the mainstream media. But there is still plenty of life in the trend cycle for Pokemon Go as they add features and improve the app.

Even if you missed it, establish habits now for how your business will react to social trends in order to enhance your bottom line. Trend watching is just as important as inventory, customer service and pricing for your business. With good habits and creativity you may be discovering some happy additions to your bottom line by year’s end.

In the meantime I think there’s a Rattata in the office that needs to be caught…


When not out looking for Pokemon, Chris Weigand is an industrial designer specializing in branding and retail design. As president of Chris Weigand Design, LLC, Chris and his team help some of the largest brands and retailers in the world, as well as independents, local and start-ups connect with customers out in the marketplace. Contact Chris today at (330) 858-8926 or to find out how he can help your brand seize upon the latest trends influencing the marketplace.


Cool Carpet

An interesting catalog arrived in the mail this week – it was from FLOR. Not surprisingly, they make floor carpet tiles. I may have seen them before, or even gotten one of their catalogs before, but for whatever reason my interest was rekindled in the concept of floor tiles.


Looking at the patterns in the catalog I started thinking, you know this is really an awesome product because the possibilities are endless. You can get the look of a traditional carpet / area rug but with a lot more design freedom.

The recyclable tiles are 19.7″ square and they go together easily with little FLORdots in the corners.

We’re finishing off space in the basement of our home office right now, and this product would be perfect to go over the porcelain tile to warm things up visually and physically.

Presumably you could likely use FLOR in a commercial or office setting, though the website doesn’t say specifically.

Pricing isn’t too bad either, comparable to a similarly sized area rug.

Here are some of our favs from their website:






Here is my write up from seeing ‘The Hateful Eight’ in 70mm. I posted on my nine apple trees blog, but the movie experience is applicable to retail experiences, so re-blogging it here as well. Enjoy.


nine apple trees

I went to the movies last night.

I don’t know if you know this, but I enjoy going to the movies.

A lot.

I like the emersion into another world, and the escapism from our own, if for only a couple hours.

Last night I went with a few friends to see Quentin Tarantino’s eighth movie, coincidentally titled ‘The Hateful Eight’.

While I am a fan of movies, I am by no means a movie trivia buff, or rather I don’t remember movies verbatim like some people. So I won’t really give you a review that compares this movie to his others. Some of his movies such as ‘Reservoir Dogs‘ I could see again tomorrow and it would a new experience. And others, including ‘Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2‘ I haven’t even seen. I suppose in a way this makes me a less than stellar self…

View original post 1,312 more words

Checkout Lighting

Over the holiday I saw new check lane lighting installed at my local grocery store. I have to say I love it. They’re slim, cool white LED light strips that shin up on the magazines, and down on the candy.

The rest of the store is well lit with warm lighting. These cool white lights “pop” and bring a lot of interest to the check lane. I feel they really elevate the shopping experience – make it seem classy and higher end.

Some might wonder if all this lighting ultimately gets lost, but the use of cool lights really makes the experience stand out.

Well done.


Peg, Slat, Grid

We’re working on designing a whole new interior merchandising system for a national retailer this month. As I’m working on the design for their new fixtures I found myself revisiting a common question the retailers and brands have been asking since the dawn of modern retail design.

What is the best route to go when merchandising product on hooks – pegboard, stall wall or wire grid?

Over the course of twenty plus years of designing retail solutions, I don’t have an answer for you. Like most everything in life: it depends.

Here’s my take on these three ways to peg product in your store.


Usually made from masonite or hardboard, sometimes plastic, pegboard is likely one of my favorite ways to merchandising hanging product. The holes are usually 1″ x 1″ on center, and about 1/4″ in diameter. The board thickness is usually a 1/4″ as well.

Pegboard may be painted any color you want, or covered with a durable paper coating to make it look like wood grain, or your favorite pattern. You can even direct print right on the surface. Often time retailers will use perforated cover sheets of paper to color block in-line sections of gondolas. Target started this trend about ten years ago, and now it’s everywhere.

Pegboard is a great looking, great functioning solution that works great on endcaps, in-line and outposts. It’s not as common on power wings, but you certainly can use the material for that application. There are a ton of pegboard accessories available. The one inch centers can make merchandising a challenge, when trying to squeeze everything in.


Pegboard Skinz from Panel Processing turn white pegboard into a signage opportunity.

Slat Wall

Slat wall is typically viewed as “old fashioned” by marketers, retailers and brands. Which is a shame because it’s so versatile. The slats are usually spaced 3″ – 4″ apart, and offer unlimited spacing left to right, unlike pegboard.

It used to be that all you could get was slat that looked yellowed when it came out of the box. These days though you’re limited only by your imagination. Typically made from MDF, modern slat wall slats may be milled in a variety of patterns and spacing. Taking it a step further, you can get slat wall that looks like old barn boards, brick or faux distress metal.

Slat wall is heavy and cumbersome so you usually only see it fastened to real walls, and not on gondolas too often. But it’s a fantastic solution, if you can convince the marketing and retail peeps that it’s no longer old fashioned.


Barnwood slat wall from Dimensional Impact

Wire Grid

Go into any store and I bet you the power wings are all wire grid. It’s a ubiquitous way to peg these displays that’s worked for decades. Less common is wire grid merchandising in-line or on outposts, but it’s out there. We specified tons (literally) of wire grid for merchandising gift wrap and party goods when I worked corporate.

The grid wires are usually an inch on center. Wire grid is almost as good as slat wall for limitless merchandising left to right. You just have to look out for the vertical wires. They make hooks that are notched for the vertical wires, which helps in fine tuning merchandising.

The down side of wire is it’s not the most attractive thing in the world. You can powder coat it any color you want. One cool trick: put a backdrop of a contrasting color or an image behind the wire grid to snazz things up a bit.

cpw e display wire grid eg.jpg

Wire grid can be fun to play around with, such as the curved shapes on this battery concept. (designed by Chris Weigand ~2003)

Parting Thoughts

There’s a good chance you’ll be dealing with legacy issues – not wanting to throw everything out and restart from scratch. So you may have two or more types of hanging merchandising systems to contend with. I don’t think it’s too big a deal if you mix and match. Often power wings will only come in wire grid, and pegboard is pretty standard for in-line gondolas. Merchandisers are good at keeping track of accessories throughout the store, so they’ll know where their stash of pegboard hooks is.

Regardless of which route you go, standard hooks and accessories are prevalent for each system. And there are common sizing standards for each system, so if you do have leftover accessories you can usually continue to find a spot to use them. You can even find some hooks that work in multiple systems, such as peg hooks that work on slat wall.

For me, I make my selection on a case by case basis. All three can be made to look incredible and all are functional.

I hope this little snippet overview gets you thinking about merchandising, and that it was helpful. Cheers!


Chris Weigand is president of Chris Weigand Design, LLC, a full service retail design consultancy based in northeast Ohio. Chris has been designing awesome hanging product merchandising, and other retail design solutions for two decades. He’s lent his expertise to many of the world’s largest retailers including Walmart, Target, CVS and Lowe’s. Contact him at (330) 858-8926 to discuss your retail design needs. He and his team would love to work with you.


Easy Guide to Wall Color Selection

Looking to freshen up your retail or office space? While it’s great to hire a professional designer, and we’d love to help, that may not always be practical. But picking colors can be daunting, even if for a seasoned designer. So are some of my favorite tips to selecting a cohesive and effective color scheme for your space.

Different Colors, Different Walls

Accentuate the architecture of your space by highlighting a wall, walls, archway columns or other details with a different color or colors. The effect can be a subtle monochromatic approach, or paint an end wall with a pop of contrasting color for a more dramatic effect. If the space has windows, the colors will all change in tone, hue and shade to create a bona fide mood in your space.

Breakup the monotony of a large space by painting walls different colors, painting a ceiling, and painting architectural details a contrasting color.

Breakup the monotony of a large space by painting walls different colors, painting a ceiling, and painting architectural details a contrasting color.

Try a Monochrome Scheme

An easy way to differentiate rooms, or zones within an open area, or to tie together several smaller rooms is to pick one color for a space, and then select other tones of that color. Once again, if the light changes throughout the day, you’ll get a space that takes on a personality of its own. It also allows you to experiment with bold, or dark colors without them being overpowering. You can add color interest with furniture, art and accessories. Think of the scheme as a colorful blank canvas. How to do it:

Often paint suppliers will have color cards featuring several tones of a color on one chip - use that as your guide to monochromatic bliss.

Often paint suppliers will have color cards featuring several tones of a color on one chip – use that as your guide to monochromatic bliss.

Leverage a Free Color Pro

Every paint supplier provides color guides that make color selection a snap. For home interiors, I’m a fan of Sherwin Williams HGTV guides such as Global Spice. These companies employ color experts that take all of the guess-work out of choosing colors. You can mix and match to your heart’s content and there really no way to screw it up, so to speak. You can be as bold or subtle as you’d like. The best part is it gives you the confidence you need, and gives you more time to roll your sleeves up and paint.

Take the guess work out. Companies like Sherwin Williams have their color experts put together palettes all the time. As a designer, I have no problem relying on their color expertise.

Take the guess work out. Companies like Sherwin Williams have their color experts put together palettes all the time. As a designer, I have no problem relying on their color expertise.

Brand Guidance

Let your own brand be the guide. The most successful brands will play out in every touch point they have with guests or customers. Even if it’s your home – color says a lot about you and your lifestyle. Using these other tips in concert with your brand language you can create a very effective color story in your space. You’ll create a dynamic palette that will look and feel authentic.

Here you can see how we take a brand and from there gather inspiration, and craft a color story that employs several of the color tips I like to use.

Here you can see how we take a brand and from there gather inspiration, and craft a color story that employs several of the color tips I like to use.

Have Fun

It’s paint. It can be changed easily and inexpensively. If something isn’t working, change it. Don’t be afraid to do something bold. You can often times balance the colors of your space with furniture, accessories, and other details. A bright wall color can focus attention where you want it. A stark white interior can be just as effective as a monochromatic scene in setting the mood. Understand what you’re trying to accomplish and then confidently go communicate with color.

Yes, if you have the means to hire a design consultant, do so. We will help guide the process, provide insight and creative ideas that can amp up the experience (and allow you to focus on other aspects of your business). But if that’s not an option, I firmly believe that with the help of these tips you can create the experience you want for your space.


Chris Weigand is a professional designer specializing in retail displays, fixtures and interior spaces. He has over 20 years experience designing solutions for many of the largest brands and retailers in the world. Whether your project is a single store or 2,000 stores, his design consultancy will help you create an authentic, on brand experience for you and your guests. Contact Chris at 330-858-8926 or email him at for more information.

CLE Auto Show

We recently visited the Cleveland Auto Show and thought we would share a few photos with you. Auto shows are great for getting design inspiration from not only cars and trucks, but also the exhibits and displays.

And there was not a lot of duplicity in terms of exhibits with what we saw at the Detroit show earlier this year. In fact Subaru had a nicer presentation in Cleveland than Detroit (which is considered a larger and more “prestigious” show). We liked the illuminated slats on the display shown in Cleveland; these could be seen from a great distance and attracted us to the Subaru exhibit.

One thing we noticed in Cleveland vs. Detroit was a fewer interactive displays in Cleveland. The Motor City show had them everywhere, especially right next to each car. Our hometown show relied more upon traditional signs. Overall though the use of interactive signs is the highest it has ever been, according to our non-scientific visual survey.

Here are some pics from the Cleveland Auto Show. Enjoy.