There’s a term in retail called a merchandising adjacency, which refers to how items are placed on shelves. Items that are part of an adjacency are related enough that the purchase of one could influence the purchase of the other. For example, putting peanut butter next to jelly. The shopper wants peanut butter, realizes jelly goes with peanut butter, and buys both. Adjacencies are often used by marketers to put their products in more parts of the store, i.e. in more places than their “expected” position on a specific aisle. So, a pretzel company might pay extra to get some of their product set up in the beer aisle. Another store might set up adjacent categories to go around a certain theme, e.g. a summer theme with sunscreen and books and beach towels.
And then there are store windows like the one pictured below. There is absolutely no logic to this display: chalk, shoes and sunglasses. Huh? I came across this window in the “wholesale district” on the north side of Chicago and just had to chuckle. I’d love to know what sort of thinking went into this display. My guess is… none. As a wholesale store the business has a little less need to have super awesome displays inside- its competitors have really boring merchandising set-ups, too. But shouldn’t the window at least be alluring? Shouldn’t the window display still make me want to pick Store A over Store B? Very odd.