Best Buy Steps It Up!

I have been working in visual merchandising for nearly twenty years and have witnessed the evolution of retail first hand. I recall working on a display for Samsung/Verizon that integrated a 7” screen that was used to advertise a flip phone. At the time, it was very rare to see any kind of digital signage in retail, mainly due to the high cost of screens and content development.

The Retail Display industry or Point-Of-Purchase (POP) is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and as retailers look to have more innovation and interactivity, the cost of implementing these displays has increased dramatically.

Over the last few years, Best Buy has revamped their stores and challenged vendors to showcase their brands with higher quality displays. They have set some design guidelines and established an approval process to ensure the displays comply with the new Best Buy standards.

First impressions are great, the store looks more open and welcoming. The new sight lines allow consumers to look around and see the different areas of the store. A closer look at the displays demonstrates the brand’s commitment to in-store advertising.  A few brands have taken the opportunity to produce in-store environments.

When it comes to design, one of my favorite elements is the use of materials, and Marley (The House of Marley) has taken their commitment to mindfully sourced materials and showcased this in their retail environment. The use of natural wood is a stark contrast to rest of the store and is very impactful. I highly recommend you visit the Marley website to learn more about the Marley Material Story.

Marley Display Best Buy Canada

Another great example of using materials to separate your brand from the competition is this display by Skullcandy. They have taken a section of the headphone area and with the use of raw metal and grunge concrete look panels, created a cool area to showcase their brand. It is also important to highlight that all the products displayed are live and can be tested by the consumer. They also use 5 digital screens to tell their story. Learn more about this cool brand on their website. As retail continues to evolve, designing an impactful in-store experience is becoming more important. Implementing a display like this requires a big commitment and investment. For example, this display with digital screens, metal fabrication, wood elements and lighting can easily cost the brand more than $5000/per store. If this was based on a 200-store roll-out, it represents a $1,000,000 investment and considering the hundreds of brands represented in Best Buy’s more that 1500 stores, it is easy to see how this is a billion-dollar industry. *

Skullcandy Display Best Buy Canada

*Numbers are based on similar displays developed and experience in designing and manufacturing

For more information on design and manufacturing of retail displays, contact me at

Tony Spagnolo

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