Retail Merchandise – How to achieve Visual Merchandising Success at Sports Venues

When it comes to displaying retail merchandise, visual merchandising, or VM, is not only limited to floor and window displays; nor is it just limited to brick and mortar shops. Visual merchandising covers all the necessary elements needed to capture the attention of customers in any retail environment, from the interior and exterior of pop-up shops to product and merchandise displays in portable shop units.

When sporting events and venues draw in big crowds, understanding the complexities of managing high volumes of customers is essential.  In order to enhance the ‘fan experience’, a sports retail merchandise environment needs to be commercially, visually and practicably focused towards the needs of spectators and fans. Placing portable shops or kiosks as additional points of sale around the perimeter of grounds thereby alleviating the pressure of existing sales outlets, is one example. Another is taking a specialist service, shirt-printing for example, away from the busy club shop and into a designated built-for-purpose shop unit. Both examples are successfully used at many stadiums and events and help reduce queues, increase football, enhance customer flow and help club increase the impulse buying opportunities for fans.

But, no matter where the shops, retail units or concessions are located, nor for which purpose, making them visible and customer friendly with creative visual merchandising is vital. The main objectives of a visually effective retail merchandise campaign can be summarised as follows:

  • creating awareness
  • motivating and engaging customers
  • providing them with an enjoyable buying experience
  • maximising sales

A retail merchandising campaign, therefore, needs to include everything from exterior branding and store lay-out to interior design, product displays, fixtures, fittings and signage.

We are fortunate enough to work with some of the world’s top sports retailers and venues. We supply bespoke retail units to leading brands at events and to sports clubs and stadiums where the units are used to supplement the existing retail operation. And, whilst these well-known brands and stores such as Adidas, Kitbag and Intersport and Premier and Champions League teams, including Manchester United, Arsenal and PSG, may enjoy a high level of brand loyalty, one that extends far beyond that of an average high street retailer, their success nevertheless derives from two general retail practices: 1. understanding the consumer, and 2. providing a suitable retail environment.


For sports stadiums, the use of eye-catching promotional layouts, specialist merchandise areas, limited product choices and clear customer pathways are important considerations. These, together with an innovative store design, impactful branding, high visual presentation standards and the offer of a fun and memorable experience through experiential marketing, will all aid in driving footfall and additional sales.

In essence, the overall retail space used has to offer those customers with limited time available for shopping, an attractive, enjoyable and practical retail experience.  A well-planned visual merchandise campaign can therefore play a significant role in boosting sports brand values, maximising customer footfall and increasing sales.

Related Articles:

Portable Shops: Top Tips for Successful Retailing at an Event

Pop-Up Retail Units – Maximising Match-Day Revenue at Stadiums

Merchandise Retail Success with Manchester City Football Club