An often overlooked and underestimated tool available to retailers is store lighting. Lighting your displays properly can make the difference between a display that makes people yawn, or makes them stop and look. Simply changing the type or colour of the light bulbs in your current fixture can make an impressive impact.

Here are a few lighting options to consider:

General Lighting
Illuminates both the merchandise and the traffic path in a store.

Accent Lighting
Accentuates merchandise and is usually designed for adjustability. Most accent lighting is placed to highlight focal displays or other areas of prime selling space.

Task Lighting
Used in work areas, such as under the counter or in a stock room. This lighting is usually fluorescent and should not create shadows.

Lighting can be a costly investment and a complete overhall of the current system may not be feasible for many retailers. However, a good lighting store will have some low-cost options and can give you advice on installing and using them.

The following recommendations can provide you with a good starting point:

If you don't have positionable lights in your key display areas, get some as soon as possible.
Use colour corrected bulbs as improper bulbs make merchandise look grey and shabby.
Make use of spot lights, preferably halogen, to highlight key selling areas.
Displays should not be lit directly from the top as doing so will form unattractive shadows.
Lights should be slightly off to the side and to the front of the display to enhance the three-dimensional quality of the product.
Point your lights where you want your customers to look. If your walls are supposed to show off your products, then flood them with "wall washing" light.
Make the front of your store "glow". A bright storefront is more attractive and is far more likely to be noticed and remembered.
Replace blown light bulbs right away. Customers are definitely not impressed when they notice burnt out bulbs as they walk into a store. It's a sign of neglect and complacency.