SIKESTON - It only takes a glance before passers-by decide to enter a store or not, which is why the merchants in Sikeston are continuing to spend a great deal of time creating window displays to attract potential customers to their store and the downtown area.
Owners of small independent shops in Sikeston agree that visuals such as window displays are a necessity.
"It is important to our business and to the entire downtown image," said Glenda Jones, floor clerk at Sikes Sporting Goods. "It is much more important than most people think."
"The window display defines the store," said Teresa McGill, owner of Personal Expressions. "There are a lot of people that walk by and window shop during the day and even after business hours or on Sundays, so it is very important the window display is appealing."
Jones said she uses her display to showcase new products and give customers an idea of what the store has to offer.
"We will have people walk in, point to an item and say 'I want that shirt in the window right there,' so it is very important we constantly change and put the most desirable items in the display," said Jones.
Due to the importance of window displays, the majority of the downtown merchants spend a great amount of time and effort in creating their displays.
"It is a kind of art form," said McGill. "We try to create a display that gives people an idea of the diversity of the store and shows them that we have more than just bridal registry and silver."
McGill said she used that concept to create her current display, which contains a visual contrast, with one side of the display decorated with black and white classical shelves, vases and candles, and the other side with colorful purses, frames and paintings.
In order to bring even more attention to their stores, local businesses are placing decorations outside the store too. Flags, plants, pop-up signs and even wire pink flamingos grace the outside of some of the local shops in hopes of attracting customers.
And inside, diversity and change is just as important, according to David Friedman, manager and owner of Falkoff's Men's Shop.
"It is not just important to change the displays in the window but also the displays in the stores itself," said Friedman. "We do that for the same reason we change our window display: to show customers new trends and new products they might otherwise miss."
After years of creating new displays, business owners say they have developed their own way to design the display.
"I have found that in order to create an eye-catching display, colors are the most important thing besides the sporting products themselves," said Jones. "And constantly changing and replacing pieces of the display is key. Just like everything else, people get tired of seeing the same thing."
McGill said the creation of window displays is something that "you learn as you go. The best way to create an appealing display is to look at it and imagine walking by. You don't have to put the most popular or the most expensive things in the window, just diverse products that define the store."
Although Sikeston's business district may not be as popular as Beverly Hills, the same concept applies: create displays that attract as many people as possible.
"Good displays not only attract people to one particular store, but to the entire downtown area," said McGill. "If downtown Sikeston wants to prosper, window displays are key."