If you do not sell hats or you are already an experienced retailer, then the next two sections may not be of interest to you, however if you find yourself in a position in which you have to display hats for the first time, maybe you have bought hats this season to try them, then please read on.
Hats are best displayed in an area put aside for just this purpose, this is not to say that other goods should not be around and be part of this display, or that hats cannot be a part of other displays, but it is important that you make a positive statement and that there is one hat area and everything necessary for this purpose should be kept at hand. A large mirror easily viewed is a must, and a small mirror to give the customer a back view is also necessary.
Another most important point is that all of the hats are easy to reach.
Most customers will not want to reach up to a high shelf or clamber over a display to get at a hat. The ones that do will often damage the hat when doing so! Although access is important, care must be exercised with the more expensive or fragile styles, and assistance may be required with these. Many good hat displays can be achieved by using shelves (but not high ones) and a table covered with hats, some raised can look interesting.
Customers will often try a hat on a casual basis and will want to put on a number of different styles quickly and without fuss, especially if it is the first time they have worn a hat.
Wall mounted hat brackets are very useful, they are informal and are soon hidden in the display, large purpose made hat “trees” can hold many hats, but tend to be part of a fixed display and are more suited to larger retailers or hat shops.
Another important point is to keep the displayed hats clean and dust free, this can be accomplished easily by brushing with a clothes brush or using a sticky roller brush, adhesive tape can also be used.
Keep brims in good condition by gently bending the edging wire back into the original shape and push out small dents in the hat shape.
If the hat has suffered a lot of damage through rough handling, a clothes steamer can be used to soften the felt or straw prior to working the hat back into shape by hand.
As customers often try on many hats before making a decision, the displays need to be kept tidy, hats need brushing and brims need straightening at regular intervals.
Some shops think that it is a good idea to buy just a few hats for a window display, this strategy does little to further the sales or to raise the awareness of hats, it confuses the customer and generally does little for the shop.
A good range of hats displayed well and complimenting the other goods for sale can attract new customers and stimulate interest.