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Developing a retail program isn't complicated if you take it one step at a time. We have created this guide to walk you through the various topics and questions you should address as you begin this creative process. 



It’s helpful to begin with a few simple questions to narrow down the purpose and goals of your display or program. If the project team has not yet clearly defined these topics, now is the time to do so.

  • Why is this project needed now? What is the background of this current need? 

  • What objectives or results are you trying to achieve with this project?

  • What issues are you trying to avoid (past issues or future potential problems)?

  • What product(s) will be on display? Is this project for one specific product or a group of products? 

  • How could this project impact sales volume, customer engagement, internal resources, or something else?

  • Are there any “constraints” that have prevented you from making this project successful in the past or could prevent you from doing so moving forward?  

  • When does the program need to launch in stores? 

  • Who are the key stakeholders that will be involved in developing/approving the final solution?

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Once you’ve defined your objectives and target audience, it’s time to start thinking about the aesthetic design and other details to bring this project into reality.

  • What potential customers are you targeting? 

  • Will the display be freestanding, sit on a counter,  or connect to an existing store structure?

  • What interaction or experience do you want the customer to have with the display? Will they be able to touch or pick up sample product(s)?

  • What look and feel do you want your display to have (color, messaging, lifestyle images)?

  • Do you see this display as purely functional, or should it have a high degree of “ornamental” design (form)? 

  • Are there specific materials you would like to use?

  • In what environment will the display be placed? 

  • Are there limitations or requirements for the display, like footprint, height, weight, or mobility? 

  • How many displays will be needed to meet the needs of all retail locations?

  • How is the display going to get to the retailer? 

  • How much assembly is expected at the retail level? Who will be doing it? 


You may sometimes hesitate to discuss your budget with your display provider, fearing it could disadvantage you. However, this path can be counterproductive as it hinders the ability to design to an achievable outcome and determine the potential return on investment for a project. 


Crux Retail starts each project by asking, “How can we achieve the client’s goals while staying within their budget?”


Things to consider when developing a project budget:

  • What is the projected revenue/purchasing power expected from the retail location(s)?

  • In what ways will success of the display program be measured (direct revenue, wholesale, traffic, etc)? 

  • How long will this display be in stores? (Consider viewing the investment over that length of time.)

  • What budget range works best for you? Ultimately, you’ve got to be comfortable with what you spend! 


We understand that there is never enough time; it’s best to address time constraints and concerns early and find a plan to overcome them with your display provider. Give your project the time it deserves.

  • What is the target date for launching the program in retail stores?

  • How long will it take to reach a consensus on the initial designs? Who will need to give their feedback?

  • What is the process for getting financial approval (for a prototype AND production)? What pre-approval conversations need to happen early?

  • What delays may cause the plan to be delayed (longer than expected review/approval process)? 

Additional Resources

Inspiration Gallery

Knowledge Base


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