Come and grow – the spoga+gafa blog » 3 questions to ... » “Theme worlds at the POS shouldn’t just be exhibition spaces” – An interview with Konni van Delft (Visual Merchandiser)

“Theme worlds at the POS shouldn’t just be exhibition spaces” – An interview with Konni van Delft (Visual Merchandiser)

Konni van Delft – Photo:

Konni van Delft was born in North Germany, has however been living in the Netherlands since the mid 1970s. The florist has been working as a freelance visual merchandiser since 1986. She advises garden centre in the Netherlands, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Italy. Sales presentations and cross-selling as well as employee training are her special areas in these sections.

For the past two years van Delft was significantly involved in designing the POS Green Solution Islands at spoga+gafa in Cologne. In the scope of these theme islands, the trade fair offers the trade visitors inspiration and examples of implementation for POS campaign areas in garden centers and DIY stores.


Mrs. van Delft, you recommend your customers to place their bets on worlds of experience for the presentation of products at the point of sale. What is your idea of a perfect world of experience?

van Delft: Curiosity, desire and satisfaction – these are the feelings that a world of experience should arouse in the customers. Perhaps I can make this more graphic by giving you a concrete example: On the theme herbs, the keywords “enjoy in an uncomplicated manner”, “cooking with friends”, “vacation in Italy” or “dining in the open air” spring to mind. And immediately I also have concrete images before me that trigger off positive feelings. Based on these images a wonderful theme world can be created at the POS. We can combine products from different departments here and present the entire spectrum of the product range to the customers: i.e. a long garden table with different chairs and brightly colored dishes, trees and bushes in plant containers decorated with party lights, a barbecue or an outdoor kitchen unit, cooking books, a raised flowerbed, a watering can, a knee cushion, garden tools, soil, plant pots, baskets and of course lots of different herbs: sage, bay leaves, lavender, thyme…

In order to address all of the sense of the customers, atmospheric noises such as quiet music, voices like at an entertaining barbecue party, children laughing or the clanking sound of crockery can be played in the background. If one likes one can offer the shop visitors bread with homemade herb butter or pastes to taste. It is not necessary to employ a star chef for this purpose. The main thing is that the employee explains enthusiastic about herbs and the tasty dishes that the customer can prepare. But a world of experience is not just an presentation, it should provide the customers with useful information. Blackboards with further recipe ideas or tips on caring for the plants can also be useful here – or simply a QR code which enables everything worth knowing to be called up on the web.

It is most important that a theme world at the POS is never seen to be purely an exhibition space where the customers are not allowed to touch anything. Accessibility is especially important here. And the customers should be allowed to pack the products that are the focal point of the presentation straight into their shopping trolleys on the spot. So, ample quantities of them must be available so they can be constantly replaced. Signs should be attached to the other products – i.e. barbecues or garden tools – indicating where they can be found in the store. A furniture giant from Sweden has been showing us how successfully this works for a long time.


Which advantage does designing worlds of experience at the POS have?

van Delft: As the Managing Director of a garden centre or DIY store, one always has to ask oneself: How can I stand out from other suppliers from the green industry? How do I distinguish myself from my fellow rivals in the close vicinity? What can one do to make one’s own shop the talk of the town among the people in the region? One can buy plants everywhere nowadays – they are also offered in furniture stores or supermarkets. One can no longer reach the customers by a low price alone. And let’s be honest, many different suppliers advertise the fact that they offer specialized knowledge today. Which is why visiting a garden centre or DIY store has to be an experience for the customer because then he will remember it for a long time. Working with theme worlds shouldn’t be a one-off campaign though. Once the customers have gained a taste for it, they expect to be whisked off to another world pretty soon again…


To what extent should the POS design correspond with other marketing tools of a business – for example advertisements, flyers or the website?

van Delft: All marketing tools should carry the same message as far as possible and focus on the same themes. Let’s return to our example, one can whet the customer’s appetite for herbs in advertisements, flyers or on one’s own website too. If one uses QR codes for the worlds, one can directly connect the POS with the digital world. The themes can also be highlighted via YouTube, Facebook or Instagram too. For many people these social media channels are in the meantime the most important sources of inspiration and information. And please never forget: All of the employees – from the managers to the temps – have to be informed about the activities and the marketing goals. Only then can they all pull together in one direction.


Further information:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *