Milan’s La Rinascente department store is the flagship of a chain that has seen the likes of Giorgio Armani serving their visual merchandising apprenticeships and although it has been around a long time, its knack for novelty visual merchandising always makes it worth a look.

Currently, it’s the windows that surprise. Continent-wide, there must be no other store of this kind that has taken what many might consider a substantial risk by devoting all of its windows to kidswear.

Pride of place probably goes to the Gucci display, which fills two of the large windows with serried ranks of golden teddy bears and a little bit of clothing. But it doesn’t really matter where you look, each window scheme proved sufficiently innovative for passersby to stop and reach for the digital camera.

And to put things in perspective, in most stores of this kind you’d be hard pushed to find a single window dedicated solely to merchandise for children, so this initiative really does represent something out of the norm.

Attending a conference staged by POPAI Italia a couple of weeks ago, in the same city, much play was made of the potential that technology and touchscreens, for example, might hold for visual merchandisers. The trouble is, that while this may be a method of grabbing the gaze of potential shoppers, it is just one of
a considerable arsenal of tools that are available.

What La Rinascente in Milan proves is that given a good idea, even the most seemingly non-technical windows can continue to garner admiring glances.