With Wimbledon fortnight in full flow, stores in the area embraced have embraced the tournament and are serving up a tennis feast.
It is almost the middle weekend of Wimbledon, the time at which things begin to get serious in the world of grass court tennis.
The many retailers in nearby Wimbledon Village have been embellishing their windows with tennis-themed schemes, ranging from dogs hitting balls to nets stencilled on to the windows.
They do so, as part of a competition organised locally by Slazenger and Stella Artois to create the most compelling window for the tennis fortnight.
And in case the point is missed, the purple, white and green colours that form the basis of the branding for the tournament are everywhere.
This is probably the least probable and most eye-catching display in Wimbledon Village. On the face of it, a visual merchandising scheme that manages to link a pet shop with a tennis tournament would not appear
to be a runner.
Yet Pet Pavilion has gone to town with a window that features a pair of papier-mâché pooches engaged in a doubles match accompanied by the strapline, below the net “everyone loves the underdogs”.
Added spice is provided by a scoreboard that announces that this is a match between the eponymous “underdogs” and “you”.
This is a retailer that is social media-savvy - an ‘A-stand’ in front of the window invites passers-by to like the window photo when visiting the Wimbledon Village Events Facebook page and on Twitter.
Naturally, both protagonists in this canine contest are dressed in tennis whites - this is the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club after all.
Bayley & Sage
This store is just about as upscale as it gets in deli-world, selling everything from black pudding to the inevitable punnets of strawberries.
A scoreboard has been stencilled on to the shop window with the opponents, somewhat predictably, being Bayley and Sage.
The same technique has been used to create a sagging tennis net that backs a display of fruit and veg stacked on crates and wicker baskets in front of the window.
There is nothing massively original about what has been done here, but it does fit well with the rest of the tennis windows that are found around the Village.
It also works well from a cost perspective. The best visual merchandising does not have to cost an inordinate amount and given the fleeting nature of Wimbledon
fortnight, that is a prerequisite for an independent.
Collectionaires is a store that sells art and Japanese fashion. It has been open nearly four weeks and boasts one of the most original windows in Wimbledon Village this year.
Shoppers will probably note the tennis balls that move along the invisible outline of a mid-air circle thanks to motors attached to a pair of hula hoops (from Argos, according to store owner Kevin House), from which they are suspended.
This would be interesting in its own right, but House has given the display an added twist by putting a large monitor inside the window and a pair of plastic racquets attached to the exterior, linked to the screen within.
The outcome is that passers-by can have a game of Wii virtual tennis and are encouraged to do so by a sign that says that the winner will receive “bragging rights”.
Participants are asked to “spread the word” via Twitter and Facebook. Low-cost and compelling, in terms of interactivity, this one was a case of game, set and match.
Kidswear retailer Igloo is an independent chain found exclusively in London with outposts in well-heeled neighbourhoods such as Islington and St John’s Wood.
Its presence in Wimbledon Village is therefore of little surprise and it has taken a reasonably standard approach to celebrating Wimbledon with a window filled with tennis racquets and yellow tennis balls.
This has been coupled with white dresses, stripy shirts and shoes of the kind that could be worn on a tennis court. It all adds to the sense that this is a store that takes its sport seriously.
A touch of humour is added to the proceedings on the right-hand-side of the window, which features a white backdrop against which a tennis ball has collided with faux cracks around it, creating the impression of impact.
Once more, this is about marking a distinctly local occasion without causing a large dent in the VM budget.
Take a brisk walk down the hill from Wimbledon Village and the shopper arrives in the down-and-dirty world of Wimbledon proper.
This is where the area’s mid-market retailers cluster and is about as far, spiritually and physically, from Wimbledon Village as Court Number 14 is from Centre Court.
Homeware and hardware retailer Robert Dyas has opted to celebrate the fortnight of tennis with a predominantly green window that bears the legend “summer is served”.
The message is accompanied by a string of triangular pennants across the upper part of the window and three tennis racquets, two of which are real (the other is a cardboard cut-out). A few tennis balls, two real and one a window decal complete the picture.
It is nice to see even the larger chains embrace the spirit of the tournament evinced by other retailers in the Village.
The French kidswear brand flies the tennis flag with few qualms.
Crossed wooden racquets hark back to the glory days of Bjorn Borg and Billie Jean King, while the usual green Slazenger tennis balls and a washing line adorned with miniature tennis whites with cartoon characters on them complete the picture.
A subtle royal blue strapline has been applied to the window, informing shoppers that animal characters from “l’ecole des loisirs” (the school of leisure) are what appear on the T-shirts.
This probably does not mean much to the average Brit, from Wimbledon Village or anywhere else, but it does lend the whole window a Gallic interest that is in keeping with the brand.
Like most of the other retailers in the area, this is scheme that has been adapted for its location and it does succeed in turning heads.