How to Display T-shirts

by Sam Ashe-Edmunds; Updated September 26, 2017

Some people come to a clothing store with a specific intent to buy a T-shirt, while others purchase them on an impulse. To maximize your T-shirt sales, use a variety of merchandising methods to display your shirts in a convenient and enticing way.

Fold-and-Stack

The most common way to display T-shirts might be a simple stack of folded shirts on a table or shelf. This might work best for customers who know what they want and don’t need suggestions about how to combine the shirts with other pieces of clothing. Use your knowledge of your customer to decide if your visitors will want similar shirts placed next to each other for quick comparison, or if alternating shirt types might stimulate more sales.

Mannequins

Use full and half mannequins to display your shirts by themselves or paired with complementary items, suggests Retail Minded magazine. Using full mannequins, pair your shirts with slacks, shorts or a skirt that go well with the shirt, encouraging buyers to purchase the outfit, rather than just the shirt. For dressier T-shirts, pair them with casual men’s and women’s jackets to let customers see how your shirts will work with their wardrobes. If you just want to showcase the shirts, you might place three or four half-mannequins on a table, each with a different shirt. In front of each mannequin, you can put a folded stack of that type of shirt or fan them out. You can do this by color or style of shirt.

On Racks

If your shirts are primarily all different (rather than one type of shirt in different sizes), consider hanging them on hangars placed on a display rack. This lets customers quickly go through many shirts to view them. To reduce theft, don’t place the hangars all in one direction. Place one hangar facing to the left, the next to the right and so on. This makes it impossible for a thief --especially during a smash-and-grab or other burglary -- to grab an armful of shirts, lift them straight up, and run out of the store. Alternating hangar direction makes someone take each shirt off the rack one at a time.

Wall Displays

Use your wall space to hang T-shirts above shelf-level so that customers can see your shirts wherever they are in the store. Underneath the shirts hung on the wall, use slanted shelves containing your stock of shirts for convenient selection by customers.

Kiosks

A kiosk is a display stand that allows you to showcase merchandise away from other items. You can use the kiosk to display related items, such as fitness T-shirts, running shorts, leotards, headbands and leg warmers. You can also create a kiosk with a T-shirt theme, such as shirts featuring pictures of wildlife, nature scenes, funny sayings or action heroes.

Merchandising Tips

In addition to different methods for displaying T-shirts, use different techniques to market them:

Price Bundle - Bundle shirts with a sweater, slacks, skirts, shorts, cap or other item or items at a reduced price for the bundle.

Vertical Merchandising – Create a display of items on a shelf moving from the top row to the bottom row for the items. For example, if you are selling T-shirts for a particular sport, such as tennis, put your shirts on the top shelf. On the shelf directly below, place tennis shorts or skirts. On the next shelf, put socks. On a bottom shelf, put accessories such as wristbands, visors or caps. This is different than bundling because you are not offering several items at a package discount.

Include Containers – The Specialty Retailer Report shared an article that describes how some retailers stimulate T-shirt sales by placing multiple shirts in creative packages, such as buckets, creates, totes or glass jars.

Dedicated Sales Area vs. Different Areas – If you want to make it easy for customers to see all of your T-shirts in a short time, create a T-shirt section. If you want to encourage impulse buys, display your shirts in different areas of the store, putting different shirts where customers in that area of the store are most likely to buy them. For example, put dressy T-shirts near jackets, slacks and skirts. Put casual shirts near accessories or outdoor items.

About the Author

Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.