A. Dodson’s finalist in display contest

Published 9:57 pm Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wine glass: Alison Dodson Anderson, owner of A. Dodson’s moves an oversized wine glass that she may use in her New Year’s display.

North Suffolk store A. Dodson’s hopes to ring in the New Year with a prize.

A. Dodson’s is one of five finalists in the first round of Swirl Marketing’s Retail Details New Year Store Display Contest. A. Dodson’s was chosen from more than 40 stores nationally who submitted entries nationally to The Retail Details New Year Store Display Contest.

“We have hope,” said Alison Dodson Anderson, owner of the store.

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A. Dodson’s found out about the contest when a representative from Swirl Marketing contacted them last-minute because they liked an image that A. Dodson’s posted on their Facebook page, according to Kim Glover, director of marketing for A. Dodson’s.

“We pulled it together in the final stretch and submitted some of our best displays,” Glover said.

The five finalists have completed only one of two rounds of the contest. Each finalist has received a box with identical New Year’s Eve prompts that they must use to create a New Year’s display. The stores must use each item in the box to create their display. They may add items, but they must make use of each of the items in the box to create the display. The finalists will be judged on their creativity, product representation, originality and use of visual merchandising techniques.

A. Dodson’s received their box the day after Christmas. It contained a black Styrofoam chandelier, a top hat, New Year’s Eve decals and a clock.

Swirl Marketing will award a first prize of $250 gift certificate to Gully’s Discount Store Fixtures and a second place prize of a custom-designed gift display from The Display Lab.

Judging will take place the first week of January, with the winners set to be announced in mid-January.

The store submitted photos of five different displays titled, “Cotton Ball Wall,” that was created by adhering cotton balls to the wall to give the appearance of a snowy scene; “Vintage Old Christmas,” that featured vintage décor with Christmas ornaments; “Corkboard in Man Land,” that featured corks from bottles of wine that could be used as a corkboard; “Candy Mantle,” made up of a mantelpiece topped in Christmas garland and covered in Twizzlers, peppermints and other types of candy; and “Snowy Aviary,” featuring votives adorned with homemade wintry bird ornaments, including small silver birds and white owls.

The contest is important because it “gives us a little more national exposure,” Anderson said. “We’ve been doing a lot in social media, so I think it helps us.”

To its patrons, A. Dodson’s is popular for its ever-changing displays that are created on a budget.

“Customers never see the same store twice. They come away with a little bit of inspiration,” Glover said.

A. Dodson’s style is what they call “rustic chic,” and they pride themselves on recycling and reusing a variety of items to keep the costs of designing down.

“We are always looking for a way to inspire people in their homes on a budget,” Anderson said. “We use things over and over again to stretch the budget. [The display] gives people something to talk about.”

For more information about the contest, visit http://www.swirlmarketing.com/blog/retaildetails/.