One of the challenges to effectively selling maps is how
to display them. Maps take up a lot of space, and floor and
wall space is a valuable commodity in any retail store. We
have tips and pictures here that help you use the limited
space you have. We have examples from the following kinds of
stores in our web showcase:
(1) Retail stationery store,
(2) Travel and book store, and
(3) Fair Trade store selling handicrafts from indigenous
Here are 5 Basic Principles for
effective map sales:
Customers can not buy maps that you don’t have.
It is critical for retailers to stock sufficient maps, as an
out-of-stock item is a lost sale.
Customers can not buy maps they can not see.
Displaying the map (even at a reduced size) is critical to
inducing a buying decision.
Customers are not likely to buy a product that is
We all hate wasteful packaging. But a beautiful map in an
ugly package will not sell easily.
Customers won’t buy a product that is dinged or
Packaging must be protective enough so that handling by one
customer does not damage the map for the next person who is
going to buy it.
Customers are not likely to buy a product that
they do not understand.
Educate and inform your customers about WHY they should want
a map product.
We have explanations printed up for the maps we publish.
These not only go inside every tubed map, but are available
for display to customers in the store.
Here are tips to effectively display
Ten Thousand Villages markets fairly traded handicrafts and
tells the stories of Third World artisans in North America.
Quality handicrafts from 30 countries are found in its
network of 200 stores. These stores use Equal Area maps
(Peters and Hobo-Dyer) to represent the countries their
crafts are from. Many stores prominently feature the map
below the check-out counter (see pictures below), or behind
the cash register. Many stores use push pins, flags, or
colored stickers to help customers identify which goods come
from what countries. Many fair trade stores have an
educational mission, which includes increasing awareness of
other peoples, countries and cultures.
Thousand Villages store manager Chris Swedburg
(Northampton MA) holding a tubed laminated Peters map
(Retail, $29.95). Note the “extra sell” features on the
display map beneath the register: (1) a laminated
WEST WING plaque lets customers know the map is
“AVAILABLE HERE!,” and (2) a detailed
EXPLANATION of the Peters map (comes in every tubed
map) is handing from a string on the right side of the
map (just below Australia). If customers are waiting in
line at the register, they’ll often pick up the
EXPLANATION and read it. To the left of the Peters is a
“What’s Up? South!” map, the world from a different
Ten Thousand Villages store in Cambridge MA has a
laminated Peters Map right by the front door as you walk
in. The map has colored dots on the countries the craft
goods come from. To the left is Karen Miller (store
manager for Brookline MA), with Fiorella Triaca (the new
store manager for Cambridge). Karen managed a PR
campaign for the Peters Map at her store during the
holiday season of 1999. This resulted in the map
receiving the “Hit of the Week” Award from the Boston
Globe newspaper. These laminated award plaques (
of the Week" Plaque and
WEST WING plaque) are available at no charge from
Ten Thousand Villages store in Brookline, MA has the map
under the check-out counter. To the right, assistant
manager Joanna Finn takes a long stretch over the
counter to point out the features of the Peters Map.
Jeffrey Amherst Travel Store in Amherst MA uses a
“What’s Up? South!” map beneath the cash register
counter, right next to the main store entrance. (photo
at left) Note the Peters Map on display in the far
Maps are also on display at other locations around
the store, not just where the maps are sold. (photo at
Got blank wall somewhere? Add some color and interest
with maps as wallpaper. This travel store has also built a
lot of customer goodwill by giving out free Peters Map
postcards with every sale. The postcards sell more maps, and
make customers feel they’re appreciated for their business.
Postcards are available from ODT at cost for these kinds
of promotional give-aways ($10 per 100-pack).
what about stores with limited floor space and wall
space? What if you can’t display a 4 foot wide map?
A perfect example of a terribly crowded store is
Hastings Stationery Store in Amherst MA. Here’s what
their map and travel section looks like.
Wow, is that crowded! But look carefully: You can see
that “Extra Sell” we talked about earlier… the
WEST WING plaque and the EXPLANATION are hanging
from the store’s wire display rack.
Hasting’s map buyer, Debbie Ward, has done a terrific
job of stocking a variety of map products in an
incredibly tight space. Customers are more likely to buy
a map that they understand something about.
don’t have to display the maps on a wall to give
customers an idea of what they’re buying. At Ten
Thousand Villages in Northampton they also use the
Peters Map DUMP BASKET to display the maps. All the ODT
laminated maps are stocked in a blow-molded plastic
screw tube that is 40 inches tall. That means the top of
every tube stands out visibly from the top of the
colorful DUMP BASKET (which is 36” inches tall). The
tube top labels can be seen here (
Peters Tube Top Label and
WUS Tube Top Label). Each dump basket is only 10” x
10” square (we can custom make ones that are 12” x 12”
for special high-volume stores). That means you can
display 20+ maps with less than one square foot of floor
space! This is a highly productive use of limited space.
You can rotate the DUMP around and feature it in
different parts of the store, depending upon the season
and other special promotions you are offering. Notice
the Peters Map refrigerator magnets to the left of the
dump basket. They are only 4” x 6”. Even the magnet by
itself can be an effective sales tool.
crowded store you can probably find some metal surface
that a magnet will attach to. Put the magnet up, and it
advertises the fact that the larger product formats are
are many other options for limited space displays. We
have 11” x 17” (placemat sized) Peters maps with (or
without) special grommets for hanging. Its even possible
for us to magnetize one of these for you if that’s what
you need. The grommeted maps come with a hanging key
ring of map comparison panels that are very educational.
These are the same ones that are printed at the bottom
of the full-size Peters wall map.
ALL THESE point-of-purchase display are provided at NO
CHARGE to our retailers. Whatever your circumstances, we can
help you find the right tools to display your ODT maps
products effectively. Call Bob Abramms at 800-736-1293 or
email him at
BAbramms@aol.com. Tell us about your store and how it is
laid out and we’ll suggest the best ways to increase your
map sales with these great sales aids. And don’t forget to
ask about postcard promotions, special deals on damaged
seconds, and other free give-aways we can help you provide
to your customers.