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5 Examples of Awesome Retail End Cap Displays

End cap displays, when done well, have the power to draw customers to aisles of your store they wouldn’t have otherwise glanced at — while encouraging them to consider products they might never have known about. They can also serve as great wayfinding tools, guiding customers to specific products or categories of products in a large store. They have measurable benefits, too; an Oracle study of items placed on end cap displays in grocery stores showed that strategically-placed end caps can deliver an incredible 32% sales increase for that item.

While the ultimate goal of an end cap may be to boost sales of its featured product, creative end cap designs can also work wonders for your store ambiance and even enhance your customers’ shopping experience.

Further Reading: 5 Ways End cap Displays Can Help You Sell More Product 

Whether you’re preparing to create your first (or hundredth) end cap design, it sometimes helps to get a fresh take and a little inspiration from brands that are killin’ it. Here are five examples of awesome retail end cap displays that’ll help inspire your retail store design and boost your margins.

1: Trader Joe’s “Make Your Own Guacamole”

Trader Joes Guac

Okay, this end cap has us salivating. While there are some nice design touches (the little footballs to trigger thoughts of Superbowl season and all the parties for hosting), the magic of this design isn’t the imagery itself, but the pairing of several different products to send a bigger message. Tomatoes alone probably wouldn’t inspire the casual shopper to make guacamole on a whim, but having all of the ingredients in one convenient place?

Why we love it:

  • Creatively pairs perishable items to drive sales
  • Has a consistent, earthy look and feel that’s on-brand with Trader Joe’s
  • Creates a sense of urgency paired with football season

2: Cazadores Tequila


While it’s not an end cap as displayed here, the concept here was too good not to include on this list (and this display could easily be moved to an end cap position, or a variety of other places, in a store). The eye-catching Día de Muertos theme, complete with a life-sized skeleton, is sure to turn heads regardless of what’s on a customer’s shopping list. There are only two products featured, helping to streamline the design and keep shoppers from experiencing decision fatigue or confusion.  

Why we love it:

  • The colorful, maximalist life-size mannequin is impossible to ignore
  • The display is versatile and could easily be used as a popup or an end cap
  • There’s a strong, consistent, and timely theme

3: M&Ms Light-Up Display


Anyone who’s ever gone to a grocery store with a child can attest to the fact that this is an effective end cap display. It’s simple. It balances light with shadow and big with small. It’s 100% committed to the colorful M&Ms brand identity, and the candies are at the perfect (or not perfect, depending on who you ask) height for little hands to grab.

Why we love it:

  • It uses backlighting in a creative way to catch attention
  • It conveys joy and simple pleasure, which is spot-on with the product itself
  • It’s for children, and positioned at their reach (sorry, mom and dad).

4: Arctic Ice

Arctic Ice 1

Here’s an end cap design we did for Arctic Ice cooler packs that’s extremely versatile. It can also function as a standalone or a wall display. It shares key product features using clean visuals to the left, while displaying the product itself in a tidy compartment to the right. The brand name is large and highly visible from different angles.

Why we love it:

  • It highlights the product variations in an easy-to-digest, visual format
  • It’s clean, on-brand, and clutter-free
  • It has multiple dimensions and a balance of weight between elements

5: Lifesize Lego Photo-Op


Who wouldn’t want to stop and snap a selfie with this guy? This Lego end cap takes an existing product and blows it up to life-size to capture attention — and it works. Pair that with the simplicity of the giant yellow Lego and the handful of products underfoot, and this design makes for a highly effective (yet deceptively simple) end cap display.

Why we love it:

  • The life-size Lego guy makes for a perfect photo-op, which means free marketing
  • It’s aligned with the Lego brand: one that’s equal parts magic and “larger than life” possibilities
  • It makes it clear from a distance that this is where to find the Legos

How to Create an End Cap Design That Sells

Now that you have a bit of inspiration to work from, what’s the next step? Designing your perfect end cap display requires a mix of artistic and strategic know-how, which usually means working with an experienced retail designer. Here are a few tactics to help you communicate your ideas to your retail designer for the best possible outcome.

Focus on one product, or a series of related products

The best end cap displays are cohesive. After all, an end cap doesn’t provide a lot of space to get crazy with product variations, and too many products in an end cap can look crowded and confusing to your shoppers. To avoid sending mixed messages, it’s best to choose one product to highlight or select a combination of products that relate to one another (like in the guacamole example above).

If you don’t already have a product in mind for your end cap, consider featuring:

  • A newly launched product
  • A product that will significantly boost your revenue
  • A perishable product that will expire soon

Write down words that convey the essence of your brand or product.

Is your product fun and kid-focused? Sleek and sophisticated? Organic and healthy? Masculine, feminine, or neutral? Brainstorm words to describe how you’d like the ideal end cap display to feel and pull terminology from your existing marketing materials or style guides, if you have them. The better you can explain your product and its target audience to a potential designer, the better your end cap display will turn out.

Create a mood board.

Sometimes it’s far easier to show a designer the type of thing you’re looking for than to try to describe it. Use Pinterest or good old-fashioned magazines to piece together a mood board that conveys the colors, textures, and styles you want to include in your end cap design. 

To optimize your end cap design and drive sales up, you’ll want professional help at every step of the way. An experienced design partner can connect you to relevant experts and help you craft your ideal vision. The right partner can assist in every part of the process, from brainstorming to logistics.

Don’t have an experienced design partner to help you create awesome end cap displays? IDD has been in the custom retail design industry for decades and knows what it takes to craft solutions that drive sales. Request a consult here. 

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