As we walked down the central aisle of the Ferry Terminal Marketplace, crackerjack manager Jane Connors told me the indoor produce vendor had increased sales 60% since moving from a flat table to a tiered system.  That’s a huge increase for such a simple move!

It got me looking much closer at other displays during the tours on Saturday and thinking about the “three-second rule” – a potential customer has three seconds (the time it takes to walk past one stall) to see your display, process the messages and consider buying something.

Markets are so tantalizingly visual and distracting that 3 seconds might even be too much in some really busy markets where there are lots of people.

Here is a good example of a metal understucture for tiering displays:

This is one of the longstanding flower vendors tiered displays on Post Street downtown:

This is a nice improvisation on tiering – combining whole bean products and active, on-site coffee making:

The Five Dot Ranch butcher stall at the new Oxbow Public Market in Napa definitely understands tier-power:

An effective display has critical mass, feels right, increases the time and chances to make a sale and works on multiple levels.

Markets themselves work on multiple levels – for buying and selling, of course, but also as places to bring us back to our senses and create value in our relationships and where we live.  The conference showed me how far markets have come and how important they are to a healthy society.  The more we can actually ‘see’ in our markets – healthy people and products, reconnecting local economies, self reliance and inter reliance – the better our markets will be.

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