Store window

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Showcase of a jewelry store on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence

As a showcase to the most extensive referred through window of a commercial operation or a shop , behind which goods from outside visible to passers-by are exhibited or services are mentioned.


The goods or notes are attractively decorated in a rule ( English visual merchandising ) because the showcase particular the interest of casual customers to wake. An outdated term for the display behind a shop window is the French term Etalage . Shop windows are among the most effective advertising media for stationary retail , especially for specialist retailers and department stores . The information and entertainment value of the window displays ( English window shopping ) is to make prospective attention and impulse buying misled. This is the name given to strolling in front of shop windows in pedestrian zones or shopping centers without the intention of buying .


Shop windows first appeared around 1780 - in Paris, for example. B. until 1788 the Galeries de Bois in the Palais Royal . The shop window only became more widespread after it became common in the USA . The French name vitrine also indicates the material used, glass. Shop windows are made of reinforced, partly break-proof special glass. Showcase of jewelery and watch stores often display dummies to theft by burglary to protect ( overnight delivery ). Despite the iron bars, shop windows are repeatedly smashed, e.g. B. by ramming a heavy vehicle. Modern shop window panes are now often made of laminated safety glass (tear-resistant and tough elastic film between two panes of glass, which they join together to form a unit).

In June 1938, Jewish business owners in Berlin were instructed to put their names in white letters on the shop window. On June 10, 1941, retail stores in the German Reich were banned from decorating their shop windows with goods that were not for sale or had already been sold; this practice, which had been widespread up to that point, had led to severe displeasure among customers. Due to the war there was a shortage economy (see also war economy ).

Legal issues

According to the prevailing opinion , shop window displays do not represent an offer , even if the price is stated , which leads to the purchase contract through the mere acceptance of the willing buyer ; it is rather a request to submit an offer by the person willing to buy.

Types of shop windows

Mannequin with dress in a shop window

The retail marketing has numerous showcase species with multiple commercial psychologically clever design options. These are for example:

  • Stack window
  • Subject window
  • Demand-oriented windows
  • Event-oriented windows (e.g. Christmas, Easter, World Cup, etc.)
  • Stage window
  • Fantasy window
  • Viewing windows (which allow a view into the sales area)
  • Blind windows

Showcase and showcase

In German, a showcase is a kind of showcase in which objects to be protected from environmental influences or contact are located. They contain exhibits or directly the goods offered for sale.

useful information

  • In the red light districts of some cities (such as Amsterdam ) prostitutes offer their services by sitting in their shop windows in suitably light clothing.
  • The preparation and design of shop windows is the field of activity of the shop window decorator . Former names of this apprenticeship , such as display designer and shop window designer , have been replaced in Germany by the designation designer for visual marketing .
  • Occasionally, industrial fairs are also referred to as "business showcases".

See also


  • Lian Maria Bauer: Scenes. Manual for the presentation of goods on the stage of the shop window . Deutscher Fachverlag, Frankfurt am Main 1997, ISBN 3-87150-546-3 (= series advertising practice , volume 3, textbook on shop window design).
  • Aurora Cuito (Ed.): Store window, Schaufenster, vitrine, escaparates, vetrina design . teNeues, Kempen 2005, ISBN 3-8327-9036-5 (illustrated book on current shop window design).
  • Sabine Gauditz: Shop windows as a mirror of the shops: Seeing shops through the eyes of the customers - basic features of visual communication. Braman, Frankfurt am Main 2nd updated and expanded edition 2019, ISBN 978-3-95903-002-1 (= Edition Buchhandel; Vol. 8).
  • Tilman Osterwold, Ilze Czigens (arrangement): Shop window. The cultural history of a mass medium . Exhibition accompanying volume. Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart 1974.
  • Hans-Otto Schenk: Chances and Risks of Shop Window Advertising , in: BAG-Nachrichten , Issue 12/1981, pp. 14-17.
  • Hans-Otto Schenk: Psychology in Commerce , 2nd edition, Oldenbourg, Munich / Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-486-58379-3 .
  • Nina Schleif: Shop window art . Böhlau, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2004, ISBN 978-3-412-02903-6 (At the same time dissertation at the University of Frankfurt am Main , illuminates the history of the shop window from an art-historical point of view, review ).
  • Guido Szymanska: Worlds behind glass. On the cultural logic of shop windows (= Studies & Materials of the Ludwig Uhland Institute of the University of Tübingen , Volume 25). Tübinger Vereinigung für Volkskunde, Tübingen 2004, ISBN 3-932512-26-X (Master's thesis University of Tübingen 2002, 149 pages - about shop windows as a means of cultural identity).

Web links

Commons : Storefront  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Showcase  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Verlag Dr. Th. Gabler (ed.), Gabler Wirtschafts-Lexikon , Volume 5, 1988, Sp. 1138
  2. Susanne Heim (ed.), The persecution and murder of European Jews by National Socialist Germany 1933–1945 , Volume 2: German Reich 1938 – August 1939 , Munich 2009, p. 19
  4. Carl Creifelds , Creifelds Legal Dictionary , 2000, p. 1141 f.
  5. Hans-Otto Schenk, Psychologie im Handel , 2007, p. 251