Curated collections


Karen Kritzer

Visual Merchandising Expert

Read more about Karen


Gaining popularity in the way retailers present their products and how they refer to their merchandise assortment, curated collections can be found both online and in the physical store.

The benefits of this trendy, albeit useful strategy can be seen from both the customer and the retailer side.


Set up your platform

Having a carefully selected product range can achieve many positive aspects in the eyes of the beholder. Limiting merchandise can save time.

Take for instance during the holiday season gift-giving guides are often featured: “Gifts for Him”, “Gifts for the Techy”, “Gifts for the Dog Walker”.

These carefully selected or curated gift lists allow the shopper to focus in on a limited number of products. These collections can take the stress, and the guess work out of searching for hours to find that coveted gift.

Not to mention curated collections can even be taken that step further; think of a curated gift guide for the “Dog Walker”, but then further break that down into "Gifts for the Dog Walker under $50”. Now not only can the shopper save time but they can also potentially save money.


Tell a story

From the perspective of the retailer, curated collections allow you to strategically sell the product range. This process begins with the buying.

By selecting “stories”, “like or similar items”, and pairing these together, the flow of merchandise, if all translates well, can be impacted in a beneficial way. One story moves in, sells through, and then is replaced by the next story or theme.

Stories such as “Setting the Perfect Holiday Table” or “Nautical Patio” are examples of themes that can be partnered with the time of year for optimum selling. The retailer can also steer the merchandise assortment and drive the popularity of specific items. The phrase “showcase what you wish to sell” rings true with a curated collection. Retailers can feature products that have high gross profits, are trending locally, or ones that they simply need to sell.



Influencers, whether they are paid by a brand or by the retailer itself have been known to tie their names and faces to curated collections.

Jillian Harris recently curated and designed a collection for Saje Wellness. Collaborations are helping to drive interest and expertise to product lines.

A curated collection can even be created by staff members by the way of “Staff Favourites”. Indigo has been using CEO & Chief Booklover, Heather Reisman’s choices, known as “Heather’s Picks” for quite some time, and the customer has been trained to identify these by the simple idea of a sticker on the selected books.


The customer experience

Successful retailers have shifted to curated collections in-store, partnering with their online strategies. Offering a smaller assortment in-store reduces overhead, and allows for space on the sales floor to be used to “bring in the people”.

Creating in-store experiences often works hand-in-hand with curated collections.

Brands have also adapted the idea of subscription boxes, such as Causebox, which essentially curates an assortment of monthly products and ships them to the customer. Every time a package arrives at the subscriber’s home, it generates that feeling of “Christmas morning!”, and what a great strategy to try out new products.



Hearing the word “curated” often makes an immediate association with an art gallery or exhibition. Carefully selected pieces which are featured, and pulled together to tell a story or showcase a theme.

In today’s world, the most recent statistics surrounding how many messages and choices relating to branding that one is exposed to each day is well over 5,000 ads and messages. It is no wonder that it is a welcomed change for consumers, to shift their focus from piles and piles of merchandise, and to enjoy the space surrounding a carefully curated collection. It is kind of nice to let the eye rest.



Connect with Karen in person at the Toronto Gift Fair, Sunday, January 27 — 30!