The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show

March 2–4, 2025 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show
March 2—4 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

IHA got acquainted with visual merchandiser and marketing strategist Amy Meadows, president of Windows Matter, to learn about the value of display design that she will illustrate at the 2020 Show. The Inspired Home Show’s Innovation Theater will feature 21 presentations over four days. Topics will include successful retail practices, consumer research findings, digital commerce, sustainability and global market trends.


Chicagoan Meadows is the former director of window display and marketing events for Marshall Field’s and Macy’s and now runs Windows Matter, a retail design consultancy. As a retail industry veteran with 35 years’ experience in creative problem solving, effective marketing strategies and project management for window display and visual merchandising, Meadows is also a faculty member in Columbia College Chicago’s Fashion Studies Department. Windows Matter was founded in 2008 to focus on the needs of the independent retailer as well as the challenges faced by historic downtowns and communities engaged in revitalization strategies.


Amy, what is the most exciting or rewarding part of your work?  What fuels your inspiration?


Solving the problem. People will often ask if I wished for a blank slate or a blank check for the “dream job” . . .Absolutely not! It is the constraints that drive good design and embolden creative solutions.

Amy Meadows

Can you name a pivotal event or project that impacted your career or company?

The holidays at Marshall Field’s were iconic, cherished traditions and our display department worked hard each year to:  #1–Deliver something new and #2–Deliver upon expectations and traditions. In other words, as good as always but also better and different.


In the past few years, what has changed most in your business?

THE ROI on visual merchandising remains elusive and, therefore, difficult for some retailers to support fully.


How do you de-stress and find balance in the demanding 24/7 workplace?

UNPLUG! Literally.


Amy, tell us what you will be speaking about and how this topic is important for Show audiences.

I enjoy demystifying display tactics and sharing tips for design and execution with non-designers. It’s important to appreciate the value of the work done by visual merchandisers and look for ways in which you can support their efforts.


What do you see as consumers’ biggest concerns regarding housewares products or how to shop for them?

As both kitchen design and home decor trends shift, we see changes in what is seen and what is stored away. In addition, technological advances often render a recent purchase outdated. How much do you want to spend on an item and for how long a life-span?


What are some of today’s trends or issues that new product development professionals and/or retailers face?

When is “experiential“ design experiential enough? How do I incorporate social media and customer interaction into my store? My product line?


Consumers may not realize the physical work and artistry that goes into creating an enticing atmosphere that arouses curiosity and motivates spending.




Thank you, Amy, for briefing us on your approach to producing exciting displays that attract shoppers to and within retail environments. We look forward to your behind-the-scenes stories about building the strategies and skills for successful in-store merchandising. Your session on Tuesday, March 17 at 10:30 a.m. will be a stimulating finish to the Innovation Theater’s four-day series of informative programs and will inspire retailers for their next sales season.


Insider Tips for Creating Attention-Getting, Sales-Driving Displays

Tuesday, March 17, 10:30 – 11:20 a.m.

Lakeside Center –  Innovation Theater – Room E350


Be sure to attend the free executive-level educational sessions at the Innovation Theater to hear about successful retail practices as well as the latest research and analysis of home trends and forecasts for products in the smart home, kitchen and health care categories.  These programs will give you a fresh perspective as you walk the Show and will inspire, inform and improve your business. All programs will be audio-recorded and will be available at The Inspired Home Show after the Show.