Gap On The Wall

A couple of weeks ago we were at the Gap and I spotted this on the wall.

It’s a bicycle from Public Bikes that was disassembled and shot for this in-store display (thereby they’re not for sale). I thought they were pretty darn good looking. I’m more of a bike admirer than an actual bike rider (apologies to my cycling enthusiast father), so I feel like a bit of a poser saying this, but… I really want those posters to hang in our house. Not sure where, but somewhere. Here’s a better shot of one of the panels from the Public Bikes blog.

I talked with the manager at my local Gap and they “made a note” to call me when they’re done using them for display. This was promising because I expected to hear “sorry, we’re not allowed to give those away” (which I’ve heard at other stores when I’ve asked, like Target). But it wasn’t totally confidence inspiring either – because it sounded a bit like a “don’t call us, we’ll call you.” So I also decided to randomly tweet about wanting them once the store is done with them, and a Gap manager elsewhere heard my plea and is going to try to snag me a set once they’re bumped for holiday decor. Oh the power of Twitter. Who knows if it’ll actually work out, but I gave it the ol’ college try.

Is there any store display out there that you’ve been admiring (or thinking about recreating/DIYing)? Perhaps something at Anthropologie? Have any of you used actual store decor in your home? If so, how’d you go about getting it? Was tweeting involved? Or just regular old fashioned in-person asking? We always hear about folks who just get a call weeks or months later when the store is done with something (like friends of mine who got movie posters from Blockbuster when they were finished displaying them as new releases). Fingers crossed…


  1. says

    My wife got a bunch of larger than life-sized displays of passionata lingerie models from a local department store. Nothing obscene – very aesthetic. Now we’re planning to decorate our garage wall with them. The decorators of said department store also hold a little giveaway fair once a year to clear their stocks (which not only is posters but anything you can imagine). Awesome idea!

  2. Kristin says

    I work at baby gap and we just throw all the paper displays away. There were some really cool polaroid looking photos in our last display that I got to keep and am using them in my kids room. You should check back with them in about 2 weeks because they should be doing holiday display then.

  3. Emily says

    I definitely lust over the Anthropologie displays. Several years ago, I inquired about a lovely paper pomander display in soft shades of white and gray, but was quickly shot down by the two stores in my home town. I ended up DIY-ing them instead. :)

  4. Serena says

    When I was in late middle school/early high school, the Ames (yup, Ames) in our town had a life size cut out of Alan Jackson in the men’s department (I think he was the Hanes spokesman at the time?). Whenever we went to Ames my mom would walk through the men’s department-whether we needed to or not-and talk to the cut out:

    “What’s that Alan Jackson? You like my new hair color?”
    “I look too young to have kids this old? You are too kind Alan Jackson.”
    “Oh Alan, not in front of the children.”
    And so on.

    She always said she was going to ask to take him home when they were done with him but she never did. Years later, when Ames was going out of business she often threatened to go dumpster diving out back to see if he was out there waiting for her…

  5. says

    A very nice manager at Toys R Us gave the hubby & I a life size Anakin Skywalker Poster… We use it as a ‘door’ to a closet (stylin’.

    My BFF also ‘won’ me a life size Yoda from a Blockbuster Display- He made it into my wedding pictures. NICE!

    I believe the trick to getting something from a store is to ask politely & show some cleavage…. Good Luck!

  6. Alli says

    Yes! I asked for a HUGE poster of Scott Speedman from the GAP sometime around 2003-2004. They told me that they couldn’t give them to me, but I knew someone who worked at the store. Unfortunately on the day they took them down, they slashed them and threw them in the trash. Sadly, I couldn’t even put the pieces back together.

  7. Ehryn says

    Over the summer, I was at Michael’s getting supplies for our son’s “Dr. Seuss” themed first birthday party. I was so excited when I noticed they had Dr. Seuss gear for sale, but even more excited over their displays. So I left my name and number with the manager and lucky for me, the called the day they were taking them down. I managed to snag another set by calling a different location on the same day. They made adorable decorations and what wasn’t personalized was actually used for another little guys 3rd birthday party. Definitely a better alternative than trashing them!

  8. Katie says

    I have two of the winter trees from last Christmas at Banana Republic on the wall in my son’s nursery. I had to go to 4 different Banana Republics to find someone who would let me have a couple! As a warning The Gap/Banana/Old Navy group is really protective of their displays as “original art”. One of the stores who told me no referred me to the national art designer for permission, which was denied. So here’s hoping your Gap employee doesn’t check with upper management! Another suggestion, find out dumpster day and the have them tell you when they are throwing them out. Dumpster diving is always a fun activity! Good luck!

  9. Ashley Ez says

    My mom was a shoe buyer when I was young, then she changed to fashion merchandiser in a large store. I had ALL kinds of cool stuff from that job. Mostly large flowers and things (4 feet across) that all of my friends always wanted too. I thought I was so awesome. Ha!

  10. Trista says

    My husband enjoyed the Eragon books, so when the movie was about to come out, he begged the local movie theater to give him the huge promo banner with a massive dragon on it.

    Too bad the movie was a bust, so we never even unrolled the banner. I think I made him toss it when we moved this summer.

  11. Kate says

    My mom allegedly got about a dozen white coffee mugs for free from a clothing store, when she asked if she could buy them. Not sure how they were worked into the clothing display or if she didn’t just make off with a purse full of mugs, but there it is.

  12. says

    That’s awesome that they are going to try and get it to you. Anthropologie used to have a whole wall of toast. Like this:

    Our store’s was a little different with a sort of continuum of lightly toasted to burnt. It certainly was an attention getter and I thought “why didn’t we think of that?” But that would be kind of out there for a home display. Like when Hildi did a wall of straw on Trading Spaces back in the day.

  13. says

    There was a Mervyn’s going out of business and we bought their ad display frames for super cheap. You can kind of see the large ad frame with the original ad in it in the following link,

    My boyfriend keeps saying he wants to put some other art in it but I have become attached to the ad picture. I really like the colors. And yes it is an add for underwear. :)

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