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Visual merchandising is the activity of promoting the sale of goods, especially by their

presentation in retail outlets.(New Oxford Dictionary of English, 1999, Oxford University


Press). This includes combining products, environments, and spaces into a stimulating and
engaging display to encourage the sale of a product or service. It has become such an important
element in retailing that a team effort involving the senior management, architects,
merchandising managers, buyers, the visual merchandising director, designers, and staff is
needed.

Visual merchandising starts with the store building itself. The management then decides on the
store design to reflect the products the store is going to sell and how to create a warm, friendly,
and approachable atmosphere for its potential customers.

Many elements can be used by visual merchandisers in creating displays, including colour,
lighting, space, product information, sensory inputs such as smell, touch, and sound as well as
technologies such as digital displays and interactive installations.

Visual merchandising is not a science; there are no absolute rules. It is more like an art in the
sense that there are implicit rules but that these also exist to be broken for striking effects. The
main principle of visual merchandising is that it is intended to increase sales, which is not the
case with a "real" art.

Visual merchandising is one of the final stages in trying to set out a store in a way that customers
will find attractive and appealing and it should follow and reflect the principles that underpin the
store’s image. Visual merchandising is the way one displays 'goods for sale' in the most
attractive manner with the end purpose of making a sale. "If it does not sell, it is not visual
merchandising."

Especially in today’s challenging economy, people may avoid designers/ visual merchandisers
because they fear unmanageable costs. But in reality, visual merchandisers can help economise
by avoiding costly mistakes. With guidance of a professional, retailer can eliminate errors,
saving time and money. It is important to understand that the visual merchandiser is there, not to
impose ideas, but to help clients articulate their own personal style.

Visual merchandising is the art of implementing effective design ideas to increase store traffic
and sales volume. VM is an art and science of displaying merchandise to enable maximum sale.
VM is a tool to achieve sales and targets, a tool to enhance merchandise on the floor, and a
mechanism to communicate to a customer and influence his decision to buy. VM uses season
based displays to introduce new arrivals to customers, and thus increase conversions through a
planned and systematic approach by displaying stocks available.

Recently visual merchandising has gained in importance as a quick and cost effective way to
revamp retail stores.

Contents
[hide]

• 1 Purpose
• 2 History
• 3 Variances
o 3.1 Planogram
 3.1.1 Window Displays
• 4 Related Pages

• 5 See also

[edit] Purpose
Retail professionals display to make the shopping experience more comfortable, convenient and
customer friendly by:

• Making it easier for the shopper to locate the desired category and merchandise.
• Making it easier for the shopper to self-select.
• Making it possible for the shopper to co-ordinate & accessorize.
• Informing about the latest fashion trends by highlighting them at strategic locations.

Merchandise presentation refers to most basic ways of presenting merchandise in an orderly,


understandable, ’easy to shop’ and ‘find the product’ format. This easier format is especially
implemented in fast fashion retailers

VM helps in:

• educating the customers about the product/service in an effective and creative way.

• establishing a creative medium to present merchandise in 3D environment, thereby


enabling long lasting impact and recall value.

• setting the company apart in an exclusive position.

• establishing linkage between fashion, product design and marketing by keeping the
product in prime focus.

• combining the creative, technical and operational aspects of a product and the business.

drawing the attention of the customer to enable him to take purchase decision within shortest
possible time, and thus augmenting the selling process.

[edit] History
Every shopkeeper and merchant's primary objective is to sell merchandise. When the giant
nineteenth century dry goods establishments like Marshall Field & Co. shifted their business
from wholesale to retail the visual display of goods became necessary to attract the retail
customer. The store windows no longer simply allowed natural light to shine in the building or
act as storage space for stock; they became important venues to attractively display the store's
merchandise. Gradually, the design aesthetic used in window displays moved indoors and
became part of the overall interior store design, eventually displacing the importance windows
altogether in suburban malls.

Museums and department stores in America have a shared history of displaying their products,
both having come of age in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Like world's fairs,
department stores and museums crowded everything together on shelves or in display cases.
Today displays in museums are referred to as exhibitions, while displays in stores are referred to
as "Visual Merchandising. Essentially, visual merchandising is the selling of a store's goods
through visual means, incorporating advertising, and window displays, and interior sales floor
design and display. Throughout the twentieth century, well-known artists such as Salvador Dalí
and Andy Warhol created window displays, while other artists who are lesser known were
commissioned to design unique objects specifically for visual merchandising purposes.

1. Sell by showing and promoting the product. 2. Create an emotional connect beween the viewer
and the display. 3. Encourage the shopper to enter the store. 4. Get the customer to pause and
“shop” the selling floor. 5. Establish, promote, and enhance the store’s visual image. 6. Entertain
customers and enhance their shopping experience. 7. Introduce and explain new products.

[edit] Variances
[edit] Planogram

A Planogram allows planning of the arrangement of merchandise on a given fixture


configuration to support sales through proper placement of merchandise by Style, Option, Size,
Price points, etc. It also enables a chain of stores to have the same merchandise displayed in a
coherent and similar manner across the chain.

The main purpose is to support ease of applicability to the merchandiser while also increasing
selection & enhancing the merchandise display in a neat and organized manner.

[edit] Window Displays

A retailer's window is the most controllable element in relation to image and must match their
merchandise's target demographic. Windows may communicate style, content, and price point.
They can be seductive, exciting or based on emotional stimulus through stimulation, or evocation
of all five senses. Another direction taken by retailers who rely on volume sold is price-based
selling. These clearly emphasize value for money with easy and obvious ticketing.
The best store windows can generate great excitement and are a talking point. They contribute to
the environment by entertaining pedestrians, while simultaneously communicating the products
and services on offer.

For a retailer willing to exploit the full potential that a window gives, the image-building process
can be exciting and have enormous potential. A fashion retailer, for instance, will often change a
window weekly to show the latest items on offer. A glance into a shop's window by a passerby
establishes the time of the year and, very likely, a timely contemporary event. It might combine
seasonal and festive points of the year such as Back-to-school, Spring, Summer, Easter,
Christmas, New Year approaching, Diwali, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day etc. At other times the
propping may be based on color schemes, materials or cultural themes.

Valentine's Day windows - Clothing & Underwear


Seduction and love, gift urgency
Author: simo
Description: Valentine's Day windows - Clothing & Underwear
Tags: visual merchandising, visual communication, debenhams, mango, patrizia
pepe, la rinascente, terranova, tie rack, tezenis, next, intimissimi, oysho,
windows, la senza, spring summer 2009, golden point, undercolors benetton,
yamamay, valentine's day, san valentino
Last update: 09/02/2009

In clothing and underwear the prevailing messages are seduction and love. The
urgency of gift is clearly stated in Tie Rack and Rinascente only, whereas the
majority stimulate a purchase opportunity. In underwear the message on the
window is often repeated on displayed garments.

The job of a visual merchandiser starts right from deciding where, which, why and how a product
should be displayed, to zeroing in on the perfect colour, lighting and even props.
There's even a whole lot of homework that goes into creating a customer-friendly aura.
Vikram explains the basics of retail hypnosis as he says first and foremost the lighting, music and
fragrance of the store have to be carefully decided to create a customer-friendly environment.
Also the store's theme-based setting and colour scheme are kept in mind.
Vikram says while a good sense of aesthetics will remain your USP as a visual merchandiser there's
more to be a complete sellout in the field.
"One has to be a good merchandiser and a good visualiser. Also one should have an ability to
sketch and an ability to source good materials for props."
There are two simple ways to start off your career, either start learning as an apprentice to one of
the Visual Merchandising gurus or join professional courses.
Here is a list of institutes you can look at:

• NIFT's graduate program in Fashion Communication


• NID's graduate program in Apparel and Fashion Merchandising
• MICA's six month course on Visual Merchandising

Pay packages as a visual merchandiser may start at a measly Rs 15,000 a month for a fresher, but
could swell to over a lakh depending on the brand visibility.
And with the retail sector taking a leap of 40 per cent by 2011, work opportunities will be plenty.Not
only at malls but five-star hotels, boutiques, exhibitions, are all part of the work profile.
The bottom line for aspiring visual merchandisers is, the profession is upcoming offbeat, interesting
and well paying to consider.