The question confronting every retailer— is what encourages a customer to shop in one store rather than the other' The answer is, a co-ordinated effort that includes marketing, merchandising, store design, and visual merchandising. Yes, visual merchandising is the language that retailers use to communicate with the targeted customer. It is the art of grabbing the shoppers’ attention, broadening the perception of the product on display and thereby initiating its purchase. It gives passion and pizzazz to the retailing business.
Visual merchandising is essentially the basic methodology of presentation i.e. arranging items for display including design, composition, colour, props, mannequins, lighting, and more. Its general use is in merchandise and store displays, including window dressing. An integral part of any commercial space today, visual merchandising gives it a competitive edge over other establishments dealing in similar products.
What do i have to do'
Visual merchandisers come in contact with the wonderful world of mannequins, meet leaders from all sectors of the design community, develop and instal merchandise presentations at retail establishments. Additionally, they design sets for the annual fashion shows.
Visual merchandisers: • Create dynamic wall presentations using a variety of fixtures, signs, visual props, and mannequin alternatives. • Explain how to use wall presentations to enhance selling. • Create tabletop and wall presentations. • Design a sign layout. • Co-ordinate fashions by end use, fabrication, and colour. • Create an idea board for presentations to executives. • Follow guidelines for dressing and maintaining mannequins. • Dress a display hanger with a co-ordinated outfit. • Determine lighting priorities. • Plan layouts and fixtures for grocery and food stores. • Select key locations for product displays. • Develop a special event or fashion show concept. • Plan effective window display merchandise themes to meet retail goals. • Develop strategies for placing mannequins so they match a store’s image. • Identify the basic supplies and tools needed for a visual-merchandising department.
What should I study'
The basic qualification required for the diploma course, is a pass in your Class X examination. For postgraduate programmes, you should be a graduate in any field. The courses are designed to introduce students to the best practices and strategies in visual merchandising. The visual merchandising course exposes students to an in-depth analysis of the retail store environment.
Students visit local retail establishments to view displays and engage in on-site investigation and documentation of successful design and merchandising practices. Students learn basic drawing techniques used by retail designers to indicate and communicate store layout and design concepts.
What are the prospects'
Visual merchandising is a comparatively new field that has sprung up with the growing popularity of window and floor displays. Visual merchandisers can find employment with fashion boutiques, shopping malls, emporia etc. They are also engaged as shop floor managers. They can do freelancing on contract basis for window displays in exhibitions, fairs and other places. Other options available are production co-ordinator, quality control supervisor, fashion retailer, export manager etc. You can also be employed as product and brand executives in buying houses, advertising agencies, wholesale organisations and trading houses.
With hands-on experience in display, product presentation and design, visual merchandisers may move into middle management and senior management positions. As most cities are witnessing a massive expansion of department stores and hyper markets like Shoppers Stop, Ebony, Big Jo’s, Arcus, Westside, and Forum, there is a growing demand for professionally trained and talented visual merchandisers.
Where to study
• NIFT, Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta.
• Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology, Yelahanka, Bangalore 560064.
• Pearl Academy of Fashion, C 56/2 Okhla Industrial Area, Phase II, New Delhi 110020.
• International Institute of Fashion Technology, H- 12 South Extension Part I, New Delhi 110049.
• Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, Matunga, Mumbai – 400019.