VISUAL MERCHANDISING- Introduction Visual merchandising is about creating appeal and is known in the retail industry as ‘the silent

salesperson’. When the overall impression of a store is well coordinated and organised, it is more inviting to the customer. Visual merchandising involves attracting customers into a store, and influences the way customers move around the store, carefully placing displays to draw attention. Visual merchandising begins with choices about the colours and layout of a store, and extends to fixtures and fittings, lighting, product labelling, signage, graphics and good housekeeping. Terms Used:        Visual Merchandising: The physical display of goods in the most attractive and appealing ways. Store Layout: the interior arrangement of retail facilities. Selling areas: where merchandise is displayed and customers interact with sales personnel. (7580% of the total space) Sales support areas: devoted to customer services, merchandise receiving and distribution, management offices and staff activities. Floor Plan: A drawing showing arrangement of physical space, such as showing the positioning of merchandise groups and customer services for a retail store. Grid Layout: A retail floor plan that has one of ore primary (main) aisles running through the store, with secondary (smaller) aisles intersecting with them at right angles. Fixtures: Shelves, tables, rods, counters, stands, easels, forms, and platforms on which merchandise is stocked and displayed for sale.

PURPOSE OF VISUAL MERCHANDISING    Attract target customers for particular products Communicate information to customers through images, signs and labels. The aim of a visual merchandising plan is to specify the organisation’s objectives and basic standards in relation to the presentation of the store and its merchandise. The format and structure of visual merchandising plans and manuals vary widely between different retail organisations.

ADVANTAGES OF VM:    Effective visual merchandising helps to distinguish a store from its competitors. VM also helps to develop a positive atmosphere in a store and provide stimuli for customers that result in products ‘selling themselves’. Placing a strong focus on informative visual merchandising can reduce the need for sales staff to answer repetitive questions and inquiries from customers.

lighting. signage and the composition of displays. where you can place specific centres of emphasis – your displays. The intention is to create a visually balanced and harmonious background environment. proportion. or otherwise made available for sale in retail stores. VM DESIGN REQUIREMENT The design requirements of a visual merchandising plan : The design principles used in visual merchandising are similar to those used in interior design. Face-forward presentation (face-out presentation): Hanging of clothing with the front fully facing the viewer. repetition. This should always be done at entrances and aisles. lines. There should be a flow or rhythm to the visual experience of a customer entering the store. which you can create using colour. The design principles used in a store will differ depending on the:    type and cost of merchandise sold size and location of the store Target groups of customers Visual merchandising design includes:      applying the organisation’s visual merchandising standards choosing display features to suit products using colour applying the design principles of balance and symmetry using shapes.MERCHANDISE PRESENTATION Merchandise presentation includes the ways that goods are hung. sight lines. space and textures . Shoulder-out presentation: The way most garments are hung in home closets with only one side showing from shoulder to bottom. placed on shelves. A detailed formal plan or manual may include:      the exact number and type of displays to be set up schedules for implementing each display store locations for each display the merchandise and signage to be used for each display and how these should be placed on the relevant fixtures ‘plan-o-grams’ – diagrams of displays and how they should look.

especially in discount operations. it has no formal arrangement.Store Fixture Retail Fixtures Carousels: Circular racks that turn Dump tables/bins: A rimmed table or bin used to hold sale or special merchandise on the sales floor. which permits accessibility to hanging merchandise all the way around Rounders: Circular racks on which garments are hung around the entire circumference . Four-way rack: A fixture with four extended arms.

that holds clothes on hangers. sometimes with one straight arm and one waterfall. that contains knobs to hole face-forward hangers with clothing at various levels. Displays are intended to:        Stimulate product interest Provide information Suggest merchandise coordination Generate traffic flow Remind customers of planned purchases Create additional sales of impulse items Enhance the store’s visual image Interior Displays Locations for interior displays:       Just in the entrance Entrance to department Near cash/wrap Next to related items Across from elevators and escalators Ends of aisles . Displays Displays: individual and notable physical presentation of merchandise. Waterfall: A fixtures with an arm that slants downward. two-way stand in the shape of a T.T-stand: Freestanding.

holiday. etc. 2.Components of Displays 1. 2.Lighting: Used to direct customer’s attention to the display  Use more light for dark colors. 4. the diameter of the circle of light  Beamspread techniques involve:  Floodlighting: recessed ceiling lights to direct light over an entire wide display area  Spotlighting: focuses attention on specific areas or targeted items of merchandise  Pinpointing: focuses a narrow beam of light on a specific item . Merchandise:  More interesting if in odd numbers Groups:     One-category. less light for light colors Beamspread. or line-of-goods Related groupings: go together or reinforce each other Theme groupings: event. Variety or assortment groupings: collection of unrelated items all sold at the same store. Merchandise Lighting Props Signage 1. 3.

(mannequins.3. etc) . rods. surfboards. flowers. stairways. stands. These include:  Functional Props: used to physically support the merchandise. etc)  Decorative Props: used to establish a mood or an attractive setting for the merchandise being featured (ex: mirrors. screens. seashells. panels. etc)  Structural Props: used to support functional and decorative props and change the physical makeup of displays. (boxes.Props: Objects added that support the theme of the display. stands.


  Advantages of Window Displays:  Establish and maintain an image  Arouse curiosity Disadvantages of Window Displays:  Expensive to design and maintain  Requires space  Merchandise can get ruined (sun . Can have a series of windows.  Should be informative and concise.  Should try to answer customer’s questions. DISPLAY & FIXTURES USED: Window Display: Features:  Seen from outside of the store.  Can include prices. Often on some kind of holder  Can tell a story about the goods. sizes.Signage:  Includes individual letters and complete signs.etc)  Glare . department location.4. First contact with the customer.

      . Ramped windows: floor is higher in back than in front Elevated windows: from 1 to 3 feet higher than sidewalk Shadowbox windows: small. often in lobbies. boxlike display windows Semi-closed windows: have a partial background that shuts out some of the store interior from those viewing the window Open Windows: have no background panel & the entire store is visible to people walking by Island windows: four-sided display windows that stand alone.Types of Window Displays  Enclosed windows: have a full background and sides that completely separate the interior of the store from the display window.

wall usually covered with a skin that is fitted with vertical columns of notches similar to those on a gondola. flat-based decks . into which a variety of hardware can be inserted Can be merchandised much higher than floor fixtures (max of 42” on floor for round racks on wall can be as high as 72”   Other common fixtures: tables. bins. peg hooks. Four-way Fixture – two crossbars that sit perpendicular to each other on a pedestal Round Rack – round fixture that sits on pedestal   Wall Fixtures  To make store’s wall merchandisable. large bins. baskets and other hardware can be inserted.Fixture Types   Straight Rack – long pipe suspended with supports to the floor or attached to a wall Gondola – large base with a vertical spine or wall fitted with sockets or notches into which a variety of shelves.