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Visual merchandising

Visual merchandising is the activity and profession of developing floor plans and three-dimensional [1] displays in order to maximise sales. Both goods or services can be displayed to highlight their features and benefits. The purpose of such visual merchandising is to attract, engage and motivate the customer towards making a purchase. Visual merchandising commonly occurs in retail spaces such as retail stores and trade shows.

History
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 general consumers. The store windows were often used to attractively display the store's merchandise. Over time, the design aesthetic used in window displays moved indoors and became part of the overall interior store [citation needed] design, eventually reducing the use of display windows in many suburban malls. In the twentieth century, well-known artists such as Salvador Dal and Andy Warhol created window [citation needed] displays. [edit]Methodology [edit]Principles The purpose of visual merchandising is to: Make it easier for the customer to locate the desired category and merchandise. Make it easier for the customer to self-select. Make it possible for the shopper to co-ordinate and accessorise. Recommend, highlight and demonstrate particular products at strategic locations. Educate the customer about the product in an effective & creative way.

[edit]Techniques Visual merchandising builds upon or augments the retail design of a store. It is one of the final stages in setting out a store in a way customers find attractive and appealing. Many elements can be used by visual merchandisers in creating displays including color, lighting, space, product information, sensory inputs (such as smell, touch, and sound), as well as technologies such as digital displays and interactive installations. [edit]Tools A planogram allows visual merchandisers to plan the arrangement of merchandise by style, type, size, price or some other category. It also enables a chain of stores to have the same merchandise displayed in a coherent and similar manner across the chain.

[edit]Forms [edit]Window

displays

See also: Display window and Window dresser Window displays can communicate style, content, and price. Display windows may also be used to advertise seasonal sales or inform passers-by of other current promotions. [edit]Food

merchandising

Restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores use visual merchandising as a tool to differentiate themselves in a saturated market.

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Visual impact is a huge component of retail merchandising. Customers entering a store are greatly influenced by the visual information they gather in the first split second. One simple visual element, such as color, can catch a shoppers attention and also greatly affect their mood. In todays ultra competitive market pl ace it is of paramount importance that retailers understand the basics of visual merchandising. Here are 5 visual merchandising tips to help you maximize your efforts. Displa y sale products in a creative w ay. W hen building a product display look for products that are natural add-ons to the main product featured. A great visual merchandising tip for a grocery store: Build an end cap special on tomato soup, but dont just stop with the soup, get creative. Merchandise the entire end cap with tomato so up then place a shelf at eye level displaying brightly colored soup bowls as an add -on sale item. Visually the display would have a repeating label accented by one ribbon shelf of bowls. This is good visual merchandising practice and great way to increase margin. Use accent lighting to feature products . Customers are drawn to light. Lighting can make products shine and bring colors to life. Using this visual merchandising tip to wash a display wall with light will enhance any product. Accent lighting creates visual interest for shoppers, and magically puts products in their sight. Once a product has captured a customers attention the odds are increased that a purchase is at hand. This visual merchandising tip will impact your customers impression of their shopping experience and your profits. Change displa ys w eekl y. This visual merchandising tip reminds us that customers want to see new and different products. There is an aspect of entertainment and education that customers appreciate when store s change their displays. Stores that dont change their displays weekly will have customers simply walking past displays that are no longer fresh. If the customers have seen the same end cap for the last six weeks, the displays are no longer new or rele vant to them. These stores will not reap the potential rewards of incremental or add -on sales and can lose out to their competition. If the competitor down the street is constantly and creatively changing their visuals, there is a good chance shoppers wi ll gravitate to that store. Color matters. Visual merchandising tips like this one are at the core of any solid merchandising plan. Color can demand a shoppers attention, evoke emotion and influence decisions. Your merchandising plan should include bri ght colors not only for displays or end caps, but also for the middle of aisle runs. Visually painting your store with colorful focal points will help draw shoppers to those key areas.

Merchandising themes . Consider grouping themed products together for powerful visual messages. Theme merchandising is a fun way to communicate seasonal activities or other information. If your store is a hardware store, use garden gloves, flower bulbs, decorative pots, hand gardening tools, and potting soil to get your sa les started for spring. Outdoor grilling displays are great themes for grocery stores and home centers. Backyard chefs will be attracted to every item in your display. Themes connect customers to projects or activities, and as a result, connect their spending to your profits.
VM&RD is Indias only magazine on Visual Merchandising and Retail Design and was launched in September 2005, VM&RD underscores the best there is to the systematic art of creating a complete retail experience. Each issue of the magazine focuses on all aspects of retail design and visual merchandising in the context of branded shopping environment.