Visual Merchandising

ABSTRACT

Visual merchandising is a comparatively new career field in which has sprung up with the growing popularity of window and floor displays. Visual merchandisers main area of work is to create impossible window displays. They can find employment with fashion boutiques, shopping malls, euphoria etc. They are also engaged as shop floor mangers. They can also do freelancing on contract basis for windows displays in exhibitions, fares, and other places. Other career options under this head are production coordinator, quality control supervisor, fashion retailer, export manger etc. This paper discusses importance and potential for visual merchandising professionals.

Contents

INTRODUCTION

CRITICAL ISSUES OF VISUAL MERCHANDISING

ROLE OF VISUAL MERCHANDISING

SCOPE FOR CAREER DEVELOPMENT

INTRODUCTION

Selling a product (convenient/shopping/specialty) is incomplete without communicating its image. To build long term brand loyalty, in addition to the quality of the product, right image is very much needed. To attain this, many companies invest huge money the promotions. But many businesses neglect the retail front which is the face of the brands. In other words, the way the products are displayed at the retail shelves, the way the sales people communicate to the consumer etc. are the some of the issues, which if not handles well can be a great threat to the brands image. Visual merchandising is the art of presentation, which puts the merchandiser in focus. It educates the customers, creates desire and finally augments the selling process. This is an area where the Indian business people lack adequate knowledge and expertise. This inadequacy is best reflected in poor presentation/display and communication the various national and international exhibitions with phasing out of quantitative restrictions after the year 2004, the textile industry will have to compete purely on the competitive edge of the products and visual merchandising will be helpful for the projecting the uniqueness of the products and thereby increasing the market access and sales. It is high time that the Indian textile and clothing industry should understand and adopts the scientific and professional system of visual merchandising rather than the traditional practices of display of products and communication.

CRITICAL ISSUES OF VISUAL MERCHANDISING

Retailing them itself has transformed the way business is done and the so called merchandisers of disposition of store inventory. There are many ways and standard procedures to ignite sales, increase profits and maximize the net worth of the business. Visual merchandising helps in this respect. This calls for a concerted industry efforts to approximately value the importance of quality retail coverage such as self-integrity in store advertising, price verification, stock rotations, new item-cut and other related activities. To make effective the retail business one has to focus on the following critical issues of visual merchandising.

a) Graphics and signage: attention grabbing yet clear graphics by way to visually communicate the brand and these graphics when compiled with the right signage become the stalls complete instruction manual.

b) Trends and moot boards: This is misunderstood by many as mere decorations for the stall. The brand sources and moot boards convey the source, in fact the mere need of the product for the consumer to the buyer. A good trend story board display can exhibit a thought process nursing for the inspirations (research, to swatch development of the final usage of the product.

c) Space management: Most displays concentrate on the floor management of space. In order to create a complete desired ambience the ceiling space should also be given enough attention. Walls are not elastic space should be allocated to the available products as per the expectation of the customers to deliver best results. The major issues of space management are:

1. How do we want our ranges to look?

2. Hanging/stocked/customers etc.

3. What stock density do you want to achieve?

Generally, the more options/units you can hold for a given amount of space, the higher the potential returns. Space landing systems can be split into two types

Numeric and visuals: Numeric planning system simply allow users to account of space available and to calculate the ratios like returns on space. Visual systems allow users to create three dimensional walk through models of the stores and to preview the look of a store once ranging decisions have been made.

d) Dresiforms and mannequins: The dresiforms communicate the 3 dimensional form of the product. Along with the fit a good mannequin can also be customized to communicate a character, for example, special kids wear mannequins with caricatured faces convey the playful mood of the collections.

e) Synergy among the different stalls: A stall look should compliment the mood the whole fair too. So some visual elements from the fair, be it a color scheme or some material used should also be incorporated in the stall.

f) Out of the box thinking: With so many stalls around, it sometimes focus some stock value to grab the attention of the buyers. Innovative ideas in displaying the mannequins, swatches etc can invite many more people to the stall.

g) Merchandise planning: The first function of merchandising planning is making a strategic plan, which is normally for a five years or more and is used to set the critical success factors for merchandising in terms of sales, margins and stocks. Next in a channel sales budget to take into account the effect of the new channels, new stores, closures, and refits. In simple words merchandising planning is a systematic approach and aiming at maximizing return on investment, through planning sales and inventory in order to increase profitability. It does think by maximization sales potential and minimizing losses from marked down and stock cuts.

h) Range planning: Begin with assortment plan. In assortment plan, the goal of merchandise plan are divided into specific lines and such a way that the division results in the increase of overall marginal mix. Then a distributions planning in done. The link between available physical space and ranging done here is a key determinant of merchandising performance.

ROLE OF VISUAL MERCHANDISING

Visual merchandising is an artistic method to ensure that retailers merchandise moves off the shelves faster. It’s a tool to appeal to the visual sensory elements of the customer. Visual merchandising is an unknown skill which is fastly becoming popular nowadays with the introduction of self service in retail stores in recent years and the number of changes taking place in super market merchandising methods, there has been increased emphasis on the kind of store layout, store building, fixtures, and equipment, color displays, silent communication tools, window display and finally opinion building through in store displays which has taken the art of retailing the higher applications frames.

Customer expects to spend less time for shopping and prefers one step multi brand retail formats and hence significance of visual merchandising is on increase. As per the opinion of Hemendra Mathur, senior consultant of KSA technopark based on the third annual consumer outlook study that the consumer is getting time saved and the time spent on shoppin (both grocery and non grocery) has come down. Further the study reveals that are increase in the impulse and unplanned purchases in the certain categories. Visual merchandising helps in the increase of impulse buying.

The practice of a visual merchandising is negligible in durables and home textiles and in the apparel and foot wear it is 20%. Many people experience in organized retailing are of the opinion that innovative application for effective retail presents and brand buildings are being used aggressively by companies in retail merchandising. Brands like Reebok spent 25% of their advertising spent on point of sale merchandising. The brand managers of Reebok feel that 80% of the buyers are influenced by the 3 feet experience i.e, point of sales material and visual merchandising are more effective than outdoor displays and advertising.

Market analysis feel that most companies are unfortunately not spending as much time and money as they should on POS (point of sales) visual merchandising as a strategic tool for brand building, indiscriminately “displaying everything rather than displaying selectively and effectively to assist consumer in taking decisions.

Visual merchandising helps in:

a) Establishing a creative medium to present merchandise in 3 D environment, with which a long lasting impact and recall value.

b) Combining the creative, technical, and operational aspects of a product and the business.

c) Educating the customers about the product/services in an effective and creative or innovative manners.

d) Drawing the attention of the customer to enable him to purchase decisions in the short space of time and this augmenting the selling process.

SCOPE FOR CAREER DEVELOPMENT

Retail business analysts feel that the average spending on POS and merchandising displays is RS. 1000 per square foot in the organized retailing whole size is Rs. 14,000 crores of the total (both organized and unorganized is Rs. 11,00,000 crore. Further analysis reveal that the multi brand retail formats (hypermarket) are storing 35% growth rate per annum which is the storing indicator for the bright and huge scope. For the visual merchandising professionals who have experience in designing effective store layouts, color displays, the use of creative silent communication skill tools, creative window display, and in store displays. The curriculum of visual merchandising includes generally the following fields:

a). Creative art.

b). Specific application to retail.

c). Techno commercial planning and execution.

Students of management looking for employment can find opportunities in departmental stores, super markets, malls, and hyper markets as visual merchandiser. Further those who have entrepreneurial streak can look for event managers or interior designers professionals.

Success in a Home Based Business – Visualization is Key

If you’re trying to succeed in any type of home based business you probably have already heard about the importance of knowing your dreams and goals. Having your specific goals in mind is truly one of the most important components in success in any business. However, if you believe that all you need to do is have your goals in your head you would be mistaken.

While that is certainly the first step ultimately you’re going to want to have some sort of visual way to see and meditate on your goals each and every day.

For some people the visualization is a list. Start by writing out all the things you want to achieve and all the things you want to do and buy along the way. Be as detailed as humanly possible. Don’t just write out “take a vacation” write where you want to go, how long, who would you take, what time of year, what hotel you want to stay at, etc. Anything and everything you can do to make your dreams as visual and as real as possible.

When you’re done making your list you’ll want to keep several copies of it all over where you can see it multiple times daily. Post one on your bathroom mirror, one on the visor of your car, one in your wallet or purse and anywhere else you can think of that you’d see every day.

Now to take it one step further and make your goals and dreams even more visual you’ll want to accompany the list with pictures and images that mean things to you. So a picture of your dream car or your dream home or a place you’d like to visit are all good ideas. The more visual and personal you can make it the better.

By looking at your goals and dreams every single day you will bring yourself that much closer to making them a reality. Plus it will give you that little extra boost of motivation on days when you don’t feel like working. With home based business success visualization is key!

Internet Home Business For Women

There are variety of home business options that women can choose from. Most women nowadays work a day job where they earn money but are faced with a lot of duties at home as well. Yet technology advances came up with a solution for that gap. Remember many cultures are now making a living online and have different customs. With an Internet business, more women are given the opportunity to take hold of their business schedules and domestic duties. And we all know that there is a lot of money to be made on the Internet if you have a feasible business system.

The good thing about the Internet business world is that the location isn’t limited. With the right type of business skills and visibility you can sell virtually to anyone and anywhere in the world. As more and more people look for goods on the Internet, since most people use the Internet for business and personal gratification, the demand for decent and reliable looking websites has also increased.

There is indeed money to be made on the Internet. But the big question is, you haven’t got the know-how where to start, right? Here are a few proven successful ideas you can use as a woman engaging in an Internet home business. Though no two businesses are ever alike, starting with a proven strategy can give you a firm foundation to build with. You can experiment later on when your business is stable and you have more free time.

Know the Opportunities. There are various options to choose from on the Internet. Having a good business plan before diving into any known Internet business is a smart first step. Planning is very essential in every business. You need to have a guide and a back up plan to be able to save you from stressful financial business glitches that can happen anytime along the way with your business.

Visualize your plans. Knowing what you want and what to do about it is definitely a head start! Visualizing what you want to happen and what you got to do to achieve that state is critical to your business and as well as to yourself as an entrepreneur.

Organization/ System. A system with real organization is something you have to have in your business. The system is the heart of your business. Everything passes through it. It is the life of your business. You should set a system where you have to follow every single day. Organization on the other hand is something you need to build in order to be more productive and effective. You have to hire someone to finish up tasks. In this way you don’t have to do everything yourself.

Some women are known to thrive as entrepreneurs. Other women are able to run their homes with efficiency. Careful planning and implementation of an online business system is the key to a successful home business for women and means to bridge that gap.