STORE DESIGN AND VISUAL MERCHANDISING
TULIKA ANAND (Retail roll no 1)
RADHIKA BIYANI (Retail roll no 4)
For many years, businesses have tried to sell their products to buyers with limited merchandise options. It did not matter how the merchandise was displayed, how the store looked, or whether the sellers were polite. Just having merchandise available very often guaranteed a sale. Not any more though. Nowadays with an increase in the number of manufacturers and retailers, a buyer has many options available in terms of style and functionality. Hence it has become an exercise for sellers to entice the audience via the art and science of Visual Merchandising (VM) and store designing. Visual Merchandising is creating visual displays and arranging merchandise assortments within a store to improve the layout and presentation and to increase traffic and sales. It can also be defined as the art of displaying merchandise in a manner that is appealing to the eyes of the customer. Store design, a creative commercial discipline, is a specialised practice of architecture and interior design that combines several different areas of expertise together in the design and construction of retail space. Store design and Visual merchandising are very important attributes of a store, both of which contribute to a store’s shopping environment. From a shopper’s perspective, visual merchandising and store design help create what the shopper will sense, albeit perhaps only subconsciously, as their “feelings” about a store. Even though there are many influences at work in the shopping experience, the look of a store holds the most sway in enticing customers through the doors. Customers even tend to sum up that initial in-store encounter in visual terms: a store is exciting, clean or well-organized or, at the other end of the scale, boring, messy, or overwhelming. Store design deals with elements such as the location of categories and product placement within those categories. In good store design thought is given to geometry and symmetry of sales space, which fosters balance and can improve shopper flow. Colour and aroma and elements of sound and displays that encourage the tactile involvement of shoppers are all too, part of store design. Visual Merchandising is the art of presentation, which puts the merchandise in focus and in perspective too. It educates the customers, creates desire and finally augments the selling process. Visual merchandising is comprised of six components: image, layout, presentation, signing, display and events. Window displays and floor displays are in fashion boutiques and shopping malls are part of visual merchandising. Visual merchandising is a comparatively new career field. Visual merchandisers are can be engaged as shop floor managers , freelancers on contract basis for windows displays in exhibitions, fares, and other places, production coordinators, quality control supervisors, fashion retailers or export managers.
Store design and Visual merchandising together is the science and psychology of the retail and fashion world. For instance three-dimensional displays, the use of colour and accessories and the placement of the season’s merchandise for maximum impact fall under the domain of Visual merchandising. Visual merchandising starts with the merchandise itself and not with the decoration. The main issue is to make the merchandise extremely attractive, exciting and enticing, stimulating the buyer’s appetite and finally resulting in the decision to buy. Effective visual merchandising can directly affect the bottom line of any retailer by: 1. Maximising walk-ins
2. Increasing sales conversion
3. Increasing average customer billing amount
4. Insuring higher recall value in the mind of the consumer and hence creating a loyal and ever expanding base of customers. Visual merchandising today...
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