Visual Merchandising - 'the Changing Scenario'

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The idea is to create euphoria in the fashion market by trying out new retail techniques and profiting by building more on store presentation. Fashion companies must make sure that they use effective Visual Merchandising (VM), which involves shopper research, creating a distinct identity for the retailer (5).

Estimated at a $ 180 billion market size and accounting for a national GDP of 10% the Indian retail industry is poised to see a growth of 11-12% per year.

Further, India is placed sixth in the global retail development index and it is predicted that there will be 1000 -1500 stores in each of the metros by 2009.

According to a CII analysis the Indian retail business has the capacity to employ over 2 million in new jobs within the next 6 years. About 60% are expected to be in the area of fashion and lifestyle, and visual merchandising is one key area for the same (2).

As both fashion brands and retailers in India strive to convert brand thinking into retail thinking, point-of-sale (POS) promotion is steadily gaining a bigger slice of the promotion pie.

The year 2006, for instance, saw some big spends, with large department stores like Shopper's Stop, Lifestyle and Westside spending in the range of Rs. 30,00,000 - 40,00,000 per season on visual merchandising.

Visual Merchandising spend had indeed doubled in 2006, compared to the last couple of years. Where fashion retailers traditionally spent approx. 1.5 to 2% of their turnover on visual merchandising in earlier years, the spend figure now stands at about 4% of the turnover. The Indian retail industry is waking up to the need for visual merchandising and the Indian society, attaining an international outlook is subconsciously creating a demand for it (5).

Various institutes in the country and overseas are offering courses in visual merchandising. The government is also gearing up by organizing various training programs and allocating funds for participation in world trade fairs &...
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