Before starting a career in visual merchandising, it makes sense to look at a typical day in the life of a visual merchandiser.
The first thing that strikes you is that visual merchandisers have to do a lot more than simply clothe mannequins. The job is far more involved than many people realise. If you are planning on entering the field of visual merchandising, then be prepared to put in a lot of effort. There is a great deal that a prospective visual merchandiser has to learn about their trade and several reasons why the job is not for everyone. Here we take a look at the ins and outs of a job in visual merchandising, so you can decide if it’s for you.
Why are visual merchandisers needed?
Research shows that most buyers base their purchasing decisions inside stores. This is why retailers spend so much time and effort – as well as money – to make their stores more visually appealing to the customer. Visual merchandisers need to ensure that the displays are attractive and strike the imagination of the buyer. Whether it’s a dressing table adorned with figurines and matching stationery, or a kitsch window display depicting a family bike ride, the most important thing is that it looks inviting, and like something a customer should want.
What does a visual merchandiser do?
Visual merchandisers will need to work closely with merchandise managers to ensure that everything that is available for sale is properly positioned in the store. He or she also needs to move the products to places in the store where the product will have maximum effect on the mind and hearts of the shopper.
Another responsibility of a visual merchandiser is when he or she has to make a decision regarding a particular product that is not selling well. The VM must move that product or brand from wall units to become a detached fixture, putting it firmly in front of customers in an inviting way. Secondly, the visual merchandiser must also learn that there is much more to dressing mannequins than dressing them in attractive outfits. His or her day starts with the creation of a story that uses colour as the beginning of the tale and to which the visual merchandiser adds texture and various accessories. This has to be done well because most buyers look at the visual display and the mannequin styling and use these as references when buying entire outfits.
It’s not all about displaying stock
It’s not just the stock that needs to be optimised to attract customers. The visual merchandiser may also need to take responsibility for the correct selection of fixtures and carpets, as well as furniture for their stores. They may even have to go as far as getting out their paintbrush to paint the walls and to move furniture to the correct place in the store.
Typically, a visual merchandiser will need an eye for detail when it comes to colour matching and the psychology of display. A visual merchandiser does not always work in the store itself. They will often meet with representatives of various suppliers and find out from them when an upcoming collection is being introduced and how they want their products to look in a store.
As you can see, it’s not as simple as dressing a mannequin. Visual merchandisers have many different and taxing responsibilities, but they do have a marked effect on sales, which gives them a unique opportunity to really make a difference to a business. If you’re interested in visual merchandising, then why not look for a course in your area and consider this as a really exciting career path.
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