Visual merchandisers create the zing

The show window is what entices a customer to walk into a store. This is the magic a visual merchandiser wishes to create. Here is what goes behind being one!
Visual merchandiser at work!

Being a visual merchandiser (VM) is one of the most sought after jobs in retail today. A good sense of aesthetics and an out-of-the-box thought process is what you need to be successful in this field. Your responsibility is to put to use your artistic flair and maximise sales by making the store appeal to the senses of the target customers! But you cannot become a visual merchandiser just like that, you need to have a professional qualification.. 

Educational requirements
To be a VM you need to get educated in the respective course. A bachelor's degree in visual and/or fashion merchandising, graphic design, applied design, or a related field is a requisite.

What does a visual merchandiser do?
A visual merchandiser is responsible for the 'look' of the store. He/She designs the look of the store window and takes care of the interior displays. Displays need to be changed regularly to break the monotony. The themes around which designing takes place can be devised by a number of factors, like the seasons of the year, important events in the calendar (Valentine's Day, Diwali or Christmas) or current fashion and trends. So a VM has to conceptualise and design every aspect related to the ‘look’ of the store. 
In larger retail chains, visual merchandisers coordinate with the head office and other design teams to ensure uniformity with the corporate brand or image.


Outlook
The future of this sector seems bright. Retail is bound to grow and the increasing awareness among retailers about the positives of visual merchandising for a store will lead to greater job openings. Just keep your flair for colour, balance and composition up--to -date and you might just be working with your dream company.



Career Path
Visual Merchandising Assistant > Visual Merchandiser > Visual Merchandising Coordinator > Visual Merchandising Director 

Role
• Sketching designs.
• Developing floor plans.
• Sourcing materials.
• Maximising the space and layout of the store. 
• Using available space to the best advantage. 
• Dressing mannequins and making use of creative lighting for window displays. 
• Preparing for promotional events and dismantling displays at the end of promotional periods.
• Work with in-store sales staff and help to develop their understanding of presentation and look of the store.
• Setting up a 'model' store according to the company's latest design directives, photographing the store's windows, each wall and every display, in order to create a visual merchandising pack to send out to other stores. 

Retail schools offering the course
• Rai & MICA
• NIFT
• NID
• Mudra Institute of Communications
• Pearl Academy of Fashion
• Global Retail School
• TWKs

(The following colleges do not offer a separate course on visual merchandising, but have it incorporated in the curriculum of their courses)

• National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFD)
• Wigan & Leigh College
• J D Institute of Fashion Technology
• Acumen School of Business
• Asian Retail Institute
• Welingkar Institute of Management


 

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