When it’s time to truly set a brand apart from the crowd, the company should usually let its imagination run wild. Many retail stores have huge show windows and large covered areas, however managing that area and making it appealing for the passerby is not a child’s play. An innovative visual merchandiser changes the look of a show window into the retailer’s strength in making a retail store attractive, fresh and creative. The opportunities and ideas to redo a window or a retailer store are colossal. Whether it’s from a catalogue of cutting edge merchandising and display solutions or by working on design and development team to create a unique piece to suit company’s needs, visual merchandising knows it all.
Birth of scientific art
There was a time when only a museum or a department store would display items and share the story behind the displays. However during the last quarter of the nineteenth century things turned for the better for both- the retailer and the client. Window displays at stores spread like wild fire. Today displays in museums are referred to as exhibitions, while displays in a store may be are referred to as "Visual Merchandising”. Visual merchandising is an art where unspoken set of laws can be broken for the purpose of creating amazing displays. The main principle of visual merchandising is that it is intended to increase sales, which is not the case with ‘real’ art. Visual merchandising is one of the final stages of displaying the product at the store in such a way that customers find it attractive and appealing. The display reflects the principles that underpin the store’s image. Primarily, visual merchandising aims at selling goods of a store through visual means which covers advertising, window displays and floor designs. Artists such as Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol created remarkable window displays all through the twentieth century and turned their art into a profession.
Intention and object
Many elements can be used by the visual merchandisers in creating displays, including colour, lighting, space, product information, sensory inputs such as smell, touch and sound as well as technologies such as digital displays and interactive installations. Visual merchandising is the way one displays products in the most eye-catching and striking manner with the soul purpose of making a profit. The products used for visual appeal ranges from rocks, glass or even an old scooter. The ideas and creativity are the soul for any window display. “Though, display location and lights play a major role but the physical materials which can be used could be anything from an antique chair to old newspapers. Innovative displays could be droll or comical as well.” says Anuraag S, Visual Merchandiser with Future Axiom Telecom Ltd.
A long life to follow
The best part of visual merchandising is the fact that it’s not a permanent feature. If it does not work one can change it, change it to a theme, a season, a colour or any bright idea that may come up in your mind. A retail store would always have a store window and a customer will always keep a watch. The better the window display, the more would be the footfall. “Internationally retailers are experimenting many interactive and attractive displays where customers are engaged and their senses are stimulated through visuals, smell, sound or action. However, in India the market is picking up fast since retailers here as well are on a look out for something new or exceptional.” believes Anuraag.