The role of a Visual merchandiser

Its not just dressing mannequins you know!!

what is a visual merchandiser?

The role in a nutshell is basically planning and designing the stores overall layout and also the stores window display which entices the customer to enter the store.

There is normally a team of visual merchandisers that come together and discuss what roles each one will have either which varies form who will change the window display or the layout actual shop floor.

Skills that are vital for a visual merchandiser.

To become a visual merchandiser, you will need to have:

  • a good sense of design, colour and style
  • creativity and imagination
  • an awareness of current trends in design, fashion and culture
  • a high level of attention to detail
  • the ability to work to deadlines
  • good communication skills
  • the ability to work well as part of a team and also alone
  • stamina and energy
  • technical drawing skills and good IT skills, possibly in computer-aided design (for more senior roles).

A day in a life of a Visual merchandiser

Here are some videos you could check out on YouTube.

Questions anyone ???

Any queries about the role of a visual merchandiser may be answered in the video below if not there will be more information coming up.
A day in the life of a Visual Merchandiser

What the role involves.

As a visual merchandiser in a large retail company, you would work as part of a display team. You would follow design plans created at head office by a visual merchandising manager or senior display designer. Your role may sometimes overlap with that of a display designer, who designs things like display stands, stock containers and sales posters.

Depending on your responsibilities, your day-to-day work might include:

  1. Producing design ideas for displays and developing floor plans, or following a company plan
  2. Creating special displays to promote a specific product or offer
  3. Drawing designs and plans by hand or computer
  4. Deciding how to use space and lighting creatively
  5. Making best use of a store's space and layout
  6. Creating branded visual merchandising packs to send to each branch of a store
  7. Giving feedback to head office and buying teams
  8. Setting up displays, dressing dummies and arranging screens, fabric and posters
  9. Sourcing display materials and hiring, borrowing or making props
  10. Making sure that prices and other required details can be seen
  11. Teaching sales staff how goods should be displayed
  12. Taking down old displays

Senior visual merchandisers are usually responsible for planning the store display for the year, creating visual plans and buying the appropriate models, props, equipment and signage.Head office visual merchandiser coordinators often prepare a visual merchandising pack to send to other stores, so that all stores have the same company look and feel.


In a full-time job a Visual Merchandiser would work 37 to 40 hours a week, often including late evenings in order to set up displays when stores are closed. Part-time work may be available.

Putting up displays would mean spending a lot of time on their feet as well as lifting, carrying and climbing ladders. Working in shop windows can be hot and cramped.

They could be based at head office or at a store. If they work for a chain store, they might travel to different branches to set up displays and give instructions to sales staff.

Go on then.......... whats the pay like??

Starting salaries can be from £12,000 to £16,000 a year.

Senior visual merchandisers can earn around £20,000 to £25,00 a year,

and visual merchandising managers or designers can earn between £25,000 and £55,000 a year.

Visual merchandising directors can earn £60,000 a year and over.

What qualifications do I need to become a VM????

You would normally become a visual merchandiser or display designer in one of two ways:

  1. By completing a retail design qualification at college while looking for work
  2. By moving from an in-store sales assistant role to a trainee visual merchandiser post.

Whether you take a college course beforehand or do on-the-job training, there is a range of qualifications that you could study towards. These include:

  1. Level 2 Certificate/Diploma in Fashion Retail
  2. Level 3 Certificate/Diploma in Fashion Retail
  3. Level 3 Certificate/Diploma in Retail Skills (Visual Merchandising).

There are quite a few colleges that offer these courses,

A highly recommended one is:

Fashion Retail Academy.

Address: 15 Gresse St, London W1T 1QL

Phone: 020 7307 2345