Visual Merchandiser

By Isaac Perry

Job Role

To use your skills in order to promote the products and image in which is given by the fashion retail business, the aim is create an eye catching displays which will bring customers into the store, as well as this they must create an interesting store layout in which encourages high street customers to buy the product/s on offer, visual merchandisers are also known as Window dressers and Display assistants.

Differences from low to high end

Within the images above a lot more is going on with the low and middle end ranges of clothing (furthest left and middle) this is due to needing to attract the attention of customers in order to make them buy the products in which are in store, however a higher end brand such as Gucci (furthest right) is rather simple in the grand scheme with an electric blue background in order to make products stand out, how ever there is a difference due to Gucci's name being already known for good quality and wonderful products, so the name sells items already, however Primark needs to stand out in order to gain people's attention, so that more items will be sold due to the cheaper prices.

Chameleon

Chameleon has been within the visual merchandising industry for the past 20 years, and its aim is to create an individual display for luxury brands and some of these brands are;

  • Asprey
  • Burberry
  • Hermes
  • Gucci
  • Louboutin

Chameleon helps throughout the whole process from start to finish with the design, art work, production and the final instillation within store and this allows them to make the product extremely specific and the point being extremely clear with there displays being beautifully laid out due to staying with the business throughout the whole process.

Responsibilities

Within Visual Merchandising there are many tasks involved in order to make the display as beneficial as possible in order to increase sales on an item, if no difference is made then the idea of the visual merchandising clearly isn't working thus it must be changed and this is where a visual merchandiser should step in a change the display in order to increase sales, these are some of the jobs in which you may do;


  • Creating displays in order to promote a product
  • Drawing design for windows and store layouts
  • Making the best of the shops floor space
  • Giving feedback to different areas such as buyers and the head office
  • Setting up displays (Dressing dummies, and creating all aspects surrounding)
  • Sourcing good for the displays
  • Teaching inshore staff how to items within store should be displayed
  • Taking down old displays
  • Keeping up with current trends on different platform such as blogs and music videos due to them being extremely popular with todays society.


These responsibilities come part and parcel with the job of a visual merchandiser, however a senior merchandiser is in charge of creating the display in advance and order in all the items needed from dummies, props and equipment needed to design the display in store.

Visual merchandiser packs should also be sent to multiple stores so that there is a company feel and similarity between different stores.

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Ways to break into the industry and skills needed.

Typical ways to break into the visual merchandising business include a background in design or working your way up through the retail industry, but there is also the possibility of gaining a qualification in display or merchandising.

Within this job the person in conversation needs to have multiple skills in order to thrive and make the visual merchandising as beneficial as possible and some of these key skills include;


  • Good communication skills
  • The ability to work to deadlines
  • High levels of attention to detail
  • Stamina and energy
  • Awareness of current trends
  • Creativity and imagination


However somebody who is unable to carry out the skills as stated will need to work on poorer areas in order to thrive as much as possible and this will help the whole spectrum of the visual merchandising as they will then be more rounded and able to do more, with some being out of there comfort zone.

Skills needed

Within this jobs skills are key both hard and soft skills and key skills vary, and some of these are;


  • A good sense of style and current trends
  • Imagination
  • Attention to detail
  • Good communication skills
  • Stamina
  • Creativity
  • IT understanding

With all of these skills added together a person should be able to work effectively within this business however if these skills are not visible within a person they can be taught, however some skills such as communication can be harder to install within somebody, however they can be worked on, however skills such as a good sense of style of vital so that you can acknowledge whether the display looks good or not and through keeping up with current trends you should gain this skill.

Interpersonal skills

Rather than actual skills, interpersonal skills are key within this industry as they are character traits in which come naturally, these include being able to project a positive attitude and attempt to solve problems no matter the situations, interpersonal skills could be considered as intelligence socially, these skills are considered to be gained by knowledge and experience. Those in whom have poor interpersonal skills are less likely to be as productive as those in whom do, however they can be worked on.

Wages and Working hours

Dependant upon how high within the visual merchandising chain you are with the starting salary ranging from around £12,000 to £16,000 a year, however a senior visual merchandiser can earn £20,000 to £25,000, managers or designers can earn anything from £25,000 to £55,000 a year, but as one of the highest role a director of visual merchandising can earn £60,000 plus a year for one of the highest roles, along with these wages some companies may offer you a company car, fuel costs and a mobile phone.


Working hours of a visual merchandiser are typically around 35-40 hours a week, however within this job it is common for early morning starts and late night finishing, however if the store is being re-done you attention will be needed for overtime and sometimes over night work so that the store is open and ready for business hours, all ready and completed.