How I became ‘A Visual Merchandiser’?

As I was at the last semester of my Fashion Apparel Designing degree, I got an opportunity to work with a renowned company ‘Shoppersstop’, a campus placement. I started working for the interview lined up with the company, there were many rounds to clear.

As I got the confirmation from my college about my placement in the company, I was on Cloud-9. My last semester still had a month to go, the excitement was increasing to work as it was going to be my first job. The days were passing so slow & excitement was at the peak. I had got an option between two major cities – Ahmedabad & Mumbai.

( Image Credits – Shoppers Stop )

 Finally, my joining day was there 6th June. 2016, a day to mark forever. The city of dreams was where my first job began – Mumbai. I was hired as an Intern on an experimental project “Expert Visual Merchandiser”. First of all,  Retail a new concept and never heard of this position. Was it easy to go ahead? I never knew it would be totally a new experience waiting to challenge me.

    (Image Credits – Mumbai Skyline by Riteshsaini)

The fun began when I completed my joining and started searching for stay & many more. There were many things that I was coming across for the first time. I started going to my job, the training session were amazing start to this unknowing journey. Almost after a week, I got a stay and my training sessions also ended good.

I was working as an Expert VM, whose job profile had to visit three major stores – Malad, Bandra & Juhu. The Shoppers Stop brands like Stop , Life , Vetterio Fratini , Kashish , Haute Curry were to be made more creative and innovative sections. I used to explore each day new ideas with new challenges.

                                                  “Every Day is A New Day”

I started enjoying my work , visiting different stores, working in different brands , coming up with new ideas , tracking performance on weekly basis , meeting new people.

(Image Credits – Shoppers Stop, Malad)

The journey of being an Expert Visual Merchandiser continued for 6months, where-in I was also given an opportunity to work for Head Office renovation project. You must be thinking , everything going too smooth, wasn’t a twist required?

Later on, looking at my over-all performance I was given an opportunity to work for Shoppers Stop, Kolhapur – D.Y.Patil Mall. It was again a great experience of 7months. It was a new challenge as I was lacking with resources, vendors & still delivering work on time within budget. I made many friends & second families while surviving my days.

Shoppers Stop – Kolhapur

A turning Point…..isn’t it? I was given transfer to Mumbai – Kalyan store. I started working there as well, as the culture was very familiar to me till now. I was unfortunate to get good Boss and Team to work with. There was again a new challenge waiting for me like, very less budget store but lot more to explore. Even Sales used to get affected due to location of store & mall having less customers. I did a new store opening of Shoppers Stop too – Big Thane Store.

Shoppers Stop – Kalyan Store

All together Shoppers Stop was a roller-coaster start to my unknowing journey of Visual Merchandising. I have learnt a lot of things, exploring many places & brands, came across new people. Visual merchandising itself is a destination made valuable to me by an opportunity. I have worked for almost 2years with Shoppers Stop & had to come back to Pune.

“Success Is A Journey, Not A Destination”

Who does Visual Merchandising for Retail?

A Visual Merchandiser is a person hired by every Brand to help the Categories to perform & get the sale through value.

A Visual Merchandiser is full of knowledge about colors, aesthetics & ideas to perform best to their abilities. They also help in getting very unique ideas to manipulate with customers mind & lead the customer to buy the product.

Every person has their unique way of thinking & displaying the products. They use their designing skills to promote the product and services of retail for business and other organizations. They create eye – catching merchandise displays and Store lay-outs.

You will find Visual merchandisers in Retail as there is a direct contact to customers & can encourage them to buy the products. The main goal of doing VM is to attract, engage and motivate the customer towards making a purchase. There are key elements that we need to follow while doing display are color, landscape, communication, texture and décor for an effective display.

Image Credits – Mannequin Madness
Image Credits – Parkson Malaysia
Image Credits – Drapers

It has benefits to retail business with increase customer entry and increase sales. With effective visual merchandising, the amount of customer enters the brand and notice most of it, also have a clear and positive perspective towards it.

A Good Visual Merchandiser makes a store stand out with their creative skills and attract shoppers. They does not only help the store look attractive but also help with in increasing customers & sales to their Retail businesses which in return gives a good reason to customers to come back again.

VM is more about “Expect more, Pay less”, promising to fulfill all the customer requirements today, tomorrow or in coming Retail future. It is a practice in the industry to carry forward with the ideas of floor plans development and three – dimensional displays in order to maximize sales.

“Sell The Problem You Solve , Not Just The Product”

ALL CATEGORIES HAVE VISUAL MERCHANDISING

Retail is a very vast industry, there are many categories to explore & learn about.

Visual Merchandising (VM) is a part of Retail that helps to beautify and enhance the Categories & Brands.

VM is a mind tool that helps us to an amazing ambiance in-store or to a particular display. It can be done anywhere with any product or merchandise. It is spread all over the Retail, in any category from Apparels to Non-Apparels.

It is fun to do VM, where we keep on playing with elements of designs like colors, forms – 2d & 3d, shape, harmony, balance, proportion & repetition. The Elements of design help us to understand the products or merchandise more in detail.

VM is a business derived concept designed for all categories like Apparels – innerwear, lingerie, menswear, women’s wear & kids wear, also in Non-Apparels – accessories, luggage, footwear, handbags, cosmetics & perfumes, the home decor in Retail.

                                                       MENS WEAR

                                                                      WOMENSWEAR

                                                             KIDSWEAR

                                             HANDBAGS & FOOTWEARS

                                                           PERFUMES

HOME DÉCOR

It is done in-store using basic terms like Current season, Color blocking, Folding types, On-going Campaign, Planogram implementation with the help of brand standards & Norms.

When working with a particular Brand or Company, provide yourself with the standard Brand norms to get a unique display among the world of Retail. Organizing & managing the things as per the standard norms lead to a “Beautiful Display” is the work of a Visual Merchandiser. 

Visual Merchandising acts as “A Silent Seller” to help the brands perform best & lead to their Targets. It also helps customers to get their requirements in a convenient way.

“Design is thinking made Visual”

THE CAREER IN RETAIL

Retail is a big format. It is itself a story to live along. Retail is known as “Bread Butter” for all people who have just started their careers from a staff-level.

Here you will find all types of people coming from different backgrounds. There are very few lucky ones to educate & get growth over a period of time, here in Retail. Some passed out candidates coming from Fashion Background get along with the backend team. Visual Merchandising is an immensely competitive industry and, progressing your career in this field can be highly demanding. Some candidates even do study of different streams like Graduation & M.B.A to get a job in Operations Team. But with a great attitude, knowledge, and preparation your next position could be right around the corner. It all depends on how you want to see Retail as then work on it for better career, indeed.

Retail is all about Detail, so when a person is in retail he learns a lot of things in Detail here. Every minute detail is to be explained, as it matters to execute a full docket. Every execution from an A4 communications print out to investing in a window campaign is a huge cost. If the execution isn’t successful in what was planned, the stores are held responsible & have to bear the expenses. Sometimes unknown to some policies or going against some policies may lead to losing the job. The people in Retail who all are still completing their education & earning for their studies & families, unknowingly get involved in such activities that they lose their job on the spot without further intimation. So we all learn to be careful with every step taken forward. Like every field, Retail has its pros & cons too.

Overall Retail is open for all & everyone to start their career after their HSC education even while studying or as a professional qualified. The Retail Life isn’t easy but not difficult to survive & excel as it can give you growth within a short span of time over your time invested to learn in Detail about Retail with great opportunities.

“ Life begins at the End of your Comfort Zone ”

VISUAL MERCHANDISING…???A PART OF RETAIL

Visual Merchandising is commonly known as VM!!! What’s VM, never heard of this term, does it exist? How come it is related to Retail?? What Courses, people are doing it for it? So such questions arise when we come across the very important word in Retail “VM”

Visual Merchandising is all about “Detail in Retail”, the look & feel of the store which possibly gives the best ambiance to customers. The customer convinces are seen while placing each merchandise on the floor & also while styling the mannequins. The Customer is given all together everything under one umbrella, from a basic apparel requirement to all the accessories to be used for styling oneself.

Window displays play a vital role in retail stores. As windows are seen at the entrance of the stores, Customers get ideas about products available in-store, new season trend, upcoming campaign & much more to add…! Styling of the mannequins in the windows of the stores is done in such a way that attracts more customers, the placement of the mannequins is very important as to highlight the merchandise & to mannequins to become eye-catchy.

Image Credits : Wowsville
Image Credits – Topshop
Image Credits – Nike

Mannequin clusters are designed at the store entrance, to give overall a good experience of Categories, New-season trends & Offers reflecting all over the stores. The fixtures are planned in such a way that all customers visiting stores should be able to access all required products & get attracted to the new products too.

Here’s an end to my knowledge about Retail in brief. You must be thinking why I took this topic as my Best to start with is because I have started my Career from Retail & currently working too.

All about me, I am Riya Gupta, working at an Area Visual Merchandiser profile at Blackberrys Brand – Men’s Wear. I have an experience of 3 years & looking forward to many more to come in Retail only.

I am glad I could take you all to the knowledge through my experience till date.

“Creativity is Contagious, Pass it on”

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

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The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

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You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

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