The Influence Of Visual Merchandising

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Visual merchandising today has become more complicated as competition between retailers continues. Creativity plays a major role, and consumer purchase decisions are influenced by retailers‟ marketing strategies. Visual merchandising, defined according to Retail Product Management by Rosemary Varley, is a common term for how retailers‟ present their products or merchandise to the best of their ability and the merchandise is displayed “to its best advantage” (Varley, 2001,). Visual merchandising also “allow[s] retailers to make the marketplace innovative, exciting and stimulating by creating product-led stories supported by merchandising solutions” (Varley, 2001). Varley describes details about areas that are included in visual merchandising…show more content…
A final function that window displays serve includes their promotional ability for events within the store. Martin Pegler (1998) states “the primary purposes of displays are to present and to promote” . According to Varley (2001), window displays make a vast contribution to the external design of stores and have traditionally been an important function of visual merchandising. These two authors of retail and visual merchandising books are consistent with this study and the importance of window displays for retailers. According to Davis (2002), “the American "department store" was birthed between 1860 and 1910”. The art of visual merchandising has been around for many years, but the “the art of the store window was not part of the American psyche until the department stores existed” (Davis, 2002,). The huge store fronts that we know today came into existence after the invention of plate glass, allowing window displays to become useful for retail stores (Who created the first mannequin, 1999). Store window displays and early mannequins first began at the turn of the twentieth century, and were initially displayed in retail store windows during this…show more content…
Doonan (1998) also states that store windows are the advertising venue with the closest proximity to “the point of sale,” and windows are retail‟s oldest form of advertising (p. 8). Thus, it is important that window dressers maintain the overall store or brand image. According to Doonan (1998), there are short term and long term goals for window designers. “The short term goal of window dressing is a quick sale,” selling the clothing or accessories on the mannequin in a specific window, and “the long term goal is the creation of a store image” (Doonan, 1998, p. 8). Some retailers allow their designers freedom to use their creativity within their designs due to the designer‟s reputation, or if the store is looking for a new image, they may think the designer will help the retailer create this image. Today, visual merchandisers are learning to accept budget cuts in order to continue showing their creative window displays. Display, according to Pegler, is changing and not dying, but display persons must continue to work hard to bring entertainment into the retail store through displays (Pegler,

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