Job profile

Visual Merchandiser

Visual Merchandiser Job Profile

What is a Visual Merchandiser?

Visual Merchandisers present, organise, and display objects in storefronts and shop windows, or in other key locations where customers may see, choose, and purchase products.

The job was created in the nineteenth century, although it has only lately gained importance in the fashion business. Taking care of a store’s image entails understanding how to give garments and goods a clean, organised finish while maintaining the brand’s identity through a correct combination of aspects. This includes visual communication, aesthetics, sales analysis, and sales and promotional activity planning.

 

Floor designs, colour, lighting, displays, technology, and other components are used in visual merchandising to draw customer attention. Its ultimate goal is to use retail space to increase sales by drawing customers and making a business stand out.

A Visual Merchandiser is a person who utilises creativity to integrate the brand’s aims with the demands of the client. They entice potential customers to visit establishments and make purchases.

A Visual Merchandiser also creates floor designs for retail spaces and places exhibits in the best possible locations to boost sales. They boost the company’s image aesthetically via marketing strategy and creative sales techniques.

Responsibilities

Some of the responsibilities that a Visual Merchandiser may have include:

 

  • Creating appealing and eye-catching visual displays that take the client through the whole shop
  • Producing window displays, signage, interior displays, floor plans, and special promotions displays
  • Defining, creating, and implementing a creative visual merchandising strategy
  • Developing, modifying, and presenting design concepts with assistant merchandisers
  • Identifying essential themes and creating a clear vision of the finished outcome
  • Acting in accordance with the organisation’s culture, goods, image, and target market
  • Keeping track of prices and staying under budget
  • Supervising production and training workers on how to set up displays
  • Changing displays to promote new product releases and reflect festive or seasonal themes
  • Liaising with vendors and gathering materials
  • Investigating trends in lifestyle, demography, and design.
  • Consulting with clients to create the best design.

Salary

The average salary for Visual Merchandisers is influenced by location, company and experience.

The national average salary for a Visual Merchandiser in the UK is £20,593, ranging from £15,000 to £29,000, while London salaries for Visual Merchandisers range from £16,000 to £30,000, with an average of £21,795.

Working hours and work location 

Working hours are usually between 35 and 40 hours per week. Work must often take place before companies open for business, therefore early morning beginnings or late night finishes are frequent. Overtime or overnight labour may be necessary if a comprehensive shop makeover is being carried out. Many positions are full-time, however, part-time opportunities may exist.

Employers who are most likely to hire Visual Merchandisers include:

  • Fashion retailers
  • Multiple high-street chain stores 
  • Larger independent high-street retailers
  • Mail-order companies
  • Department stores
  • Internet shopping providers
 

What to expect

A Visual Merchandiser’s real labour may be separated into two parts: conceptualisation and assembly. The first is usually done during regular office hours or at home if the professional works as a freelancer. The assembly portion of their labour, on the other hand, is done on-site at the presentation or exhibition. This is frequently accomplished outside of business hours to avoid individuals interfering with and disturbing the location’s regular operating hours.

Furthermore, a single Visual Merchandiser may be in charge of many locations at the same time. Although the distance between places varies, they are typically inside the same city. Many companies may engage a team of Visual Merchandisers to cover a broader region, and they will be expected to coordinate their work in order to maintain a feeling of continuity.

There are numerous types of visual displays and some Visual Merchandisers specialise in specific areas like:

  • Store environment- The ambience of your physical or virtual store may set the tone for your business, whether it’s noisy and entertaining or calm and tranquil.
  • Bundling- Bundling is the practice of exhibiting many things together to demonstrate how they may be used together.
  • Interior displays- Interior displays are product and décor displays that are set up inside a business.
  • Mannequins- Mannequins may send signals to your consumers based on their kind, design, and placement.
  • Window displays- Window displays are a significant aspect of visual merchandising since they may attract the attention of passers-by, resulting in higher sales.
  • Store Layout- The layout of a store, including where particular goods are put, the flow of products from the front to the rear, where points of sale are located, and where changing rooms are located, is referred to as visual merchandising.
  • Point of purchase display- Visual merchandising includes the signage, décor, and physical construction of retail locations.
  • Outdoor signage- Outdoor signs convey your company’s identity and set the tone for your environment.
  • Seasonal displays- Seasonal displays can highlight new products, stimulate more purchases, and generate curiosity.
  • Design decisions- Design choices, such as flooring, textiles, and other materials, may create a tangible reflection of your brand’s style.
  • Exterior fixtures- Customers’ initial impressions of your store are formed by exterior fixtures such as marquees, banners, and awnings.
 

The cornerstone of visual merchandising is presenting things in a way that makes them aesthetically appealing and desired.

This is achieved in a variety of ways, including:

  • Themed Window Displays
  • Mixed elements
  • Lighting and Digital Arrangements
  • Vehicle Wrapping

 

All of these approaches are used to draw attention to the look and benefits of the items and services being marketed.

Qualifications

Many successful individuals in this industry are exclusively reliant on their artistic abilities and ingenuity. Many employers, on the other hand, prefer to work with someone who has a degree in the arts, marketing, or design since it shows that the candidate has a strong educational background.

Although a degree is not required for this position, certain higher education institutions provide specialised courses, such as:

  • Purchasing and merchandising in the fashion industry
  • Fashion styling and visual merchandising
  • Visual merchandising and branding
 

Other degree subjects that are useful and can give you a significant advantage when pursuing a career in Visual Merchandising include:

A Master’s degree in Business and Administration with Banking and Finance (MBA with banking and finance) is beneficial and will put you in a better position to start earning the highest salary straight away. By being certified as a qualified Risk Manager, you can ensure that you continue to grow your talents and increase your income. This entails earning internationally recognised qualifications.

Skills

The job of a Visual Merchandiser entails numerous skills. Some of them are:

must have skills:
  •  A good sense of style, as well as a creative flair and a strong imagination, and a willingness to try out new ideas.
  • Physical strength, physical dexterity, and visual/spatial awareness.
  • the ability to sit, stand, walk, bend, squat, climb ladders, and kneel for long periods of time;
  • the ability to operate in confined, compact locations and utilise power equipment; and
  • knowing how to make the most of available space.
  • Interpersonal and communication skills: 
  • Communicating well, both verbally and in writing, to express precise instructions, as well as having excellent listening skills to comprehend the client’s demands
  • working together with other members of the team.
  • Organisational and time management skills: 
  • good multitasking abilities
  • ability to operate under pressure in a dynamic, fast-paced atmosphere
  • time management and prioritising skills
  •  being highly responsible, reliable, and organised
  •  being detail-focused and structured
  • Self-motivated and willing to work both individually and in a multidisciplinary team environment:
  • Possessing the ability to accept constructive criticism and use it to develop their work.

 

Work experience

In addition to a degree, most companies will request that applicants offer a portfolio of previous projects and work in order to obtain a sense of their aesthetic style.

Visual Merchandisers must also be skilled in software design programs such as Adobe Suite, AutoCAD, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Experience of working in the retail business, especially if it entails making displays and organising products, might be beneficial for the future of a Visual Merchandiser. If you have no prior experience with visual merchandising, you may find it simpler to transition into this position by first working as a retail sales assistant and then becoming involved in visual merchandising on the shop floor.

Career prospects

Starting on the shop floor and gaining experience can result in Visual Merchandisers advancing to the role of team or area team leader or manager.

Those pursuing higher-level positions may be required to have drawing skills, as well as desirable computer-aided design (CAD) abilities. It is critical to be able to articulate ideas and present complicated information in an understandable manner. Skills in planning and organisation, as well as the ability to manage projects from conception to completion under tight timelines, are also required.

With adequate experience, a Visual Merchandiser might advance to become a Visual Merchandising Manager. You may also be promoted to the head office’s creative and visual merchandising teams. If the organisation is transnational, head office career structures will differ from employer to employer but may include senior, director, or worldwide jobs.

Visual Merchandisers, on the other hand, may pursue a career in the exhibition or interior design, or start their own company making one-of-a-kind, inventive exhibits. Obtaining professional status through BDS membership levels may help you further your career.

With enough expertise, you may go freelance or work as a trainer or consultant for other merchants, or you might become self-employed and operate as a freelancer. It’s also possible to get freelance project employment in the culture or events industries. Another option is to apply your skills in related fields like style, prop-making, interior design, exhibition design, and employment in the television and film industries.

Related Courses

Here are some MSc recommendations: 

The one-year full-time program at the University of West Scotland will offer you the executive training you need to kick-start your career in project management and provide you with a solid foundation for a future in Visual Merchandising. This program is offered at the University of the West of Scotland’s London Campus, which is located in the heart of the UK’s retail epicentre, London.

Other related courses
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