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Textiles and Dress Designing - Visual Merchandising | 12th Textiles and Dress Designing : Chapter 12 : Apparel Merchandising

Chapter: 12th Textiles and Dress Designing : Chapter 12 : Apparel Merchandising

Visual Merchandising

Merchandise displays offer retailers non-personal ways of presenting products or information to consumers inside stores.

Visual Merchandising

Merchandise displays offer retailers non-personal ways of presenting products or information to consumers inside stores. It is common practice for wholesalers and sales representatives to set up and maintain displays of their products. This is one way that these suppliers can insure shelf space for their products, thus, they claim, benefitting both themselves and retailers. Retailers use displays to stimulate sales of products.

Visual Merchandising is the art of displaying merchandise in a manner that is appealing to the eyes of the customer. It sets the context of the merchandise in an aesthetically pleasing fashion, presenting them in a way that would convert the window shoppers into prospects and ultimately buyers of the product. A creative and talented retailer can use this upcoming art to breathe in new life into his store products. Passion for design and creativity are essential to be a good visual merchandiser. A perfect design process and the ability to create ideas that are different are required. Awareness of happenings in fashion world is needed so as to keep up-to-date with the dynamics of the market constantly. Visual merchandising includes window displays, signs, interior displays, cosmetic promotions and any other special sales promotions taking place.


Elements of Visual Merchandising

Visual Merchandising is commonly accepted as a merchandising technique that uses the visual elements effectively. Visual element refers to lighting, colours and signage. In short, they are the visual communications in the designing of an environment. Some of common tools used for visual merchandising are:


It is a full bodied dummy of human form and it is available in all age groups from children to adults. Mannequins are used by apparel retailers to display their products in-store and in the window display. They are a tool used to show consumers what their products look like on a person. The mannequins will commonly be styled to match trends as well display the latest products available.


A form is an imitation of some part of a body. It is generally used on top of a stand and serves to display articles of clothing and accessories.

Colour is a significant tool used in visual merchandising. It can be used to influence the behaviour of consumers and evoke different reactions. Colour is a powerful tool in exterior displays. It can aid creativity for exterior window displays and can have a unique effect on the consumer. The use of colour can create atmosphere, grab the attention of by-passers, and attract them to the store. Different colours can trigger different emotional responses.

Light can be used in many ways in retail stores, from highlighting an object or area of a store to simply illuminate the entire store

Store Fixtures

Most common types of fixtures: Stands, Platforms and Elevations, Round rack , Bin , T-Stand , Four way face out

 Stands :

Stands  used  in  a  variety  or assortment window from glass line to the back of the display window

Platforms and Elevations:

Platforms or elevations can be tables and other pieces of furniture that can be used to rise up mannequin, a form or arrangement of merchandise

 Round Racks:

Circular racks on which garments are hung around the entire circumference


A rimmed table or bin used to hold sale or special merchandise on the sales floor, especially in discount operations; it has no formal arrangement


Freestanding, two-way stand in the shape of that holds clothes on hangers, sometimes with one straight arm and one waterfall

 Four-way Stand

A fixture with four extended arms, that permits accessibility to hanging merchandise all the way around


The music played within a store can promote a brand’s image, and can also aid consumers into making purchase decisions. Music that suits the style of the store and the target audience is an important factor to consider


Methods of Visual Merchandising

Visual merchandising includes mainly two types namely interior display and exterior display

Interior Display

The interior display should guide and persuade the customer to purchase. It includes

·               Store Layout

·               Store Design

·               Display space

Visual merchandising also encompasses the design of a store layout. A store layout will be heavily influenced by the assortment and variety on offer and will be constrained by the size and structure of the shop itself. The layout used is determined or be dependent on the type of fixtures used. There are a number of different approaches to store layout, although they are all designed with the intention of moving customers to every areas in the store in order to expose them to the full range of products.

Off-Shelf Displays

These displays are designed to have additional impact by showing the product as it might be used, or perhaps alongside other products to suggest complementary purchases. Displays can also be considered as visual features that create interest or excitement within the store.

Exterior Display

·               Window Displays

·               Store Front

Window displays have a particularly important role to play in communicating to the potential customer what the retailer stands for in terms of product and shopping environment. Window displays make customers aware of the type of merchandise being sold, and hopefully will attract the interest of target customers.

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