Category: "window dressing"

Top 5 Retail Visual Merchandising Strategies from the Industry Stalwarts

Visual merchandising is both an art and a science. It’s something that involves a whole lot of research, facts, and figures – not to mention knowledge! Our visual merchandising consultants at VM Design are all trained in what we do and know the ins and outs as any professional should. To help your business, we thought we’d share some off our knowledge in the form of these top 5 tips. Enjoy!

1) Start to Utilise Technology

As the world becomes a more technological place, it’s important you update your visual merchandising strategies accordingly. Take full advantage of all the tech on offer – it’s a great tool to have at your fingertips! From VR to QR codes and linking your merchandising to social media, you can create a connected experience, actively encouraging your customers to get involved.

2) Encourage Impulsive Buys

Did you know that just under 80% of sales made are impulse buys? That’s a huge figure! Which is why it’s so important that your visual merchandising encourages these last minute sales, actively pushing products to your customers. You can do this by grouping items together that work well, for example by showing accessories that match a top. You can also place impulse products in areas where customers will be waiting, such as by the tills or the changing rooms, or have demonstrations and samples around the shop.

3) Make the Most of Empty Space

Whilst you don’t want your shop to become cluttered, you also don’t want too much empty space. That just shows missed visual merchandising opportunities! For example, the space between your top shelf and the ceiling can be used for signage, as can till counters and doors. Spot these empty space areas and think how you can use them to boost sales.

4) Grab Attention with a Window

Windows are one of the most important areas of a shop from the point of view of visual merchandising consultants. They show potential customers on the street who you are and why they should come in. Your window should sell your brand to everyone who walks past, and for that you need to put a lot of focus on the display within it.

5) Switch it Up

If you don’t change up your visual merchandising, it’s quickly going to become redundant. Customers will become so used to it that they won’t even notice anymore! Change yours up regularly, around once a month or so, to keep your audience engaged and your merchandising effective.

If you think you could use a helping hand with your visual merchandising, get in touch with our experts at VM Design. When it comes to boosting your sales with clever marketing displays, we know exactly what we’re doing.

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Visual Merchandising and In-Store Best Practices

Creating a shop that encourages customers to buy your products is essential to running a successful business. It’s about more than showing them what they need, it’s convincing them they want more. Shoppers these days are far more likely to impulse buy whilst in-store, and you need your visual merchandising to encourage them so you don’t miss out.

Our visual merchandising consultants have collected some tips for you.

Create an Experience

These days, it’s easy for consumers to do all their shopping online, so the reason they leave their house and actually go to your shop is usually based on the experience. People like to shop! It’s these shoppers that love the experience that are more likely to impulse buy, so make sure you cater for them.

Encourage interaction with products, particularly on end-cap displays or products near the tills. Provide samples, visual merchandising that’s persuasive and enticing as well as sales assistants who can give your customers the help and advice they need to buy more.

Feeling good whilst physically shopping is something your shop should be using to its advantage, so create a great experience and watch your profits soar.

End-Cap Priorities

End-caps have already been mentioned, but they’re an essential part of visual merchandising, as are stands by the tills. These encourage impulse bays and grab the attention of consumers.

To help your end-caps stand out, always ensure there’s plenty of stock on the shelves, signage to explain the product for sale and why the customer should buy it, along with any promotional offers, and put the most vital promotion in the middle region of the display. For example, if the end-cap product has testers, place these around waist to shoulder height for optimum interaction.

Speak with Signs

When sales assistants aren’t available, your signage is going to have to do all the persuading for them. This is why it’s so important to get it right. Here are some pointers to help you out:

  • Directional – Give customers information about where to find products with clear, easy to read signs. These can be used above shop aisles to show customer’s what’s down them or used at different points to direct them to sales or related items they may need.
  • Promotional – When you have promotions in store, make sure you have plenty of signage that’s placed at eye-level and is designed to catch the attention of consumers.
  • Informational – This kind of signage can be used to explain products as well as show off your branding, creating connections with consumers and showing them why they should buy your products.

With all signage around your shop, be sure to keep the design and tone of voice in keeping with your branding and use bold, large fonts that are easy to read from a distance.

Visual merchandising is crucial to encouraging sales and driving profits, so you need to be sure you’re getting it 100% right or you could be missing out on a whole lot of sales! If you are looking for a visual merchandising company to help, get in touch with our experienced team at VM Design.

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Summer Window Dressing Ideas for Retail Shops

Summer’s almost here and that means it’s time to get planning your window! Retail windows are one of the most crucial parts of your shop; they’re the first impression of your brand for potential customers and, as well all know, first impressions count. To make yours stand out this summer, our visual merchandising consultants have put together a few imaginative ideas and tips to give you some inspiration.

Take Them Abroad

The thought of going abroad in the summer is enticing to most people. We all dream of a sunny summer holiday where we can relax and have fun, so why not use that to your shops advantage? Choose an exotic location, be it southern France or the beaches of Bali, and recreate it in your display using products from inside your shop. Not only will this capture the attention of passers-by, it’ll also create an emotional reaction in which they aspire to be living the life your window is showing, which will make them far more likely to come in store!

A Sea View

There’s nothing quite like the beach in summer, so why not bring it to your shop? Create a beach display using real sand, blow-up rubber rings and maybe even dress one of your mannequins as a life guard! This’ll create a quirky, bright display that’ll attract people’s attention.

Postcard Settings

Our team have conjured up two window dressing ideas for retail shops that involve postcards, and this kind of goes with our ‘abroad’ theme.

The first is to cover the glass window in a frame of either new or vintage (depending on your brands aesthetic) postcards that’ll frame the products you display. This is simple, yet unique and effective.

The second takes a bit more work but is guaranteed to be a showstopper! This idea involves turning your window into its own postcard. You can create a postcard setting using your own products, and then on the window paint or print a stamp and postage marks, as well as a slogan with something along the lines of ‘Greetings from [your store]!’. Fun and definitely different, this is bound to get a good reaction.

Bold and Colourful

In summer, it’s essential you go bold, bright and colourful in your display. Pick vibrant colours that pop – it’s a great excuse to throw in a few neon products or display props you’ve been dying to showcase! You can use balloons, paper, window paint and a whole lot more to inject a bit of bright colour into your display. This’ll definitely grab the attention of passing shoppers!

Go Big or Go Home

We’re all for making larger than life objects for window displays, and there’s no better time to do this than in summer. Whether it’s a giant ice-lolly, beach ball or pair of sunglasses, going big is a great way to make a noticeable statement. You could use it as a background prop or as a stand for your own products.

If you think your shop could do with some professional help from retail window dressing experts in the UK, VM Design are just the team for you! Get in touch with us to find out more and get the ball rolling on your better business.

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The Art and Science of Visual Merchandising

In the modern world, it’s no longer the visual merchandiser who has control over the shopping experience – it’s the consumer. With so much choice of where to go and even how to shop (online, in-store, order in etc.), the customer really does hold the power. Over the past decade or so, shops have had to fight harder to pull in consumers and stay afloat; and not all of them have succeeded.

One way that your business can work to pull in customers, sell products and compete with competitors is through visual merchandising. Much more than just a few pretty displays, the art and science of this crucial selling technique can help turn a business from floundering to flourishing and secure you the profits you’ve been searching for.

Our team of visual merchandising consultants are well-versed on the science behind shop displays, so we thought we’d share some of our knowledge with you.

It’s All About Business

Contrary to popular belief, visual merchandising isn’t just about making a store look good, or even making the products you sell look good. Visual merchandising is about combining a variety of subtle, persuasive techniques that not only make the consumer think they like your products, but always make them need to have them for themselves.

It’s about bringing a customer into a store because they like the look of your jeans and having them leave with a whole outfit. It involves a heap on intricate knowledge about consumer behaviour and your businesses specific target customers, as well as some clever little tricks that every visual merchandiser should know. Here are just a few of the ways people like us can engage and encourage your customers to buy more.


One of the most prominent parts of the science of visual merchandising is product placement. All you have to do is walk into a supermarket and you’ll notice that they place the most expensive products right in the eye-line of customers, rather than at the tops or bottoms of shelves.

This is all about attracting your consumers attention to where you want it to go, rather than where they do. By carefully placing products and displays, you can maximise their effect and dramatically push sales on specific products.


Consumers respond to colour. In fact, between 62%-90% of our judgement of a product, place or person is based entirely upon colour, which just proves how important it is for visual merchandising.

In displays, logos and posters, colours can be used to influence mood and encourage positive reactions from your customers as well.

The Rule of Three

One of the many truly scientific marvels in visual merchandising is the rule of three. Though it seems odd, by arranging items into groups of three you improve the effectiveness of a display and increase the amount of customer attention it’ll receive. It’s a perfect example of where psychology and the function of our mind comes into play in visual merchandising, cementing the idea that there is indeed a fine science behind big profit.

If you think you need to bring in the aid of knowledgeable experts to make sure you’re getting the most out of your visual merchandising and really play to the minds of your target customers, get in touch with our team today. We’re ready and waiting to help your business flourish!

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Spring Window Dressing Ideas

When we get four seasons every year, and a new year, well… every year, it can be pretty hard to think of new window displays every spring, summer, autumn and winter. According to our visual merchandising consultants, you’ll need a lot of creative energy for that!

The problem is, you can’t just repeat what you’ve done before and sticking to clichés won’t give you the best results, but coming up with something new so frequently is a huge challenge.

To help you gather some inspiration, our visual merchandisers at VM Design have put together a few Spring window display ideas to make the task a little easier.

Use Your Windows

We love the look of window art in a display. It adds a new dimension to your window dressing and really pulls in an audience. By window art, we’re talking about literally painting on the windows of your shop (of course using washable glass paints).

If you or someone you know is a dab hand at art, you can use your window to draw settings that tie into your actual display, creating more layers to it. From bright flowers to pretty, bold fonts, use your window to add a flourish to your Spring window dressing!

Flowers in Watering Cans

For a shabby chic, homely kind of Spring window display, we love the look of collecting bunches of flowers and popping them in watering cans. For a lot of customers, this will be a nostalgic nod to childhoods spent outside in welly boots collecting flowers and helping with the gardening. It’s these kinds of subtle emotive pulls that’ll get your audience to pay attention!

Be Wacky

Spring is a great time to get funky with your displays! People want to forget the dreary cold of winter and you can do that by creating a bright, bold window display. Use crazy colour combinations (that, of course, work well together) and don’t be afraid to think outside the box! There’s no such thing as over the top when it comes to eye-catching Spring window display ideas.

Get Outdoors… Indoors

Bringing nature into your Spring shop window is a sure-fire way to create a crowd-pleaser. Cover the whole of your floor with a bed of fake flowers (real flowers will only look good for a couple of days), string up leaf shapes made from interesting materials to hang down amongst your display or re-create outdoor scenes using your products.

Go Big or Go Home

A great and simple way to attract the attention of consumers is by scaling up. With this, you only need one focal point, for example a flower or a rabbit, but make it absolutely huge! We’re talking full window height. You can surround your large central focus with your products, using it to draw in the eye and then guiding your consumer to pay attention to what you want them to look at. It’s certainly unique!

If all this visual merchandising talk goes over your head and, whilst you’re great at business, you can’t quite tap into the creativity to create show-stopping window displays, get in touch with our team at VM Design. We are a specialist visual merchandising company so you’ll be in good hands.

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Easy Valentine’s Window Dressing Ideas

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, your window doesn’t always have to be over the top. Sometimes, it’s the simplest of retail displays that are the most effective, which can be a great relief if you’re strapped for cash or don’t have the time! With this in mind, our visual merchandising company have put together some easy-to-do display ideas that capture the love this year.

Crepe Paper Hearts

Crepe paper hearts are a super easy way to decorate your window and add a little bit of romance to your displays. There are a ton of ways to make them, but we recommend getting a heart shaped Styrofoam board and attaching bunched up crepe paper to either side in small balls. Play around with the colours – you don’t have to stick to red!

Hanging Lanterns

Hanging paper lanterns are a great way to add a romantic, warm feel to a window display. Depending on your budget and how good your crafting skills are, you can make these out of textured paper or, if you’re not so great at the art stuff, just buy a few to pop up. Add electric lights inside for a beautiful window when the light goes down!

Glitter Letters

There’s no better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with glitter! It’s attention-grabbing and makes a statement; what more could you want? You can get some cheap polystyrene letters – for example, spelling ‘Love’ or ‘Heart’ – and use craft glue and a whole heap of glitter to create a simple but effective window centre-piece.

Sweet Treats

For the sweetest of Valentine’s Day displays, our visual merchandising consultants love the idea of gathering sweet treats and arranging them into a large display. Whether it is arranging red, pink and white macaroons into a large love heart for a more luxury look or decorating lots of homemade cupcakes with Valentine’s related toppings, you’ll be sure to entice customers with a foodie display! Just remember to keep an eye on any consumables you pop into the window to make sure they aren’t starting to look worse for wear.

Hopefully those ideas have given you some inspiration for your Valentine’s Day window display! If you are still stuck, it might be time to call in the help of our talented team of visual merchandising consultants. We know what we’re doing when it comes to window dressing and can help you attract the customers you want whilst keeping to the budget you have. If you want to start the ball rolling today, drop us a message or give us a call –we are always happy to answer any questions and would love to hear what you need!

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Valentine’s Day Window Dressing – A Unique Twist

With an event like Valentine’s Day, that not only happens every year but is picked up by pretty much every shop, it can be hard to stand out. The clichés that used to make for a great window display haven been overused and customers want more than some red hearts or roses, but what else can you do?

If you’re struggling, our visual merchandising company are here to sort it out for you. Here are four cracking ideas that’ll set your valentine’s window display apart from your neighbors!

The Anti-Valentines

There’s a definite split on Valentine’s day between all the couples who want to spend all day showing everyone how much they adore each other, and the singletons who would rather spend their day hiding away indoors, avoiding the romance which seems to be everywhere. Most shops appeal to the former, so why not go for the latter? Make an anti-valentines display.

This doesn’t mean getting all angry and defiant about the whole thing, but rather making the day better for those people who dread its inevitable arrival. Add a bit of humor, some sympathy and a whole lot of single-person-self-care and you’re on the right track! Advertise products for the broken-hearted or items that’ll empower all the single-ladies going out with their girl gang – it’s a definite winner!

Get Couples Involved

Allow your customer couples the chance to become part of your display. There are so many benefits to doing this and it’s something a bit different!

An idea, for example, would be to set up a sort of photo-booth in your window with props from around your shop (that are for sale, of course) that couples can take pictures with. Send them a digital copy that they can share on social media and put up a screen in the window that plays your customers’ pictures shared with a hashtag on a loop – but always vet the pictures before automatically adding them to your screen!

Not only is this great fun and really engaging for your customers, it also creates huge brand awareness on social media. Your marketing might even go viral!

Recreate a Date

Recreate a date in your shop window. You could do this as a live stunt for an hour or two where actors play out the story of a date gone wrong (be sure to get word out on social media and attract an audience), which would definitely be news-worthy and get you a whole lot of brand awareness.

Or, for a simpler display, set up mannequins that are posed as though mid-date, perhaps having dinner. You could make it humorous or simply romantic, and have this still-life couple using your products. If you wanted to go the extra-mile, you could even change up the date settings every few days or tell a love-story with the mannequins in your window in the month leading up to Valentine’s Day.

You can probably tell from these ideas that the biggest part of getting a great window display is through letting your imagination run wild! Be creative and different. But, keep in mind that the key of the window is to spread brand awareness and get those customers in store. It’s finding that balance between super fun and functional that makes for the greatest window displays.

If you think you struggle with the ideas and execution of a good window display, get in touch with a visual merchandising consultant here at VM Designs and we’ll help you out!

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Numbers and Design – The Unlikely Pair

When you think of design, you think of creativity and freedom. When you think of numbers, you think of sequences and structure. So, how can the two possibly ever go together? They seem to be complete opposites of one another, yet – as we all know – opposites do attract. Our visual merchandising consultants are here to share with you the undeniable chemistry between visual merchandising and those all important numbers.

What Are We Talking About?

When creating displays for windows and shops, we have to think a lot about numbers. Pairings of items are essential to a good, cohesive display, so we’re constantly looking at how many of one item we need and how many corresponding items we should also include. By being careful with numbers, we help to create a display that’s pleasing to the eye and puts the focus where we want it. It’s pretty clever, actually.

Symmetry in Numbers

All of this works because, when we see multiple of one item or a group of similar items, it creates more of a visual impact and pulls the audience’s attention. It’s a way of directing focus. It also helps to create a more aesthetically pleasing display without becoming overwhelming. By using multiple of the same or similar, the eye doesn’t become overwhelmed by too much clutter, even if you have a display that’s completely full. Think about it, if there’s a shelving unit full of odd, completely unrelated items, it’s far more overwhelming than if they were, say, all the same colour or just two items repeated.

The Magic of Odd

Odd numbers are a visual merchandisers best friend. For years and years, odd number pairings have been used to create impact in a display and enhance visual appeal. In particular, groups of three work best to draw the eye. For example, three similar art pieces on a wall looks better than two. Everyone would agree. We can’t tell you why (we’re not scientists!) but we do know that it’s true.

How You Can Use Numbers

When working on visual merchandising displays, always keep numbers in mind. If you want to bring focus to one product in particular, think about keeping a minimalistic background but repeating the item to create impact. If you want to create a cohesive display, consider adding accents of the same colours or textures throughout to make groups that draw the eye. By doing this, you’re telling the audience what they should be focusing on, even if they don’t know it.

If this is all sounding a bit too technical for you or you just really hate numbers, drop us an email at VM Design and ask for our help. We’re an expert visual merchandising company and would be more than happy to give you advice or start chatting about how we can work together. Don’t be shy!

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Visual Merchandising for Modern Marketing

In this modern age, our attention spans are falling short of what they once were. A fast-paced, fast-reward world means that we no longer want to sit around waiting – when we want something, we get it, whether that be food, information or entertainment.

This has led to the marketing world having to evolve to suit our need for instant gratification. If brands don’t follow suit then they’ll be left behind. It’s just the way of the marketing world!

How Does Visual Merchandising Fit In?

When it comes to marketing, a lot of ‘old’ techniques are falling out of fashion. They still work, but their priority in the advertising world is slowly declining. Things such as long, wordy editorials and even TV ads – which are usually now impatiently skipped through – have taken a hit from our lack of concentration. Banner ads on social media for a while seemed to be working until research was conducted and, actually, the user’s eyes rarely even flicker onto those ads. This is where visual merchandising comes in.

Unlike these other marketing methods, visual merchandising has certainly passed the test of time and is managing to hold the attention of an audience with a concentration span that is damaging brands. Why? Well, partly because people respond to visuals. Rather than reading a description of an image, we now prefer to see the image (this is shown with the popularity of TV in comparison to the decline in reading books) and visual merchandising does just that. It also allows for people to look at a display for even just a few seconds and be able to absorb the majority of your marketing. They’ll register your logo, your colours, your products and understand your target customer (if your visuals are done right, of course!).

In short, a well-executed visual merchandising display advertises everything you want to your audience in just a few seconds. You can see how this works in the modern day now, can’t you?

Modernising your Visual Merchandising

When looking at your own visual merchandising portfolio of your past displays, ask yourself how it can be improved to fit with this modern marketing approach. Have you got too much text? Does it get your message across? Does it engage, entertain and educate? Most importantly, could someone look at it for just a few seconds and understand your brand? When other marketing methods are failing, it’s important you make the most of visual merchandising and suit it to the new generation of consumers.

If you don’t think your visual merchandising is up to scratch, get in touch with us at VM Design. We can match you with a visual merchandising consultant who’ll pinpoint where you’re going wrong, make the changes you need and improve your brands so you can sit back, relax and watch your business thrive!

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Dressing to Impress: Fortnum & Mason Window Design Secrets Revealed

When it comes to shop window displays, there’s nowhere better for inspiration than London’s prestigious department stores. With creativity, design flair and undoubted expertise they stop at nothing to light up the city streets with their wonderful displays. Now, the secrets of one of London’s most renowned department stores, Fortnum & Mason, have slipped out, letting all of us know just how they do it…

Find your Defining Factor

Before even getting out your pencils to sketch your ideas, consider what makes your displays so undeniably ‘you’. As Fortnum & Mason reveal, their defining factor for their windows is ‘abundance’, and everything they do is an extension of this. Whether your store is more centred around minimalism, bright colours or whatever it may be, use this as your blueprint. By having an iconic look, you’ll help your displays to be recognisable and work with your products.

Dash Expectations

Never play by the rules when it comes to window design. You don’t want to just repeat displays other stores have already been using for years or create something obvious, you want to surprise your audience. Fortnum & Mason speak of how they once had a display which focused on a singular bottle of wine but they stacked the window from floor to ceiling with cork bottles. Not only is this inventive, it also attracts the eye to that one singular wine-bottle and the audience knows exactly where to look. Genius!

Keep the Lights On

If you walk past Fortnum & Mason after closing hours, you’ll notice their lights will still be on. In fact, they tell us that they set a timer to keep their windows lit until midnight. Why? Because, if you turn them off as you close, you miss a huge amount of late-night footfall from people wandering past your shop on their way home from late shifts or on their way out to events.

Follow your Theme

The famous department store also let it out that they allow their window theme to trail around the store, continuing their display on the tops of shelves and areas out of the way of products but within eye-sight. This helps to lead customers inside the shop and creates more of a presence from your shop window, accentuating the story you’ve created.

Embrace your Individuality

Finally, Fortnum & Mason spoke of individuality. Particularly for local shops that aren’t part of a chain – though chain stores should also pay attention – they reveal that your individuality is your greatest design asset. Let your window express who you are in terms of your values, products and personality. Be unique and you’ll spark the interest of your audience who will be too intrigued not to look inside!

If you are looking for windows displays of Fortnum & Mason quality but at affordable prices, plase get in touch with VM Design today. We are an experienced and established visual merchandising company.

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