Retail strategy store development: Visual merchandising

Toolbox Revisited
Within a succesfull branding process, a clear basic idea and the uniqueness of the products offered are not enough. The result should also be attractive in its elaboration. The quality of the translation of the basic principles into the store image is therefore an extremely important succes factor. In order to carry out this process in the best and most complete way possible Jos de Vries The Retail Company has developed a practical toolbox. This toolbox contains all the tools to create a complete and distinctive store concept. Using this toolbox, you will avoid making random decisions about the store´s image. They will always be rooted in the basis principles of the formula.
The various parts included in the toolbox are:
Tool 1. Store lay-out
Tool 2: Store design
Tool 3: In-store graphics
Tool 4: Visual Merchandising
Tool 5: Shop front Design
Tool 4: Visual Merchandising
One of the most underrated, but also most decisive parts of the store formula is product presentation or visual merchandising.

It is also a part of the formula that cannot be developed and supervised by others, but which you should create in the store in collaboration with the employees. Even if you have successfully linked a fantastic layout to an attractive store design with the best possible lighting, your store will not achieve the desired result without a proper presentation. So this part of the formula also entails an additional difficulty.

The purpose of store formula management is to think in processes as much as possible and to develop systems in order to manage the store by remote control at low management costs. Visual merchandising should be created by experts in the store. This requires vision and skill on the part of the employees. However: you also want to keep the costs under control!

To this end, good visual merchandising concepts always combine two factors.

First, they are developed on the basis of a system, whereby the presentation can be created using the product itself, without using too many tools. Secondly, the concept is connected to a training programma for employees focusing on the use of the system created and its application in the store.

The costs of a good visual merchandising concept are always recovered. Examples are known where, without any further adjustments to the store formula, a 5% in turnover was realised plus a remarkable margin improvement, merely by enhancing the formula. Just by offering the right combinations of products. And this, without investing a penny in hardware!

In actual practice, a good visual merchanding formula jeans:
- that the focus is on the product in the store;
- that the desired ambiance in the store is created by ´merchandise pressure´
- that the consumer is almost unable to avoid buying the product;
- that impulse buying is stimulated in this way (´it really looks delicious´,´what a great offer´ or ´what a fantastic product´. I want… no I have to have this!)
A good visual merchandising concept provokes this emotion in the customer.

Therefore visual merchandising does not only determine the ambiance in the store, but is also the driving force behind the turnover. When a store designer starts to work on a new store formula, he first has to think about how to fit in the visual merchandising concept when he draws the initial sketch. This is because the desired result will only be achieved if the store design and the visual merchandising concept are approached in an integrated manner.
This chapter is part of the Book "Let me tell you a store" Please contact Jos de Vries The Retail Company or for further information.
Since many years Jos de Vries The Retail Company is a well-known organisation in the retail business. We are specialised in analysing, designing and realysing shop concepts all over Europe. We know for a fact that the successful presentation of shops and products can not only bring about a positive image but also achieve above-average successes.

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