By Dr. Roopak Vasishtha, CEO & Director General, AMHSSC
Visual Merchandising is critically important in the ever-evolving fashion industry as well as creating a strong brand identity. It is a rapidly emerging sector and there are good career prospects in this field. Visual Merchandising is the art of creating visually appealing displays that attract customers to the store and promote sales. Now this concept is being used as a marketing tool in the retail sector. The sector encompasses all activities that help increase sales of products in retail stores. So let’s know in detail about this interesting career option of Visual Merchandising.
What is Visual Merchandising?
Visual Merchandising is art or activity of displaying and promoting the products in such a manner that it appeals to the eyes of the customer. It’s considered an important support for fashion retail operations. Visual merchandising includes window displays, signs, and interior displays. A good combination of colour and theme plays a vital role in visual merchandising. The goal of visual merchandisers is to create a distinctive atmosphere and aesthetic appearance to drive customers’ in-store purchase decisions. They are creative and use their skills to develop interest among the customers by perfectly styling mannequins and their surroundings. They plan store themes, arrange display fixtures and lighting, set up stores before opening, work with floor plans. Under this, he has to work in areas such as window and interior displays as well as stock placement and staff training. The more you make the store attractive through music, lighting, etc., the more consumers will be attracted towards your store.
Nowadays many institutes offer certificate and diploma courses related to visual merchandising. Those students who want to pursue this course must be 12th pass out. However, in most institutes, visual merchandising is taught under the Fashion Designing or Fashion Technology course. Given the career prospects in this emerging field, two courses have been specially designed by Apparel Made-Ups and Home Furnishing Sector Skill Council (AMHSSC), formed under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Government of India. One is Merchandiser and the other is Merchandiser Made-Ups and Home Furnishing, in which students are also taught about visual merchandising.
In the course of visual merchandising, students are trained on various aspects related to visual merchandising such as store display, presentation of products, and attracting customers through the use of various communication tools.
It is very important to have the quality of designing and creativity among the students looking for a career in this field. A visual merchandiser must have excellent organizing skills as well as qualities like planning, project management, and time management. Apart from this, they also need to have communication and interpersonal skills, must have problem-solving ability and computer knowledge. Career experts say that visual merchandisers should know the psychology of consumers and should also anticipate trends.
With the increase in the number of shopping malls, five-star hotels, boutiques, and retail outlets, the demand for visual merchandisers have also increased significantly. Visual merchandisers can work in fashion boutiques, shopping malls, emporium, architecture firms, design companies, theme party organizing companies, etc. They can also do freelancing on a contractual basis for window displays at exhibitions, fairs, beauty contests, award ceremonies, malls, retail.
A fresher can easily earn ten to fifteen thousand in this field. At the same time, after gaining some experience you can work in a retail outlet of a big brand and get an attractive package. Salary package increases with skill and experience.
It is rightly said that ‘First Impression is the Last Impression’, whether it’s a job interview, or attracting customers into the fashion store to increase sales. As a fashion lover, you keep an eye on the latest trends, but presenting the garments strikingly and appealingly is equally important. As the fashion industry is expanding throughout the world, several new creative career options including Visual Merchandising are coming into it. Go grab it!