Thursday, 21 February 2013

Visual Merchandising : Jewellery Display

Visual Merchandising : Jewellery Display

The question confronting every retailer is what encourages a customer to shop in one store rather than another ?
The answer is : a coordinated effort  that includes marketing, merchandising, store design, and visual merchandising.

Visual merchandising today has become an indispensable and integral component of the fashion business. it is a tool or language that retailers use to communicate with the target customers .

Visual merchandising makes the customers stop, look , even examine the new merchandise available in your store . it is the art of presentation, which puts the merchandise in focus. it educates the customers, create desire and finally augments the selling process.

In jewellery and fashion business, VM plays a very important role. so if you are running a jewellery business, boutique , design house, or a store, it is mandatory for you to learn the basics of VM to enhance the sale of your merchandise.

The basic rules of design

As you know , humans require beauty in addition to function. Our mind is consciously and unconsciously looks for it .So, here are the two things you need to keep in mind when designing a new display.

1- Keep it simple
 { A busy window display doesn't say a lot . Less busy displays say more  }

2- Use graceful lines , pleasing colours, contrast , interesting patterns and appealing arranged merchandise . Together with contrast this will help create rythm .


Reduce confusion in your Design :

Unless there's a clear theme or topic , organize the objects by :

-or any other common feature

Beauty in composition :

Sometimes the idea you want to showcase involoves a theme or topic . when that's the case, you should keep in mind that you shouldn't try to replicate a real situation .When creating store windows you should strive to create impressions.You can't replicate something like a swimming pool  or the beach . That would be overkill .You need to extract the beautiful lines, colours & forms and perhaps some appropriate display symbols .When you use an object again & again and it establishes a pattern , you get harmony and focus .Generally , the large items are the focal points and are the featured merchandise. The smaller surrounding items should support the large items . These items may be products like accessories or props.

Colour themes :

colour is the first thing a customer notices.The most exciting displays are dominated by one colour .

The next obvious question is how do you decide what colour to use ?

The dominant colour in your merchandise usually determines the colour in the display.

Colour also establishes a mood like happiness.
In addition, the customer identifies colour with price, quality & style .

Its important to know that too many colours in equal amounts confuse the customer and weaken the presentation . Its ok to showcase lots of products of all shapes and sizes in a store window, but shouldn't  look like a big mess.
The way to deal with a big mess is to quit your idea of too much colour .
That's when the beauty of minimalism comes alive.

Tip: If red earrings are hot , dress as many of the mannequins as possible with red earrings. Enhance the earrings with red belts or shoes and this will strengthen the colour theme.Don't worry about using too much of the same colour .


Lines :

You can use lines to connect shapes or objects so the eye follows one object to another. or you can use imaginary lines to accomplish this.
There are various kinds of lines : straight, crooked and curved .
Vertical lines create impressions of strength , permanence and stability. Horizontal lines create feelings of dignity , calm and order. Diagonal lines create attention. Curved lines are ideal to confine the contours of objects or to create an endless motion like a wave. Crooked lines are everchanging.

Focus on Usage/ Function

Create a scene showing  how the products can be used. Mannequins are perfect for this .For example , you can show them while they are at the beach or while they are playing in the snow or having fun in the kitchen.

Focus on Lifestyle :
Your products enhance someone's lifestyle .If that lifestyle matches your store 's brand then try to find objects that go hand in hand with that lifestyle and use them  in your window display . This will turn your window into a magnet for anyone who associates him or herself with that lifestyle.

Nature :
You can find everything in nature : love, grand openings , drama, elegance. Use the beauty of flowers, the darkness of forests, the rich colour of butterfly wings etc.

Fairytales, fiction and dreams :

Position your products in a fairytale window and tell a story.Think about the little mermaid and the sea witch , a circus act or a magic trick.

Celebrities and photos :

Talk to your vendors , ask for some big photos or posters and special displays that you can place in your window displays.Try not to give up your creative control, because in the end , its your  store , its your brand .

Holiday spirit :

At times shopping is a necessary function. Sometimes its a therapy for the stressed out souls . But during the holidays the actual  buying or window shopping is also a form of entertainment. Your windows should be your gift to the city, your gift to your customers. Your gifts needs to reflect your unique take  on the holiday season and spirit . Usually the holiday theme takes centre stage and your products become the the props that enhances the holiday spirit . for example : you have a Santa claus in your window and your products { the christmas gifts } are the props.

Art :

You can get amazing reactions when you take art out of a gallery's environment and push it at people where its least expected .Use your window spaces as a public gallery wherein you showcase known and unknown artists. When possible try to create synergy between the art and your products. Art isn't suitable for every store.Displays with high- fashion merchandise are more likely to use art. Your creation inside your store windows is and should be a work of art.

Now, the question arises in mind is - what else do you have to take into account when creating a display ?

The answer is -

Timing :

Its not that difficult to make the new season's windows always look fresh . However you need to think of the entire season and start gently with key colours. Don't put your strongest pieces in right off the bat. There needs to be an element of surprise.

And read the mood of the street ! when its a dark and rainy day you shouldn't try to sell bright colours. That would not make a lot of sense. It might not be a bad idea to at least change your windows every month but in the end its your customers who decide how often you need to change your windows. Once a month might not be enough.This takes some planning and organizing but its worth it. The goal is to show your new products whenever possible beacuse you want your customer to see what's  new in your store.

Lighting :

Display windows need to be lighted intensely because of two reasons :

1- It creats a greater impact than the impact of the store's architecture.
2- It eliminates the sun's glare and reflections on the glass.

When  this is being ignored or simply forgotten, then you are actually making it difficult for the customers . They won't see what's inside your windows and it makes your store  look like its closed. In addition to general lighting ,overhead spotlights should be used to highlight the focal points like the merchandise. You can use those spotlights to create a theatre like effect when you combine it with a dark background. As a result you will have a higher contrast with the merchandise. Keep in mind, the darker the merchandise is the more it tends to absorb light.  therefore, stronger lights might be needed. Sometimes you will need side- fill light to eliminate unwanted shadows.
The right amount of shadows makes luxurious items look interesting , while general lighting sometimes does the opposite. You can also change the expression on the mannequin's face with it.When you mix everything up do try to make sure there's balance in your window. It needs to look like the light comes from one source and try to show the merchandise in its true colours.

Props :

Props are the key players in your window because props complement and enhance the merchandise. But the props should never upstage the merchandise or clutter the display.


Mannequin design changes as fast as fashion styles. Some stores prefer the mannequin to be a little bit more abstract compared to the realistic mannequins. Abstracts are more reflective of the times without being too specific .

Do keep in mind that :

1- The mannequins should  be a perfect fit for your store , brand and the lifestyle you are trying to sell.
2- Your customers expect that whatever the mannequin wears is the latest fashion and is available in the store.You shouldn't disappoint the   customers.

Mannequins just not stand there and do nothing , there should be some interaction or you could make them sit or stand in a way that really draws attention to them. You can give them an attitude that helps establish the lifestyle you are trying to sell. Its important because your customers want to identify themselves with what they are seeing in your windows.

Don't  forget, your goal is to awaken the senses and captivate your audience's attention. one way to accomplish this is to look for relationships of objects that are unconventionallly beautiful. something that lets us undo old habitual ways of seeing things.

Best of luck !

                   - Swapnil Shukla

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