The last paragraph from the post: What is good display? Got me thinking about the display calendar and how important it is to the visual merchandisers.
Displays aren’t installed haphazardly, well professional ones aren’t! Just about everyone follows a display calendar so you know when displays need to be changed according to the season, trend, or sales event. This is especially true for the window team!
The calendar is an essential tool for the visual merchandiser, it helps you anticipate the upcoming promotions, plan out your process, and make sure things go according to plan. It’s also a way to communicate the fashion merchandising team, as they will want to make sure merchandise that is to be promoted is in the store at the designated time.
Just as the world of business has a “fiscal year” – and they don’t always start with January – so can a display calendar. Choose when you want your “year” to start. Most big retailers with in-house crews use Christmas as the start of their year. Your calendar doesn’t even have to run the traditional 12-months. Some retailers even use 18-months to really plan ahead! I would even advocate for a six to eight month calendar. Why?
Fashion is a quickly evolving industry. Sometimes planning too far ahead and feeling as if you are stuck with that plan doesn’t give you much room to adapt to the trends.
When planning your calendar be as creative as you want with it – hey that is what we do – but make sure your team and everyone else who uses it can read and understand it!
- Always put your big promotions on there first: major sales, Christmas, Back to School, things you know are traditional and don’t change.
- Next schedule your smaller promotions: Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day.
- Once you have these on your calendar this allows you to see the weeks you need to fill in with trends, promotions, or new collections set to arrive.
- Don’t forget to have a discussion with your fashion merchandising department as they may have special events they want displayed in the windows and store.
Now that you know what promotions and holidays are coming up you can look at your budget, allocate accordingly, and order materials/props well in advance. Don’t forget to schedule time to remove your old displays as well, this usually doesn’t take all day, but it’s still important to give yourself time in the schedule for it.
I don’t care how big or small your store is, you still need to give yourself a display calendar. I hear customers say all the time how disappointed they are that certain stores don’t change out their windows often enough! Keep yourself on a regular schedule and your displays will always be fresh and new!
(image via: lushlee)