I Do Windows

Ted Baker

Posted in Store Study Assignment by Arcadia on February 24, 2011

This week’s store study assignment is by Lisa G.

Ted Baker, Union Square– San Francisco, CA

What does the store design tell you about the retailer?

Overall this store is not that big and they only carry a small selection of each size. The store is very inviting and there are a lot of bright colors throughout the store especially when focusing on the clothing. From the store’s layout and clothing selection I would say it caters to somebody with a more European taste for clothing and somebody who is a little bit edgy and willing to try a look that might be outside the box.

Describe the store’s target customer?

I would say the target customer is somebody in their 30s who can afford to dress nicely but yet still not spend an exuberant amount of money. Their target customer is definitely into fashion and wants to select clothing that is going to get them noticed.

Is the merchandise displayed in an accessible manner for the customer?

Overall I would say the merchandise is displayed in an acceptable manner but as I stated above the store is kind of small. With that said I think they have too much clothing in the store. They have a lot of racks throughout the store so it makes it hard to move around. I would eliminate some of the clothing racks.

Is it stocked pile or more minimalist?

The store is more minimalist and there is no stock piling. There are a few pieces laid out on a table for show but overall there are just clothing racks throughout the entire store.

Do the fixtures suit the store environment?

This store does not have a lot of fixtures b/c there isn’t that much space. The fixtures that they do have, do fit the environment. I like the large light structure in the middle of the store. ( see photo )

Does the lighting highlight the merchandise?

Yes, the lighting highlights the merchandise. The lighting in this store is very bright and enhances the clothing since a lot of the clothing is in bright colors. The lighting is especially beneficial in the dressing rooms. The dressing rooms at this store are huge and good lightning makes it that much easier for you to see what you are actually trying on.

How is color used in the store?

The clothing in this store is very colorful. They do not keep to the black, white and gray tones. The clothing that was out today consisted of reds, blues, bright pinks and a few black and white items.  I would say besides that they do not use that much coloring. The interior walls are a brown/ wood coloring.

Are the windows pleasing and drawing you into the store?

The windows are very simple since they are having a 60% off sale. When I look at the mannequins in the window I am not drawn to the store based upon what they are wearing but more so that there is a 60% off sale happening. One window display advertised their new collection and another window displayed let the public know about the sale. For the Sale window I like how the word Sale was written across the window. For the new collection window I think it is kind of boring and it wouldn’t grab my attention and draw me into the store.

If you could make changes in the store what would they be?

1. I would change their new collection window display to something exciting that is going to draw people into the store. First off they have 4 models and I know in class we learned to have an odd number of mannequins. Second, there is no exciting focus point in this window display. When I look at this window my eye goes directly to the center which is a pile of purses. I would maybe do some theme around their new clothing line. They should think about who is going to be purchasing their new collection and do a window that targets those customers.

2. I would remove some of the racks in the store and consider building shelving into the wall so they can fold some merchandise and place it on shelves. There is not much space to walk around in this store and all the racks on the floor make it even more difficult. I thought the men’s section was way too crowded.

Thanks Lisa for a great assignment!

(image above via: Lisa G.)


Mannequin Madness in Oakland, CA

Posted in Mannequins, Retail News by Arcadia on February 24, 2011

A while ago I was contacted by a retailer who sells and rents used mannequins.  Well, I’m just getting around to checking out their website and must say WOW!  There is a plethora of information on there all about mannequins.

Judi Townsend is the proprietor of Mannequin Madness in Oakland, CA. It is a 1300 square foot warehouse of all types of mannequins and dress forms.  Take a look at some of the merchandise they have to offer, especially if you are just opening a store, because new mannequins can be incredibly expensive.  Students this is a great way to purchase mannequins or dress forms for class projects, or to build up your own inventory for your freelance business.

My favorite part is she is also “green” business owner.  She recycles mannequins from retailers for FREE when they close or remodel their store.  What a service!

I’m glad Judi contacted me, I love finding valuable resources nearby.  If you do happen to purchase something, tell them you are a CCSF student in my class and she will offer you a 15% discount.

(image via: Business Life) <—-click on the link for a great article on Judi!


Group Projects

Posted in Class Group Projects by Arcadia on February 24, 2011

There have been some changes to the Group Projects:

We now have 5 groups

The display themes are:

  • Green
  • Holiday
  • Movie
  • Fashion Designer
  • Music

(Pop culture has been eliminated at the class’ request)

You will now only have five surfaces to complete:

  • Wall
  • 2 Large Cubes
  • Window
  • Table
  • Shelving Unit

For privacy and safety reasons I will not be listing student names for each group, ask me in class if you have forgotten which group you are in.  The group assignments are as follows:

April 2 – #1 Wall , #2 Cubes, #3 Window, #4 Table, #5 Shelving (Green)

April 9 – #1 Shelving, #2 Wall, #3 Cubes, #4 Window, #5 Table (Holiday)

April 16 – #1 Table, #2 Shelving, #3 Wall, #4 Cubes, #5 Window (Movie)

April 23 – #1 Window, #2 Table, #3 Shelving, #4 Wall, #5 Cubes (Fashion Designer)

April 30 – #1 Cubes, #2 Window, #3 Table, #4 Shelving, #5 Wall (Music)

Please remember in addition to decorating according to the theme of the week, you must also choose the “product” you are selling.

Let me know if you have any questions!

See you in class……

The Westfield Mall field trip

Posted in Fashion 49, Mall Field Trip Assignment by Arcadia on February 24, 2011

This Saturday class will be “held” in the mall right next door to us, I can’t think of a better way to actually see what you learn in class!

You have 10 questions to answer.  This typed assignment is due next week in class, NO EXCEPTIONS! I will not be accepting late submissions.  There will be no Store Study Assignment due this week.  If you are absent from class you must find a way to complete the assignment on your own.

Westfield Mall Field Trip:

  1. Choose one window that you believe to be the most effective.  Explain in detail why?
  2. Choose one windows that you believe to be the least effective.  Explain in detail why?
  3. Name one store that had wall fixtures and give a description.
  4. Name a store that featured each of these merchandising techniques (give a description): Color Blocking, Horizontal Merchandising, Product Merchandising
  5. Name a store that uses vendor fixtures, please describe.
  6. Name a store that uses POP displays, please describe.
  7. Name a store that features a “trend area”, please describe.
  8. Name a store that uses printed graphics, please describe.
  9. Name a store that creates ambience with music or scent.
  10. Choose one store that YOU feel embodies all the principles of visual merchandising (e.g. store design, ambience, good layout, exciting displays, good lighting, clear signage, appropriate fixtures, neat and clean).

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Book Review: Silent Selling

Posted in Book Reviews by Arcadia on February 24, 2011

This past semester I’ve been supplementing my lesson plans with information from the textbook Silent Selling: Best Practices and Effective Strategies in Visual Merchandising, by Judith Bell and Kate Ternus.  I do not make textbooks a requirement for the class because students have to spend money on their group projects, but I would like to highly recommend this book.

There is a lot of information in these 15 chapters:

  1. Creative Thinking:  “Getting out of the Box”
  2. What is Visual Merchandising?
  3. Core Design Strategies
  4. Layout and Fixtures for Fashion Apparel
  5. Fashion Apparel Wall Setups
  6. Fashion Apparel and Accessory Coordination
  7. Home Fashion Presentation
  8. Signing
  9. Lighting
  10. Grocery and Food Service Stores
  11. Nontraditional Retailing
  12. The Magic of the Display Window
  13. Mannequins and Mannequins Alternatives
  14. Building a Visual Merchandising Department
  15. Visual Merchandising Careers

This book teaches you everything about our industry as a whole, while others tend to focus only on “doing windows”.  If you are some interested in studying up on merchandising a store and not just making pretty displays, then as a teacher I recommend you get this textbook; and for the teachers I recommend you incorporate some of their lesson plans into your own curriculum.

Take your time going through it, as you can get overwhelmed with the amount of information they’ve put into it.  Happy reading!


Michael Kors

Posted in Store Study Assignment by Arcadia on February 11, 2011

Now that the new semester has begun, and students have turned in a few assignments.  I will resume posting Store Studies on some of the stores they have visited.

Michael Kors by, Raina A.

What does the store design tell you about the retailer?

The store design tells me that the retailer is a well respected designer with a high price range.  The store is very organized, clean, and minimalistic, so that tells me the designer possesses those qualities.

Describe the store’s target customer?

The stores target customer is mainly women, young twenties to ageless.  The store is targeting a customer that is looking for quality in product and wants key pieces of clothing, not just daily wear.  There is a small amount of clothing in the store, it is mainly purses, so that tells me the retailer targets a large amount of women, and not just one particular size.

Is the merchandise displayed in an accessible manner for the customer?

The purses are spaced out by at least a foot and are displayed in an appealing manner with the straps on a metal hanger and the purse on the surface.  The clothing is hung in one opened door amount space.  The shoes are in a separate area with a foot spacing apart.  The accessories are at the front cash wrap.  All of the merchandise is accessible and easy to find.

Is it stocked-piled or minimalist?

The stores carries a large array of merchandise and a small amount of sale items.  The store is minimalist.  There is one merchandise per style displayed and when purchasing the product they will bring out a new one from the stock.

Do the fixtures suit the store’s environment?

The fixtures are very bright and clean white.  The fixtures suit the environment very well, showcasing every inch of the store.

Is the ambience fitting for the store’s image?

The ambience fits the store’s image in a quaint glamorous way.  The ambience is a selling environment that also says the merchandise is straight from the runway.

Does the lighting highlight the merchandise?

The lighting is perfect for photo shoots and therefore showcases the quality, luxurious colors, and usability of the merchandise.  The lighting is very bright but had dimmed areas in places.

How is color used in the store?

The color that is mainly used in the store is white.  From the outside of the store passing by, you can see that the inside is very pearl white and bright from the lighting.  It is a beautiful choice, because then the color showcases the bright colors of the merchandise and the gorgeous  textures of the merchandise.

Are the windows pleasing and drawing you into the store?

The window displays of the store are similar to the inside of the store.  The display shows some purses in the same way they are set up in the store, basically letting the merchandise talk for itself.  The windows are very pleasing, but the store front looking inside is the main attraction.

If you could make changes in the store what would they be?

If I could make changes in the store I would space out the clothing, possibly featuring a few pieces.  The crammed clothing makes it unappealing to gravitate towards even though it is pleasing to see a minimal amount of clothing.  I would also feature a small written display, as in museums, of the stitching, fabric, color, etc…details of the merchandise to inform a customer on what they are buying or looking at.

Thanks Raina for your informative reporting!

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