I Do Windows


Posted in Store Design by Arcadia on December 4, 2011

Planograms – learn this term!  I’ve been wanting to do a post on planograms for a long time now, but for some reason it kept slipping my mind.  I’ve been feeling incredibly guilty and foolish for not covering this topic in-depth in class.  EVERY visual merchandiser should know what planograms are and how important they are in our line of work.

Planograms are a visual tool retailers use to show in detail where everything will go.  It’s the diagram or layout of the selling floor. They can be simple or very complex.  They can be done by a hand-sketch or with a software program (the most common, nowadays).  Sometimes they are even provided to the retailer by the vendor.  They show you exactly how they want a wall, for instance, to be merchandised.  If you are a retailer who does not use planograms then make this your New Year’s resolution!

Planograms are effective because:

  • You have better control of inventory
  • Your staff knows where and how to replenish merchandise
  • You can visually layout merchandise in a way that’s easier for the customer
  • You can plan your product adjacencies
  • Selling space isn’t wasted

Some retailers may already be using something of the sort and just didn’t know the technical name for it, but nonetheless all merchandisers know the importance of planograms.  Chain stores use them for consistency throughout their stores and independent stores use them to maximize their selling space.

Besides giving you the picture of how the selling space will look they also give you the details on the number of facings and the depth.  The facings are the number of units for that particular item (or SKU) and the depth is the number of units stocked one behind the other.

Planograms are the lifeblood of grocery stores and big box chain stores, and looking at all of the merchandise they stock, you can see why.  Grocery stores use planograms to optimize shelf space and control inventory:

Clothing retailers tend to focus more on presentation and visual appeal when using planograms:

There are many software programs and services out there to help you learn more and get started if your store is big enough and you choose to subcontract this service:

Happy Planning!

Blog Love: The Window Display Blog

Posted in Inspiration, Window Lessons by Arcadia on August 30, 2010

Being able to see what other window designer’s are doing is very important in our line of work.  Not for the sole purpose of being snarky and critical (although that does happen), but to see what techniques work, and what ideas have the most visual impact, not to mention if you truly love this line of work you can appreciate the efforts of the other talented designers out there.

Kaisa is a visual merchandiser in London, who does a great job of showcasing displays from her city.  I enjoy reading her blog as she always posts lots of photos.  This is so fantastic for those of us who can’t get to the fashion capital of London.  I highly recommend you check out The Window Display Blog.

A photo by Kaisa taken from her blog post Camouflage in Prada.

(image via: The Window Display Blog)

The History of Visual Merchandising – cont’d

Posted in Fashion 49, History of Visual Merchandising by Arcadia on February 14, 2010

The role of the visual merchandiser is an ever-changing one.  Just as brands exist within a store, the stores themselves have become brands.  You don’t expect to see the same merchandise at JC Penney as you would at Barneys?  This is important for the visual merchandiser because you are given the task of communicating the store’s image through your displays.

And this is becoming harder for us to do.  Why?  Because we are being faced with unprecedented competition, retailers didn’t have years ago.  Brick and mortar retailers are facing one of the biggest challenges to traditional shopping.  Any idea on what that is?

Click here for the answer

Here’s a clue of what it looks like:

Retailers are under a lot of pressure to attract and keep customers coming into their stores when shopping from home has become so convenient and price competitive.  Visual merchandisers are key in attracting and keeping a customer’s attention.

Luckily shopping is a social activity and many people do like to go out just to see what’s new!  I for one am one of those persons, and I know many others are too.

Visual Merchandisers v. Fashion Merchandisers

Posted in Fashion 49 by Arcadia on February 12, 2010

I would like to take this moment to clear something up for you students.  Visual Merchandising is often confused with Fashion Merchandising, and thought to be interchangeable – to the educated, they are not!

Fashion Merchandisers: are the buyers and fashion directors of stores who basically decide what merchandise the store will carry, what sales to promote, and they track/analyze trends.  They have a budget and sale goals that must be met.

Visual Merchandisers:  do work with the Fashion Merchandise team to decide the look of the store, and what marketing strategies the FM may want to incorporate.  It is their job to make that poufy, gold, taffeta dress a buyer purchased look stunning on the mannequin!

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