Visual merchandising is the art of implementing effective design ideas to increase store traffic and sales volume. Visual merchandising is known to be silent selling, in the sense that the product should sell itself. It is all about delivering good customer service to enhance the experience in store. There are many tactics and techniques for visual merchandising which are all linked to the physiological ways of the consumer are buying behaviours. Visual merchandising is very important to retailers because it shows how well they know the consumer, it will increase their foot flow in store and their sales if they get it right.
It is important because it’s about creating the right experience to make them want to come back and buy things when in store. I will be looking at visual merchandising of three stores. The three stores I have chosen are Bank, JD sports and Farm and Pet place. Bank: Bank has a target market of 15-25, they provide the latest branded fashion and the competitors are arcadia group. JD Sports: JD sells the latest sportswear for their target market of sports enthusiasts. Their competitors are JJB sports and Sports direct. Farm and Pet Place: Farm and Pet place provide farm and get goods to its target market of farmers and pet owners.
Its main competitors are pets at home and wynnstays. Findings Location & Visual Merchandising There are three types of locations for retailers these are: * Primary * Secondary * Anchor As the primary location is the main, they are town or city, it is important the retailer makes the store stand out compared to its competitors. Retailers in a primary location usually have standard visual merchandising. The secondary location is the quieter area of the towns and cities far away from main facilities and amenities; this is why there is less foot flow than a primary location.
There is normally not a lot of space for retailers to experiment with their visual merchandise and the retailers located in the secondary location usually have poor visual merchandising as they follow procedure instead of being creative as they don’t have a big budget. An anchor store is a store within a precinct or on a high street with large overheads it attracts well known retailers who have the pulling factor to bring other retailers to the area. An anchor store retailer will have a very large budget to be able to become creative with their visual merchandising this why they usually have very food visual merchandising.
Bank store in Llandudno is in a secondary location, so is Farm and Pet place and JD sports. Bank and JD are both in outlet centres therefore they have a lot of foot flow even though it’s just a secondary location. I think that Farm and Pet place are situated in a place where there isn’t much foot flow; you’d go there because you knew about it. Purpose Built or Interior Buildings Whether a retailer has decided to buy a previously owned building or buy a purpose built building, it affects the visual merchandising as every building has a different shape.
If retailers buy a purpose built building they will have an advantage as they’re much better for visual merchandising because of the shape and the height, it is more suited. The purpose built buildings have considered the needs of the visual merchandising. For the inherited buildings it is not as easy as some of them are listed therefore the shop front cannot be changed, so if a retailer wanted to have a fancy shop front they could not because the building cannot be changed. Also they are really narrow and long therefor it is really cramped spacing to visual merchandise; it limits how much you are able to do.
Even though purpose built buildings are more costly they are more cost effective in the long run. Bank has a purpose built building, however they haven’t taken full advantage of it because they have a false ceiling which could be potential selling space but it’s been wasted because they rushed getting the store open. The Farm and Pet place also have a purpose built building which they too haven’t taken full advantage of as they have windows in their store except the glass in the entrance doors.
JD has purpose built buildings and they have taken full advantage of their purpose built store as they have put everything to its use. It has two floors, one for clothes products and the upper level footwear selling space. Store Architecture The design indicates the size and prestige of the retailers operation. The use of materials will create different images and effects within the store. As I have mentioned in the above paragraph about listed buildings, retailers are unable to change them to suit the ways of their visual merchandising as they cannot be structurally altered.
As all three of the retailers I have chosen have purpose built stores they should be able to store and suit their store to the type of visual merchandising they may have, it should work in their advantage however in these cases it seems to not work as an advantage as they have poor visual merchandising displays. Farm and Pet place have no windows even though there store is purpose built so they could change it they haven’t therefore they have window displays to encourage people to go into the store.
Even though JD have ken full advantage of the space of their purpose built store they don’t use their window space properly as they have little displays and Bank haven’t used their second floor and aren’t very creative with their displays. Fascia The fascia of a store is what identifies the store and attracts attention from the public. They also are what able customers to identify the store, what is sold and where the retailer is located. Here are three types of fascia: * Straight Flat Format * Side Hanging Format * Raised Front Format
The straight flat format can only be seen from the front of the shop I feel this this isn’t the best option for a fascia as it doesn’t stand out very well they usually use these formats in precincts. The side hanging fascia are usually used in high streets, they are quite affective as customers can see it from both directions, creating more attention. The raised front format is usually illuminated and can be seen from far away I feel this is good as it creates a lot of attention from people walking past or people passing in cars.
Many retailers tend to take a safe approach to their logo for example just using a black and white colour scheme, this is not a good approach as the store doesn’t stand out and it may lose out to other competitors. It is replicated throughout the store. Bank and JD have raised front format but Farm and Pet place has a straight flat format, Bank stores sign lights up as does JD which makes it visible to customers in the dark but Farm and Pet Place don’t have a sign that lights up. As is their window isplays in Bank and JD they have timing for the lights to go on and off at appropriate times but because Farm and Pet Place don’t have any windows, as they are a warehouse, they don’t need timed lights. All three retailers have their brand displayed through the fascias. I think as a recommendation to them all they should invest in side hanging fascia this makes it harder for customers to overlook the store because they haven’t seen the sign. As a personal recommendation to Farm and Pet Place they should light up their sign and invest in windows to display their merchandise.
The Importance of the Shop Format This is the first part of the store which the customers see, this is where they create there first impression therefore it is important to get it right. There are three recognised types of shop front these are: * The Straight Front * The Angled Front * The Arcade Front The straight front is for shops that run parallel to the street with small entrance; this is hard for retailers with visual merchandising as they have small spaces to work with to be able to make their shop front stand out. This makes it harder to compete with competitors.
The angled front enables shops to create a more attractive and interesting front this helps direct customers into the store. It also creates a better viewing angle and can reduce the glare on the window making everything more visible. The arcade front is straight with several recessed window and entrances this provides the shopper with a protected area for window shopping drawing them in and creating a more relaxed atmosphere. The Importance of Window Displays The window displays an important part of visual merchandising as this is what entices the customer into entering the store.
In order to pull the customers into the store is through window dressing, it needs to grab the customer’s attention it only takes 3 seconds for a customer to gain an impression. There are two types of window displays these are: * Simplistic * Artistic The UK retailers have tended to stick to the simplistic look for their window displays except for the bigger stores such as Harrods as they have a lot of money to spend. The purpose of the window displays is to represent a small sample of merchandise the store holds and to enforce their corporate image; they are also to be informative to the customers.
Informative window displays provide information to customers for example as we have had the Olympics back in 2012, the theme of their window may be based around that theme. The fact that they were themed displays around the Olympics meant that they would be tackling two things at once because you are meant to display them in an informative way. As Farm and Pet Place don’t have a window they cannot display window displays and customers cannot see anything they see in store they actually have to go into the store this may put customers off as a lot of customers like to window shop.
Bank fashion has a very simple window display, it shows what offers they have but they don’t show many products displayed in their window, so to improve they could think about extending the window space to display more products to show their range that they stock in store and be more creative. JD Sports don’t have a good window display, they display barely any products and a few pairs of footwear, it doesn’t look appealing to customers therefore they won’t go into the store because of the window display.