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Visual merchandising techniques

Categories: BusinessManagement


In order to complete this task I will be identifying the visual merchandising and display techniques used for three retail outlets. The three organisations that I will be working on throughout this assignment are:

  1. Hollister
  2. Hamleys
  3. The Body Shop

Visual Merchandising – This could be defined as the way in which retailers present and deliver their products to customers, in order to meet their needs, expectations and increase the profit and sales of the organisation. Visual Merchandising is the art and creativity of promoting the products a business sells in the most attractive way possible, with the intention of creating interest.


Brief history of the company:

Hollister Co., sometimes advertised as Hollister or HCo, is an American lifestyle brand by Abercrombie & Fitch Co. It was created in 2000 with its first store opening in July 2000 at the Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio. The concept was originally designed to attract consumers aged 14–18 through its SoCal inspired image and casual wear.

Goods are available in store and through the company’s online store. The stores are designed to simulate the feeling of being in a surf shop by having the exterior and interior based on a life guard house. It was ranked as the second most preferred clothing brand of US teens behind a long list of actual West Coast companies in 2008 by Piper Jaffray.

Techniques used to attract the consumer

  • Displays

The exterior of the store is the first thing that attracts the attention of the customer or the ‘window shopper’, who might become a potential consumer.

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This is one of the most important techniques that Hollister Co. uses to appeal to customers. Exterior design includes shuttered windows, and light and dark brown paten walls. The shuttered windows were meant to add to the atmosphere of the store and keep out customers that did not fit in, which shows that the brand is not easily accessible to everyone, like in five star boutiques, as well as really mysterious when you look at it from the outside; it makes you want to see what is inside. This is one of the things that differentiate Hollister from other fashion, clothing stores in malls and on the high street. Many teenagers and high school students wear Hollister products just because they want to become piece of the fashion and style, by showing a great fashion sense.

  • Price

Hollister Co, keep the price points of their goods, affordable to its targeted group of customers, high school students aged 14-18. Hollister’s price points are about 20% lower than its parent Abercrombie & Fitch, who mainly aim their products at consumers, aged 18 through 22. Again, this is another method by which Hollister Co shows they appreciate the customer group they are targeting, as they provide the best quality and unique products at a reasonable and affordable price for students.

  • Sales and promotion

Hollister California pursues the technique of ‘walking self-marketing’, where in wearing an item of clothing from HCO results in direct advertising. This is particularly achieved through the large sewing or screen print of the brand’s name, initials, fictional date of establishment and the flying seagull logo on the vast majority of their merchandise. As a result, the company has not relied on media marketing to communicate its desired look and appeal. Hollister Co mainly advertises their product or whenever there is a special discount on some goods, they usually post it on the website. To maintain the SoCal theme, stores and merchandise are categorized within the divisions named ‘Dudes’ for men and ‘Bettys’ for women.

  • Environment

Hollister Co. stores simulate the appearance of vintage beach shacks in an indoor shopping mall. The stores are designed to simulate the feeling of being in a surf shop by having the exterior and interior based on a life guard house. Another effective technique Hollister Co. uses is to play an eclectic selection of alternative rock and pop music in their stores. In addition, all the staff in Hollister is abide by a strict dress code. They must wear contemporary Hollister style clothing, normally abiding with their ‘beach vibe’ style clothing and everyone must wear the season’s colors. Again this is a great marketing technique used by the company, because by doing this, they are tempting and in a way encouraging the buyer to see and buy the latest styles, because they like the brand.

From the pictures above, we can see how Hollister has used the front display of their store, as they made use of that space to position mannequins and show their latest trends to the customers that passes by. The picture also shows that certain mystique about shopping at Hollister’s that make it a fun place to go. The storefronts look like beach huts; the interiors are dark and play trendy music. Customers cannot see into the store from the outside, but they can smell it from around the corner. The picture on the left shows that Hollister Co. set the mood of Christmas or other event to attract as well as thy sometimes have goods that are on sale.


Brief history of the company:

Hamleys is one of the world’s largest toy shops. Its flagship store is in Regent Street, London. Hamleys is named after William Hamley, who founded the first shop called ‘Noah’s Ark’ at 231 High Holborn in London in 1760. A branch at 200 Regent Street was opened in 1881, and the Holborn branch was destroyed by fire in 1901 and was relocated from 231 to 86– 87 High Holborn. Arriving back in the present, we find Hamleys in its famous location at 188-196 Regent Street. To cope with the public’s growing appetite for playthings, Hamleys added a further five floors of toys.

The flagship store is considered one of London’s major tourist attractions, and receives about five million visitors a year. Unlike many companies using possessive names, Hamleys intentionally forgoes the use of an apostrophe in its name. In addition, the largest toy shop is famous for imported dolls, scientific sets, pedal cars and miniature toy trains.

Techniques used to attract the consumer

  • Window Displays

Hamleys has really big store displays, which benefits them, as it creates a sense of excitement for the people that pass by. For instance when a customer approaches the store the first thing they see is the outside window display and they walk in with interest and really often adults enjoy the atmosphere, have family fun and play along with their children. The largest toy shop uses the front displays to set the mood of a particular event or sale they have. This mood often matches the season, for example during Christmas periods; they set the mood of Boxing Day, New Year, etc.

  • Price

The location of the shop is meant to attract middle class families, international shoppers and many tourists. As a result the prices of some products and services they provide might not be affordable to everyone. In this case higher prices stand for better quality of the products as well as the location of Hamleys allows them to have a bit higher prices on some toys.

  • Sales and Promotion

Hamleys frequently promotes their products in store, as they have point of sale advertisement, or usually the toys that are on sale are put next to the cashiers, so it is easily for shoppers to see it. As well as that they advertise on their original website, other internet sites, on TV around Christmas and Easter and some other special events, e.g. when they celebrated the 250th anniversary of the store. Hamleys mainly promote the new toys and games in store, by using sales representatives, for example doing puppet shows, staff dressed as super heroes, or demonstrating how to play with the toys.

  • Environment

The environment of Hamleys is very welcoming, there are people from the staff that entertain the customers once they enter the store and everyone can join in and have fun, play around and shop at the same time. Some customers do not even realise that they become buyers and even come back with their children regularly, very often customers walk in just to have a look around because of the environment. In addition, Hamleys organise birthday parties, which is another method they use to attract more customer by providing this type of service.

  • Online service

The company’s website is designed in a colorful theme and at the top of the page customer can find different tabs that will take them to various parts of the site. One feature that Home at Hamleys website offers is the search form that gives plenty of options to ensure that the customer finds the product that they need. Customers can search by brand, age range, gender, prices range as well as by the name of the toy. This makes it much easier for them to shop online if they do not have enough time to shop in store. Hamleys also deliver the products to customer’s door.

The pictures above show that Hamleys has used the inside store space to put super heroes and doll houses to catch the attention of the customer. They also have similar pictures on the public display. The staffs at each shop floor are there to entertain people and they are also allowed to interact with the customers. This means that the store uses its employees to present the products and to attract more shoppers.

  • Location

The store is located on the high street in central London and there are thousands of people that pass by every day. Hamleys has great travel links and is very near to the underground station. As I already said the store is visited by more than five million visitors each year, as is considered one of London’s tourist attractions. This benefits both – the business and the customer. It benefits the customer as is easy for them to find the location and get there and at the same, time benefits the business by bringing more clients and increasing the profit.

The Body Shop

Brief history of the company:

The Body Shop International Plc, known as The Body Shop, has 2,400 stores in 61 countries, and is the second largest cosmetic franchise in the world, following O Boticario, a Brazilian company. The Body Shop is headquartered in Littlehampton, West Sussex, England, was founded in 1976 by the late Dame Anita Roddick and is now part of the L’Oréal corporate group.

The Body Shop carries a wide range of products for the body, face, hair and home. The Body Shop does not claim its products are ‘all-natural’, but “inspired by nature” and they feature ingredients such as marula oil and sesame seed oil sourced through the Community Fair Trade program.

The Body Shop is constantly producing innovative products and improving current products for customer safety and satisfaction.

Techniques used to attract the consumer

  • Window Displays

The Body Shop regularly features posters on shop windows and sponsorship of local charity and community events. This is one of the techniques they use to attract customer, because they persuade the customer that by buying a product they will help someone in need somewhere in the world.

  • Price

The Body Shop’s prices are considered as reasonable for the quality of their products, even though some customers might think that they are overpricing. The company gives their products a fair price for natural ingredients or handcrafts they purchase from different countries.

  • Sales and promotion

In the past The Body Shop turned increasingly toward social and environmental campaigns to promote its business. The Body Shop proposed an alliance with Greenpeace in the UK to save the whale. As well as began launching other promotions tied to social causes, with much public and media interest. Back in the present The Body Shop is well known for its contribution to greener environment, products that contain community traded ingredients and products inspired by nature.

It is very important for the customer to see what the business does to be ethical to the community and the environment and not just be existent to make profit. Poster frames are also supplied for use within the store to highlight various points of sale promotions and ethical messages throughout the store. Another way The Body Shop uses to offer and promote new products to their clients is by sending them email shots regularly, to update them on what is new or latest sales.

  • Environment

All Body Shop products are naturally scented, environmentally-minded and one of the campaigns that it supports is Against Animal Testing. Body Shop uses light boxes with energy efficient lighting combined with a sleek stylish look, which gives the store a modern look and an inviting glow. In addition, as they mainly sell cosmetics, body lotions and soaps, there is a special scent that in a way invites the passer by to enter the store. Another thing that benefits Body Shop is that they utilise all the space within the shop, making it as profitable as possible.

  • Online service

The high quality body, skin and beauty retailer also provides wide range of products on their online website. The website informs the consumers of latest offers and promotions. Customers will need to create an account in order to start using the services that it provides. Then they can start using The Body Shop website daily to get deals discount codes, free delivery, etc. and the purchase are always delivered straight to customers door.

Window display shown is in Oxford Street, London.

From the pictures we can see how The Body Shop has used its store window to display a campaign they are supporting. The campaign is to raise money to build a school in Cabra, Kosovo. This shows that their company is ethically responsible and when customers shop they raise money for charity and help someone in need.

The picture below shows how Body Shops products are put down in the store. Everything is clear to the viewer, easy to find and there is a price and description underneath each product. The Body Shop also carries a theme throughout the display. Every seasonal promotion such as the Valentine’s Day, the poster conveys a message of what are the best products for that specific occasion. The window table at the bottom of the poster carries the products with A6 cards announcing discounts and promotions.



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Visual merchandising techniques. (2017, Jul 12). Retrieved from

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