Monday, 4 March 2013

Professional Context Part #2

Through just a simple Google search, I have found that there are actually companies that specialize in creative design including visual merchandising, which companies actually hire to dress their windows for them. Some of these include Millington Associates and SFD so it isn't necessarily an in-company thing.

High street stores such as Zara solely rely on their windows for advertising so it’s detrimental to them that this hits the mark to make sure they stay a high street competitor. I got in contact with Kylie Coleman who is the head visual merchandiser for the Maidstone Zara store. Similar to River Island, she stated they have a team of window dressers that come down every few months to change them to the newest collections that arrive. 

Depending on the location of the store and the collections they have, each store may be slightly altered to the target market of the customer within their town or if the store doesn’t have the correct pieces alternatives will be used. 
She commented on the fact they don’t advertise and that it’s crucial on ‘enticing’ customers through their doors. The windows specifically hold the key pieces and trends for that season. Budgeting wise she could not comment but the layout and concepts are the same across all UK Zara stores and worldwide. She describes the windows as being ‘contemporary’ and do not have a lot of decoration to them because ‘the clothes speak for themselves.’ In this particular store they have 3 main visual merchandisers; 1 for ladieswear, 1 for menswear and 1 for childrenswear but in flagship stores it can be up to 3 in each of those departments. They received pictures of how the collections should look within the walls and what the key pieces are to put on their frontals. The idea of exclusivity is instated within the displays also by how many of each product they have out. With ‘new in’ stock, only one of each size is out so the customers feel they are buying something that not everybody has.

Coleman, Kylie. Visual Merchandiser (2008) Email. Grace Gibson. 25th February. 
Image: In Magazine from Zara store.

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