As mentioned earlier in retail it is all about the experience of our guests. One of the key drivers in the guest experience journey through our shops is Visual Merchandising or VM. Some would say it is about displaying your products to increase sales or decrease slow moving stock (more about this in the Stock Management section). I would define VM as: ‘store planning activities to extend guest experience and making the store easy to shop from’. Visual Merchandising includes:
- Store planning;
- Product displaying;
- Store standards.
Retail within the leisure industry is often not core business meaning that guests are not travelling to purchase merchandise, a ride photo or play a midway game. All these purchases are secondary which makes Visual Merchandising even more important! Retailing in a theme park requests a different mind-set compared to the shop located at the high street. Shops are often part of the complete experience, well themed (or at least that’s what I would advise) and merchandise is branded and based on the nearby ride or area where the shop is located (again my advice). There is also the internal competition from F&B or Photography and what about queuing time at the rides? The last does not affect the decision to spend but will affect the time to spend in your shop and therefore the awareness of promotions, product ranges, staff attention and probably when it is crowded in the shop the will to enter your store. Often you will have one shot to close the deal and first impression counts!
Visual Merchandising can be used to increase the profitability by using the hot spots for high margin best sellers (more about profitability in Retail Analytics and Finance Management) but also to decrease the risk in stock by driving volume of your slow moving products.
I will blog about the key elements in Visual Merchandising as well as the VM experiences during my travels across Europe, Asia and Australia. Expect to see videos and photos from different stores around the globe. Why not using it for your inspiration? If you want me to cover specific areas of Visual Merchandising just let me know!