The Power of Visual Merchandising!

The Power of Visual Merchandising!

Hello Everyone!!!!!  

So I just got back from a very short but well deserved break in Cape Town.  Thought it would be great to go back to where I called home for 3 years, catch up with folks from my school and of course hang out with AA who also happened to be there for a conference [actually to be honest, that was the real reason I went… :-D].   

Anisa Mpungwe at MrP (In-Store), V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

But anywayz…..  ladies, y’all know a holiday is incomplete without shopping right???!!! And I did a bit of that… – which brings me to today’s post!

So I walked into the Mr Price Store at the Waterfront just to see what they had and to compare it to the Mr Price here in Lagos and stopped right smack in front of the mannequins up there in the picture.  

Now I have never bought a jumpsuit (or made one for myself for that matter) and many who know me will tell you I am not a great fan of print.  BUT after seeing the way that jumpsuit looked on that mannequin, I knew I just had to get one! 

It was not about the jumpsuit per se…  truth be told, if I had seen it on the rack, I would probably have walked away from it.  But for me, it was more about how it was displayed – the props, the shiny black mannequin – everything about it was just superb and I was totally sold!  I just had to have it!  And I did!  And I am still grinning – totally satisfied with my purchase-S… yes I bought more print outfits from the store.  (Yeah.. I know some designers might scream but that is another post for another day!) 

But anywayz… THAT – my friends – is the Power of Visual Merchandising!

Truworths Store Window & In-Store Layout, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Most times when I go shopping in other environments, I am amazed at how much effort the stores put into creating THAT shopping experience for their customers.  The store windows and layouts can sometimes be out of this world – I mean just check out this Truworths store window and the store itself!  Stunning!  

Window shopping for me is not about staring at clothes I will not buy but more about staring at store windows and layouts, absorbing the creativity that has gone into trying to make a sale.  Ever since I studied this at school, I have been hooked on visual merchandising!

From the signage, to the mannequins, and the lights to the hangers and even the music, everything just seems so perfect and is targeted at trying to make you part with that money.  And guess what?!  It usually works! 

But when I look at store windows over here, I think to myself – gosh, if only these people knew just how much money they could make if they put that little bit more effort into their store window.

I remember going into a store on Adeniran Ogunsanya a while back and had to run out!  The clothes were all stacked on racks in such a tiny space, I immediately felt claustrophobic!  Perhaps they were going for the “hey we have a lot of stuff” vibe but it was completely lost on me!  The only thing that came to my mind was how quickly I could get out of there!  And I did!  What a horrid experience!  

Rotating store window at Forever New, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

I think, often times, people think selling clothes is all about dressing mannequins and putting them in front of windows where people can see them but honestly it goes way beyond that.  Anytime I walk into the Mr Price store in Surulere, I just smile… something makes me go in, something sometimes keeps me there and more often than not, I leave with something in my hands – no matter how little!  Of course the great prices do help as well – but the question is how would I have known the prices were so great if I was not attracted to the store in the first place?  And that is why Visual Merchandising is so important!
I won’t say I am an expert in Visual Merchandising but one thing I will tell you is that this is an area that is yet to be fully exploited over here.  If only people knew how much money they could make if they put just that bit of an effort into designing their stores.  And it does not have to be so expensive either.  If one can spend all that money on props at a wedding, surely one can also improvise and spend a bit of money to bring in money.

All you need to do is prove to a store owner that you can increase their sales and foot traffic just by giving the store an overhaul and a better visual appeal, and you have a winning career!

Did I need all those things I bought during my trip?  Nope!  But I am not unhappy that I did.  The whole essence of visual merchandising is to make people buy what they don’t even need – impulse buying I believe it is called.  And that is why companies spend so much money just creating that experience!

I mean ever wondered why those sweets are at the till at the supermarket while you are in the queue?  They were placed there intentionally to make you buy them – by a visual merchandiser!  And suckers like me always fall for it – I cannot seem to resist buying KitKat at the supermarket till… ok well… lately I have managed to restrain myself with all this “watching what I eat stuff” and it seems to be working!

But you get my point right?  And I believe this is a career path that is worth pursuing around here.  If it is done right, you can make a lot of money from it! 

And of course, this post would not be complete without a picture of me wearing my new purchase 😀  And I can assure you that in that short time, I have pretty much worn my money’s worth and have no plans of slowing down! 😀

Meanwhile, enjoy some more pictures of store windows I took on some earlier trips.  Shame I can’t remember the name of some of the stores… 

China… at some exhibition…

Boston I believe this was…

Loved the concept of this store with the sewing machines…

New York… I think this was Forever 21…

I’m sure I have a lot more pictures somewhere… can’t seem to find them on my system… especially the ones I took in Istanbul.  If I do find them, I’ll upload them.

Hopefully I just gave you some food for thought… just in time for the New Year so you can add that to your list of Resolutions…. 😀

Have a great week everyone!!!

OH!!!  PS!

Please remember that the Jacket & Trousers Course AND the Foundation Course both begin next week.  Do register early so you can round up the year in style!  Remember procrastination never did anyone any good!  Don’t leave it till next year.  Make the move NOW!

See you next week!

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