Nine Questions to Ensure Effective Retail Store Merchandising
How many times have you heard a shopper exclaim, “Those Rococo-inspired chairs in the corner make me want to buy sweaters in every color you have!”? Never. Because it’s retail store merchandising, not retail store decorating.
Interior decorating speaks to creating comfortable and stimulating environments for living and working. It’s a matter of taste and style and expression. In visual merchandising it’s about those things as well – plus sales.
Sometimes, interior decorators think they do the same job as visual merchandisers. But creating a stunning space does not move merch. In retail store merchandising, one must answer to a higher authority – the ringing of the register.
The ultimate goal retail store merchandising is to increase sales, not just aesthetic.
A great visual merchandiser understands this. He or she realizes that the job is to create a space that frames and presents products, and build a pleasing path for the shopper to discover and experience those products. And then buy them.
Great retail store merchandising experts view their interiors as works in progress. They design, they implement, they review, they observe and they make course corrections. True visual merchandisers look at what’s working and learn from it. They also see what’s not working and make adjustments (or change it entirely) to enhance sales success.
The stakes are high. The in-store environment has become a battleground for the hearts and wallets of experience-seeking shoppers. Retail brands must create physical spaces that both look great and work hard. The right visual merchandiser can help make that happen.
Questions for Retail Store Merchandising Candidates
- How many years have you been doing retail design?
- How many stores have you completed?
- What were the before and after sales results of your best project? (Not pictures.)
- What is your philosophy in designing a retail store?
- What is your process? (Get specifics on the research and tactics.)
- What is your approach to the integration of signage and display into a retail space design?
- What was your greatest visual merchandising challenge, and how did you solve it?
- What was the biggest mistake you’ve made in a store design, and what did you learn from it?
- How will you measure success?