What is a Visual Merchandiser?
A visual merchandiser is responsible for artistically displaying products in a retail store. The purpose is to attract customers with the unique and vibrant window exhibits and display. In today's world of aggressive competition, each and every way of attracting more customers is extremely important. Showcasing the products in an elaborate and eye catching way is a sure way to arouse the curiosity of customers.
Programs in Visual Merchandising
Initially, visual merchandisers were just store employees whose job was to display products in the windows. Now, it is a formal field in which courses in art, flower decoration, interior design, architecture, etc. are taken. Psychology and behavioral sciences are also studied for understanding of the workings of the human mind and the ways to pique it. Hence, a keen artistic temperament is required along with technical studies in arranging sets, props, etc. Proper programs in the exact field of visual merchandising are rare but some arts and schools do offer certificate, associate and bachelors degree programs in fashion merchandising and visual communications in which elements of visual merchandising are covered. Business and marketing courses are also taught so that the students are able to start their own businesses such as fashion boutiques, retail shops, etc.
Bachelors in Fashion Merchandising
The bachelor's degree program in fashion merchandising normally requires the following criteria for admission:
- High School diploma with transcripts
- SAT or ACT score
The high school courses demanded by some schools depend on the applicant's chosen program. For example, a program in consumer science may require that business and mathematics courses are taken in high school.
Visual Merchandising Experience
As formal programs are not readily available, prospective visual merchandisers have to rely on practical experience to hone their talents. Internships or entry level jobs at retail shops, where experienced visual merchandisers can be observed, is an excellent way to learn visual merchandising.
The career prospects of a visual merchandiser are getting brighter day by day as companies are realizing the impact of visual merchandizing on their sales. Visual merchandisers are increasingly demanded at jewelry shops, boutiques and even departmental stores where they can expertly create small miniature displays arranged by product, brand, color, price, etc. to give a sample of what the store has to offer. The average salary earned by visual merchandisers is around $25,000 and it can be enhanced by specializing in fields like jewelry, fashion clothes, etc. or even designing.