Time to push your Visual Merchandising career?

It’s interesting to see old photographs of department store window displays from the years gone by. 

Window concepts have certainly moved forward, and Visual Merchandising has never been so important for the retail industry. It’s all about creating retail theatre and giving customers that all important customer experience and memorable visit to a store. 

The British Display Society is one of the few VM/Educational organisations dedicated to the VM Industry.  BDS Members range from Freelancers to VM Professionals and Head of VM for a store or brand.

In addition to this the BDS offers a Centre of Excellence Award to colleges around the world that operate VM courses so VM students can become a Member of the BDS together with the college lecturers. 

The British Display Society is pleased to announce the launch of a new and exciting On-Line Distance VM Course for 2021. The course includes: History of VM & Display, Brand Identity, VM techniques and Signage. 

This is an excellent opportunity to push your VM career or maybe you are thinking of pursuing a career in Visual Merchandising. 

So why not log on to: www.bdsonline.co.uk and sign up? 

If you work in the VM industry then why not sign up to become an Associate Member? This is a great way to network with others in the industry and you have the opportunity to showcase/advertise your work in our VM Spotlight magazine that has a circulation of 1.9m people in the Retail & VM industry around the world. 

Log on to; www.britishdisplaysociety.co.uk

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Love is in the air.

Apologies for the Creative Download VM blog not being compiled and sent out on a regular basis over the past couple of months.

It was quite a busy time for Creative Download in October and November with the installation of many Christmas concepts then forward planning for concepts for 2021. 

As many of you are aware, the UK is currently in lockdown with many non-essential retailers closing their doors until the UK government gives retailers the green light to reopen. 

Usually at this time of year, many retailers would be installing Valentines, but given the “stay at home” message from the government, this is not happening.  

To get us in the ‘love’ mood and to lift our spirits, here are some great images of Valentine windows from our files. 

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The Magic that is Fortnum & Mason

In true theatrical style, the window displays at London’s iconic department store Fortnum & Mason are a feast for the eye.

The front windows that overlook Piccadilly are full of theatre depicting brochure covers from years gone by. Produced in 3D sculpture these windows include elements of lighting, humour and lots of animation. 

The Christmas scheme is intentionally designed to bring feelings of nostalgia to the adults, and excitement and wonder to younger shoppers, including details that you may not notice at first glance.

The side windows are lavishly filled, packed full of gorgeous and scrumptious delights, to ensure your home is just packed with magical treats this Christmas. It’s a feast! As we know, Fortnum’s is renowned for its own branded/own label merchandise and here you will find everything for that festive dining experience. 

Don’t forget you can follow Creative Download on Facebook & Instagram. 


Selfridges Christmas Windows

In full theatrical style, Selfridges unveiled their Christmas windows a day before being forced to shut the doors of its physical stores for  second lockdown in England.

The luxury department store, which operates stores in London, Birmingham and Manchester, has revealed its window display as part of the launch of its Once Upon a Christmas campaign, which it said will be “uplifting” amid the uncertain backdrop.

Selfridges has said it was pushing forward with preparations to ensure it can offer an “unmistakable in-store Christmas experience” when its stores are able to reopen after lockdown and in line with government guidelines.

The retailer has temporarily closed all of its stores as part of the second lockdown, apart from its Oxford Street food hall.

The display also includes artists’ windows featuring bespoke Christmas trees by Anthony Burrill, Hanna Hansdotter and Helen Bullock.

Selfridges said the windows have been designed with more focus on sustainable and recycled materials, coming after it announced ambitious sustainability targets through its Project Earth commitments earlier this year.

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Once Upon A Christmas – Selfridges Foodhall

Christmas has certainly arrived in the Foodhall at Selfridges in Oxford Street.

The concept, “Once Upon A Christmas” captures the gourmet’s delight when it comes to sumptuous food and gorgeous goodies for the festive period.

From Panettone, Mince Pies, Piccalilli Relish and Pumpkin Seed & Almond Butter to Chestnut Puree to Christmas Hampers, the Selfridges Foodhall has everything you need for a festive feast. 

The Foodhall itself it adorned with green garland which is crammed with baubles. On the grocery tops are disco balls disguised as Christmas Puddings.

The dome, that has been painted in a rich crimson takes centre stage with a single gold Christmas cracker. 

Don’t forget you can follow Creative Download on Facebook & Instagram. 


The Selfridges Christmas shop is more sustainable than ever!

In previous years, Selfridges have been scorned by the public and the media for opening a Christmas Shop in mid-August. This made commercial sense due to the volume of stock they buy and also to cater to the overseas tourists. Sadly, with Covid this is slightly different this year. 

This year, the Christmas Shop opened mid-October. In 2020 many people have sustainability on their minds and Selfridges mission is to be kinder to the planet which was at the forefront of their planning of the Christmas shop.

A majority of the products available in the Christmas shop – Crackers, Decorations, Cards and Gift Wrap is sustainably sourced. They are calling this the largest sustainable collection on the UK High Street.

The decorations are from forest-friendly plastic-free, made from recycled materials. 

It is an excellent way to shop for those baubles and decorations you crave for whist being kind to the planet. This is part of the on-going store wide campaign entitled Project Earth. 

It looks like a very sustainable Christmas!

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Liberty of London Christmas Shop

Liberty of London have opened their Christmas Shop. In true Liberty style, the Christmas Shop is resplendent in all its glory with its sumptuous and opulent array of decorations and baubles which cater for every style of Christmas.   

Fixtures are well merchandised according to style of decoration with baubles on prongs and in crates underneath.  Garlands run along the top are dressed in eucalyptus for that festive smell. Christmas lights adorn the wooden ceiling beams so you can imagine shopping there at dusk. 

Housed on the 4th floor of this iconic London department store, it is certainly a must visit. 

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The richness of Autumn

As we reach the latter part of 2020, Autumn is certainly upon us. Although many stores have now launched their Christmas Shops, there are customers including myself who adore Autumn. 

The warm Autumn has richer and darker colouring: rich coffee, golden brown, camel, reds with yellow or orange undertones, emerald, teal, yellow gold, medium olive green, mixed with intense hues of berries and bark.  

The richness expected from Autumn is definitely on trend, given the merchandise I am seeing in the various stores in both Home/Interior and fashion categories. 

If you’re a fan of Scandinavian design, then this is something you should try and experiment with as woven textures are often used to bring softness into Nordic interiors.

Given the recent lockdown, it is paramount to have that all-important newness to create a fresh ambience for those ‘must have’ purchases.  

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John Lewis Christmas Shop

John Lewis has unveiled their Christmas Shop in the flagship store on Oxford Street in central London.

There are some great key trends this year with an abundance of decorations to match. The ranges include: Art Nouveau, Post Impressionism, Pop Art, Bloomsbury, Renaissance and Art of Japan. 

From baubles and garlands to tinsel and twinkling lights, plus a forest of Christmas Trees of different shapes and sizes, you’ll find everything you need to deck out your home this festive season. In this sustainable world, it’s good to see that John Lewis are taking the initiative with their completely recycled wrapping paper and glitter free Gift-wrap, Christmas Cards and Crackers. 

The Visual Merchandising team have created stunning room sets that feature the key ranges with beautifully dressed trees, table settings to highlight the indulgence of Christmas

Within the Christmas Shop you will find sumptuous food delights, including lots of panettone to that all-important drink to cheer the festive period with family and friends. 

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Loewe at Liberty of London

The Spanish Luxury brand Loewe are showcasing their range of Candles and Home Fragrance in the windows and in a Pop-Up Shop at Liberty of London. 

Founded in 1846 this brand specialises in leather goods, fashion, perfume and fashion accessories. 

Each window has been dedicated to a particular fragrance: Juniper Berry, Honey Suckle, Tomato, Cypress Balls, Ivy, Oregano, luscious pea and even Marihuana. With a graphic on the back wall and simple effective columns to highlight the merchandise. 

The Pop-Up shop is a spacious area on the 1st Floor of this iconic London store with a single cabinet showcasing the candles and home fragrance collection. To highlight the Pop-Up Shop, the area has been filled with fresh plants and foliage, which softens the Pop-Up shop. 

These retail event spaces create theatre, create a fun place to shop and generate new customers, while building Brand awareness. This is a great opportunity for a Brand to educate customers, as well as connect with customers who normally shop on-line.

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