The New Louis Vuitton Store – London

French fashion house Louis Vuitton has reopened its London flagship on New Bond Street following many months of renovations to reveal a colourful retail destination housing the designer brand’s womenswear, menswear, accessories, and a selection of bespoke pieces exclusive to the store.

The new 17,500 square foot store at 17-20 New Bond Street is the transformation of combining two different buildings into one location. The instant airy feeling when customers step inside is highlighted by the double-height ceiling, a large skylight, and a sweeping double helix shape oak staircase.

The London flagship is much more than just a retail boutique, the fashion house explained that it has been designed to be a luxurious “travel destination”, with changeable gallery spaces, and artwork from 25 artists by the likes of Campana Brothers, Tracey Emin, Annie Morris and Sarah Crowner.

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Why not study Visual Merchandising?

After several years working in retail in my early 20’s, I had a complete career change and studied The British Display Society Visual Merchandising course. It was definitely time for a career change.

This was the start to a successful and varied career. My first role as a VM Junior at the World’s most famous department store Harrods, otherwise known as the Corner shop in Knightsbridge. I spent many happy years at the store rising to VM Manager. After Harrods, I worked at Selfridges in Oxford Street as VM Manager for a number of years.

Fast forward 20 years and I now run my own Visual Merchandising business – Creative Download. During this time, I have worked on some amazing freelance projects in New York, Shanghai, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and Singapore.   I had no idea that career change and studying The British Display Society Visual Merchandising Course would open up so many opportunities.

I certainly didn’t think I would end up being the Chairman of The British Display Society.

So, if you are considering a change of career then why not sign up and study Visual Merchandising with the BDS On-Line Course. The course is £490 which is payable either up-front or payments can be made over 10 months at £49.00. On successful completion of the course you will be awarded a Certificate accredited by the BDS. This will be a valuable addition to your CV whether you are already working in the industry, looking for an extra qualification, or keen to obtain a position in VM for the first time.

In addition to the On-Line VM Course, the BDS can create bespoke VM Courses for retailers and other organisations. This is a great way for us to train you staff in a classroom setting. Do enquire with us.

If you already work in the Visual Merchandising industry, then do join the BDS as a Member. It is a great way to network with other Visual Merchandisers and support the industry. There is also the opportunity to showcase your work on our Social Media sites and in our quarterly VM Spotlight magazine. Although we are UK based, our members are world-wide.

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Putting The Star On The Tree

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

There are seven key trends this year with plenty of decorations to match. The ranges include: Camp Fire, Party, Garden Retreat, ABC through to The Traditions and Sanctuary.

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.

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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The new Marks & Spencer.

A brand-new branch of Marks & Spencer has opened in Clapham Junction, SW1. This new concept and in-store theatre is vital for the M&S revival and showcases the store’s full range, and includes larger fresh displays, a new bakery and more plastic-free produce.

Customers will find a range of fresh herbs growing in vertical farming units, which includes Italian, Greek and Bordeaux Basils, Mint, Curly Parsley and Mountain Coriander.

They have replaced the old-style counters with great fixtures including M&S wooden tea chests and clear and concise signage.

The abundance of ideas and produce together with the look and feel is reminiscent of a New York grocery store.

Among the artistic touches include a pizza oven, together with a wine and a coffee sampling station.

There are four different types of trolley, and three different types of basket, including a beautiful wicker number that would not look out of place on the arm of an Instagram influencer who wants to let their followers know that yes, they are normal supermarket!

Definitely a must visit for your groceries!

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The British Display Society Network Event

The British Display Society Network/Social Event was held on Monday 30th September at The London College of Fashion.

The evening was a huge success and well supported by VM Students, VM Professionals and Corporate Members, with lots of networking and career opportunities.

It’s rather like the phrase “it’s not what you know, but who you know

A huge thanks to our Guest Speakers, Karl McKeever, Paul Symes and Kerry Meakin, for the superb presentations.

Karl and Paul were awarded “Fellow of The British Display Society” for their work and continued support in the VM Industry which spans many years.

It was great to see the VM tutors and students from our colleges in Ware (Herts Regional College) and Dublin School of Creative Arts, as well as the students from the London College of Fashion.

We also awarded The Hol Group with their Certificate in becoming Corporate Member and we will work closely with them to promote the VM industry.

Many people attending the event also signed up to become Members of The British Display Society.

Although we are based in the UK, our members are Worldwide, so if you work in the VM industry, then log onto our website, click on Membership and find the category that suits your experience and knowledge. Let’s keep VM rocking! Retail is in a tough place at the moment, so we need to stick together!

A huge thanks goes to The London College of Fashion for hosting the event which was a great venue.  For those in the industry who could not attend the event, there will be another event next year.

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Fortnum & Mason Christmas Shop

The Merriest Christmas begins!

In the heart of London’s Piccadilly Fortnum & Mason, this iconic department store, has opened its magical Christmas Shop.

Resplendent in all its glory, Christmas trees are stunningly dressed from the extensive range of sumptuous and opulent richly coloured baubles and other tree decorations, for every home.

Beautiful F&M tree decorations include miniature Royal Blend Tea caddies, Hot Air Balloon, a teapot and not forgetting the famous F&M wicker hamper.

To cater for the tourist market, there is a range of London based plush decorations. No trip to London is complete without a visit to this quintessential English store.

With an array of festive goodies including Christmas Crackers, Advent Calendars, Cards & Gift-wrap, novelty stocking fillers and party games, the store has everything to create the perfect Christmas, with finishing touches to ensure any home come alive with festivity for a truly wonderful Christmas.

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We love animals.

Most of us are huge animal fans, whether it’s our dogs or cats or whether it’s the excitement of seeing a giraffe or lion.

It’s interesting to see how animals (as display props) have moved into our windows and in-store VM sites. As we all know a window concept should be bright, themed and catch the eye of the passing potential customer. Louis Vuitton has certainly captured the imagination with various concepts over the years using dogs through to elephants. Window concepts are retail theatre and given the current economic climate, retailers are using their windows to make us stop and look. Shop windows are the cheapest form of advertising, they are the face of the store, one of the most important elements to any retail business.

The store Level Kids in Dubai used Flamingo’s in their summer scheme while Fortnum & Mason used wicker animals in their windows as well as in-store.  Graphics now include animals which has included a Back To School concept at Paperchase. Sometime ago, I remember seeing a huge whale hung over a china & ceramic table at Anthropologie at their store in Regent Street. That was quite a focal point and something totally unexpected.

While as I was Head of Visual Merchandising at Tangs in Singapore, I devised an Octopus for a concept entitled “I am not a Shoe Addict”.  Made from polystyrene, its feet were actual pairs of shoes and we gave the octopus a winking eye to attract the customers attention.

And naturally when Christmas arrives, this is when the fun starts. Probably the best concept using animals was the redoubtable Selfridges with their Pantomime concept. A brilliant concept and well executed and having worked as a VM Manager at the store, I would expect nothing less.

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Keeping the Visual Merchandising industry alive!

As we are all aware, Retail & Visual Merchandising is going through quite a tough period at the moment in many parts of the world.

The British Display Society has certainly seen many ups and downs in the retail economy over its 70-year history. We are here to ensure Visual Merchandising remains a recognised profession and that VM does not become a dying art, despite the current economic climate.

As well as being Chairman of The British Display Society, I have worked in the VM industry for over 20 years working at stores such as Harrods, Selfridges and as Head of VM at Tangs in Singapore. I have worked on projects in New York, Shanghai, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Switzerland. I now run Creative Download Visual Merchandising Consultancy. (

Established in 1947 the British Display Society was created to encourage and promote the highest standards of Visual Merchandising, Design & Display. Over the years the Society has constantly maintained its professional standing and adapted to changing times within both education and the retail world it seeks to service and enhance.

Former BDS students work throughout the U.K. and indeed throughout the world are now VM Managers, College Lecturers and VM Consultants. Although we are based in the UK, our members are global!

We recently opened a new category “Corporate Members”. This is open to companies that supply goods/services to the Retail & VM trade. This includes Graphics, Signage, Shop Fixtures, Mannequins etc.

Members are backed by the Society’s ‘Pathway to Professional Recognition’ through which affixes are awarded to members work and achievements. I am proud to say that I am a Fellow of The British Display Society and have the affix “FBDS” after my name.

Here’s a selection of photographs. These include: archive photo’s, students work (colleges from Ware UK, Dublin and Singapore) and the BDS team.

Take a look at our website ( and learn more about the BDS, our VM Courses, Membership and Benefits.

I look forward to welcoming you on board, let’s get Visual Merchandising a great industry again!

You can find The British Display Society on Facebook, Linked In and Instagram.


Liberty of London Christmas Shop

Step out of the lift onto the 4th Floor of this iconic London department store and be greeted in true Liberty style with the Christmas Shop. 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 with eucalyptus for that festive smell. Christmas lights adorn the wooden ceiling beams so you can imagine shopping there at dusk.

In addition to this, they have a section for Gift-wrap, Cards, Advent Calendars, Stocking Fillers, Puzzles and Games. Plus, a stunning selection of Food Gifts, perfect for that food lover.

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Autumn 2019

Where has the Summer gone? It only seems like yesterday when we were Spring cleaning of our homes and buying Spring/Summer items to accessorise our homes. Now we see new trends for Autumn and Winter appear in many stores.

The new Autumn/ Winter 2019-2020 colour trends from the runways are available to dazzle. The richness expected from Autumn is definitely on trend, but unexpected shades are changing how people consider their looks for Autumn and Winter. The rich tones, colour blocks and animal prints as what’s to come this season, mixed in with intense hues of berries and bark.

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.

From the rich autumnal shades, on the runway to home interiors and accessories that transfer a ray of summer to the gloomy days of Autumn/Winter.

Here are some of ideas of Autumn home interior merchandising for your store.

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