Siam Discovery Mall, Bangkok

While in Asia I travelled to Bangkok and took the opportunity to visit the many malls and stores that this city has to offer. Siam Discovery was top of my list and offered the most pleasant and leisurely shopping experience of any of the major malls in Bangkok.

With its sophisticated concept on how it presents merchandise, it is an experience like nowhere else in Thailand’s shopping-mad capital.

The Ground Floor has its chic boutiques and anchor stores from Issey Miyake, Diesel and Comme des Garcons but as you head to higher floors, you will notice a distinct lack of shops. Instead, merchandise is laid out naturally, as you would expect to see in someone’s home. This is a trend which has been popular in Japan and Korea for several years.

Each floor (called a “Lab”) is given to a general theme and a particular interior décor which make Siam Discovery a sort of retail exploration.On the 3rdFloor, they have kept the large Loft and Habitat Anchor Stores, as well as adding some interesting fashion, jewellery and homeware concept stores.

If you are passing through Bangkok, then Siam Discovery is definitely well worth a visit!

 

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50 Shades of Green……

Retailers appreciate the importance of store environment in enhancing the customer experience within their store.  The outdoor landscape can be an extension of the shop interiors, providing a positive shopping and memorable experience. So with the introduction of plants into a store, this helps softens the merchandise and engages the customer with a sense of calmness.

Retail environments can harness nature’s inherent powers to put people at ease by decorating their space with lush greenery. There is no doubt that colours affect a customer’s mood and green reflects nature, relaxation, health and freedom. We all feel connected with nature and using plants and foliage in our stores brings the outdoors indoors.

Retailers are always looking for any opportunity they can to rival the competition. So by creating a shopping experience that consumers enjoy is paramount to the long-term success of the business. Ensure your retail space is inviting and a place that shoppers feel comfortable. This helps builds loyalty and increases the likelihood of return visits.

So from the stunning “living wall’ at West Elm to the clever use of plants around the store at Anthropologie, to the beautifully created Petersham’s in Covent Garden, to the fabulous exterior of Jo Malone in Sloane Street, London, here is a selection of photographs that create inspiration and help with the story telling of your merchandise.

VM is not always about Fashion!

I started my Visual Merchandising career at Harrods as a Junior and quickly progressed to VM Manager.  The department was then known as Display as oppose to Visual Merchandising. Within the department you were known by your expertise, so you were either a “Fashion” or a “Pots & Pans” person! So basically Fashion or non-fashion.

During my long and established  career, I have worked with many product mediums from Fashion, Food, Interiors, Gifts, Homewares, Beauty, Stationery through to Luxury Brands and Accessories. It is always a delight to work with non-fashion items as you have to use your creative talent to merchandise tables and shelving fixtures. Not forgetting to be artistic when creating a strong focal point which will make the customers stop and say “WOW!

So for those Fashion stylists who think dealing with plates and crockery is boring, here is a selection of photographs that hopefully inspire you to branch out and work with other product mediums. Have fun and be creative!

From the regimented layout of Bloomingdales and Fortnum & Mason through to the mish-mash of Anthropologie, Merci in Paris and the most famous China & Crockery shop in New York, Fishs Eddy.

 

The use of ladders in window displays.

From the previous blogs, I have published articles about the use of Circles, Bicycles and Chairs. This time, it is the turn of ladders. Even the simplest of props such as a pair of ladders can create theatre in your windows and make the customer look and stare. It creating something quirky, different and eye catching. Give your customer something to remember your window as they walk past. Sadly in retail, VM budgets are getting tighter and we have to make the budget stretch further so this is smart way to bring life into your windows. The use of ladders is fun, quirky and very inexpensive. As you can see from the photographs, ladders have such a variety of uses from displays homewares, low to high end fashion even through to jewellery.  These ladders can be seen at the most icon department stores, fashion houses through to your independent gift shops.