How not to present your retail shop or store to your customers.

To end 2018 in a somewhat comical way, I thought I’d share a few photographs that will make you gasp, smile, laugh and probably shock you.

I have worked in the Visual Merchandising industry for over 20 years and have travelled extensively and observed a great deal in retail. I have collected these photographs over the years, while some have been sent to me by other Visual Merchandisers who I know. These photographs are used in the VM training sessions I run and in VM guidelines I create for clients. I do find educating retailers is the most challenging part of my job, but hopefully images like this will help them improve their shops and stores.

On a serious note, these photographs will probably shock you. Customers should not be subjected to seeing these sights. Anything from crammed window displays to the complete lack of merchandise in windows through to unprofessional mannequin poses to bad ticketing & signage to the shop floor being used at the stock room.

The most worrying part is that these retailers think this is acceptable for customers to see these sights. In this tough competitive work of retail, first impressions are vital. After all, “You Don’t Get A Second Chance To Make A First Impression”. There is always a customer looking over your shoulder!

In this tough market, retailers need to create the right shopping environment. From shop fronts to window displays to interior visual merchandising, product layout and focal points around the store, Creative Download will ensure that creativity is balanced with the commercial requirements of your business.

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Fomo Store, Gothenburg, Sweden

A new flagship pop-up store called “FÖMO”, which stands for Fear of Missing Out, has opened in The Mölndal Galleria, a new shopping centre in Gothenburg, Sweden. This unique physical lifestyle magazine gives a new shopping experience featuring a broad range of categories with a focus on brands that are not easily available in Sweden.

It is a mix of a living lifestyle magazine and a multi-brand concept with products changing frequently through the year to ensure customers always see, touch, taste, smell and hear something new, with frequent events driving new kinds of customer experience. The store provides Retail As A Service (RAAS) with staff, concepts, events and marketing to deliver the right message for each brand. As part of the program, brands are required to have event activations, appear in the window – much like the cover of a magazine for a few weeks and provide something that benefits the community whilst engaging with their customers.
A micro-department store of sorts, focusing on an event format with exhibitions, workshops and experiential marketing. A play area, coffee break spot and shopping in one space, how inviting!

I understand that “FÖMO Store” is inviting new brands to come on-board and hunting for new locations in Europe to expand the concept.  For further information contact:

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Selfridges Rocks Christmas

The department store is taking inspiration from rock-and-roll and pop music culture for its Christmas theme, which shows Santa dressed up in an assortment of difference rock outfits.

The windows, in Oxford Street London, also references the Blondie song ‘Hangin On TheTelephone‘, with a Debbie Harry-inspired mannequin in one of the windows.

The department store said more than 100 people had worked on non-stop rotated shifts over the past eight days to prepare the windows for the unveiling today.

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Ho Ho Ho!

Christmas comes around so quickly,  I hear you say.  As with many Visual Merchandisers by the time it comes to decorating your own house for Christmas you are tired of seeing Christmas. And so many times have people said to me “You must dress your house so beautifully at Christmas?”

You make the trip into the attic to dig out those decorations that you may have had for several years but feel you need to give your house a new look for 2018.

Here are some Festive ideas to give your house that talking point with friends and neighbours. Ditch the Christmas tree this year and make a Festive Tailors Dummy as a focal point to any room. Finish off with Christmas floral arrangements, not forgetting the stairs which are a feature in any hallway.

You can still remain in the Festive spirit after Christmas lunch, while washing up those dishes!

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