Back To School.

As we know,  retail around the world has ground to a halt due to Corona Virus. Retail is certainly not in a good place at the moment. However, there is a glimmer of hope with lockdown restrictions in some countries slowly being lifted although the UK is some way behind.

So hopefully by the time the restrictions are fully lifted retailers should be thinking about “Back To School” windows. As with any concept, VM teams should be thinking and planning 6-9 months in advance.

Here at Creative Download we are finalising Christmas concepts for our clients which  include a Pop Up Christmas Gift Shop over multiple retail sites. Ho Ho Ho!

Here are some excellent inspirational window concepts from my files. Anything from fashion to chairs to over-sized pencils. The concept does not always have to relate to kids and stationery products. Back To School windows should be fun and a riot of colour and props. These windows should be inspiring and creative, as kids hate going back to school!

Given the strength of On-Line shopping retailers, with the help of the VM teams and Freelance Visual Merchandisers, stores should be stepping up a gear to ensure that all important ‘wow factor’ with creating retail theatre with both the window concepts and in-store presentation. It’s very much like the phrase “You Don’t Get A Second Chance To Make A First Impression”

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Retail in Dubai

In early March, before the Corona Virus lockdown in Dubai, Creative Download returned to work on a retail project with one of its regular clients.

While in Dubai, there was an opportunity to take a look at some of the great stores on offer to the many people that visit Dubai and the Middle East. It is one of those places used for a short-break or as a stop over between UK/Europe and Asia/Australia.

Here is a selection of photographs from the some of the stores that can be found in The Mall of Emirates and the Dubai Mall.

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Giving a store a fresh update.

It’s quite staggering how much Visual Merchandising plays a key role in retail without the general public/shoppers realising it. From window changeovers to floor moves & presentation to store promotions/pop-ups, most of this work occurs during the night.

In early March, before the Corona Virus lockdown in Dubai, Creative Download returned to work on a retail project with one of its clients. The Jashanmal store group is a household name within the GCC and operates stores in and across the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait.

The project was to re-vamp/re-merchandise two of their stores; The Mall of Emirates and Dubai Mall.

Under the guidance of Creative Download, the In-House VM Team worked several overnight shifts to achieve the project. Fixtures were moved around, merchandise was relocated into zoned areas to give that all important shopping experience to the customer. Slow selling lines were removed from the store to make way for new products. Re-merchandising a store through the night is hard work and can be messy with stock left on the floor until it finds a new location, but so much can be achieved by 8am the following morning.

Retail has been experiencing tough trading conditions for some time, so it is crucial that retail stores look fresh, interesting and exciting to the customer. Visual Merchandising is absolutely paramount to the success of any retailer.

Despite creating a floor plan and strategy for the two stores, it’s all about creating something out of nothing and working with what you have, in the space you have. This certainly puts your Space Planning Skills to the test. Quite often the proposed floor plan does not always work, so you have to think on your feet as that 8am deadline approaches.

Although an element of creativity is needed, any floor moves must be commercially viable. Visual Merchandising doesn’t need big budgets. In this case we utilised the current fixtures as well as pulling fixtures from the warehouse/VM studio.

Currently retail around the world is at a standstill and despite the current situation we are facing, there is still renewed vigour within the retail industry with the people I am in contact with and the articles that I am reading.

In 2007/08 the UK was in recession and business was not in a good place. However, we pulled ourselves out and re-invented ourselves. People will always want to go shopping and there is no getting away from that. So, this is a great opportunity to think positive and long term so that they are ready for when the current situation changes.

Creative Download is currently working on several projects that will commence later in the year. In the meantime, do contact us for further information on how Creative Download can help drive your retail business forward.

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