Spring is in the air!

Given the current weather in the UK recently, Spring is definitely in the air. The temperature is rising, the birds are singing and the sun is starting to shine!

Over the years, Visual Merchandising incorporating floral displays has been a popular tactic to bring shops and department stores to life. There are many ways to be creative in catching the attention of the shoppers.  In the world of retail, snap decisions account for half of all purchases, so the eye appeal of a window display can really influence whether a shopper chooses to buy or not. 

The effect of a visually stunning commercial window concept/display is of a round the clock advert for our business. Many retailers use flowers/foliage to add interest to their windows and build their unique brand, attracting customers as well as promoting the merchandise. Many window designers are creating stunning backdrops out of card, paper and other materials.  


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KODAK Digital Still Camera
KODAK Digital Still Camera

Euro Shop – Dusseldorf

It’s staggering to think how much has changed over the past twelve months. Myself and a couple of colleagues attended Euro-Shop in February 2020. Euro-Shop is one of the greatest and exciting Retail & Visual Merchandising trade shows. It was obvious that attendance was lower than usual, and many exhibitors had pulled out of the show. Little did we know that the Corona Virus would certainly take a grip on the whole world. 

2020 was certainly a tough year for retail, but many retailers have ‘battled on’ and there is now light at the end of the road. 

Many clients of Creative Download are feeling positive and it is great to work with them to develop new concepts for 2021 which include Christmas. They recognise the importance of Visual Merchandising and Store Presentation and that it is remains a key element to their business and the commercial value it brings. 

The Euro-Shop exhibition is held every 3 years and it is a great way to network and see the latest innovations that suppliers from around the world are showcasing. Here is just a small selection of the hundreds of photographs taken during the visit.

Looking forward to Euro-Shop in Dusseldorf in 2023!


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The art of Colour Blocking

As we know the Covid pandemic around the world has certainly had a devastating effect on the retail industry. While we are now seeing the light at end of this crisis, here are some great images of fun and colourful window concepts to cheer us up!

Colour blocking has been a daring and transformative trend since Piet Mondrian’s early 1900s debut of neoplasticism. In its evolution through the 1960s mod style and Andy Warhol’s classic Pop Art, colour blocking has become most widely known as an artistic tool that utilizes bold and bright colours in many of the store windows.

Today, colour blocking of products in the stores is one of the simplest ways to add visual impact and one of the basics in Visual Merchandising. From shirts, towels, fruit and tins of paint, products can be displayed in an eye-catching and practical way. Here’s a selection of photographs that certainly make an impact with the use of bright bold colours.

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Digital StillCamera

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. 

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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. 

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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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