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Visual Merchandiser Job Description

Rahul Thadani
Every retail store enlists the help of a visual merchandiser to help them determine the best layout for displaying their products. Doing so enhances sales and profits, and there are many people for whom visual merchandising is an ideal field.
Visual merchandising is a very interesting part of retail marketing. It involves setting up the displays in a retail store, or any small shop, in a manner which allows customers to view items that they would almost always purchase. How many times have you walked past a retail store with some items displayed in the window and stopped to have a second look?
If your answer is many times, then you have been the subject of successful visual merchandising.
With so many choices available to the consumer today, it is imperative for sellers and retail store owners to get attention in any way possible. One such way is to catch people's eye with attractive visual merchandising. Interestingly, this act not only involves setting up items in the display windows, it also involves the actual layout of items that a customer sees when he walks into a store.

The Job of a Visual Merchandiser

Simply put, a visual merchandiser has to design the details about what is displayed where in a store. This sounds like a very simple task, but there are many details that go into deciding this layout, which the merchandiser needs to keep in mind.
For instance, an interesting study that is well-known to all visual merchandisers says that every customer first looks to his left when he enters a store. For this reason, you may find that a lot of them concentrate on the area to the left of the entrance. 
There are several other nuances that will be picked up with experience and practice as well. Here is a detailed description for anyone who is interested in taking this up as a profession
  • Conceptualize and implement visual merchandising strategies in the store.
  • Devise a plan for the complete look of the interiors of a store.
  • Decide what goes into the display window, and how often to come up with new window display ideas.
  • Plan the layout of various items that are stacked inside the store, in a manner that encourages greater customer interest and sales.
  • Constantly come up with new ideas for store design and layout plans.
  • Come up with other promotional ideas and marketing gimmicks in order to attract more buyers and generate more attention.
  • Ensure that the environment within the store is welcoming, warm and ambient.
  • Interact with customers to get a better idea about any changes that need to be made in the presentation of merchandise.
  • Manage the inventory and decide how many items need to be displayed and stocked at one particular moment.

Education Requirements and Salary Details

The qualifications that are required for becoming a one varies from store to store. A small shop may just hire someone who has no relevant qualification or experience, but a massive retail chain will hire a specialist who has a proven track record in the field.
A high school diploma is a must for most visual merchandisers, but there are many employers who hire other people as well and offer them on-the-job training.
Apart from this, there are several Bachelor's level courses and Master's level courses in visual merchandising and fashion merchandising as well, and someone who has completed these courses will be given preference in a large retail chain. There are plenty of fashion schools that offer such courses, so locating them is not an issue.
Every visual merchandiser performs different tasks since each store is unique. There are no hard and fast rules about their limitations, so in many stores he or she also undertakes several marketing activities.
The salary that he can get will depend heavily on his qualifications, his experience, the size of the store, the geographic location of the store and the full nature of work that he is expected to perform. A person who is just starting out will make between $20,000 - $30,000.
An experienced person can get between $30,000 - $50,000, while someone at the top level who handles other activities as well, can make between $50,000 - $80,000. Reaching such a stage requires plenty of experience though, and it also requires taking responsibility for many other marketing related activities of the store.
Once you understand the nuances of being a visual merchandiser, you will be able to decide if you are cut out for it or not. Ultimately you must remember that a visual merchandiser's job is to make products look more tempting through means of proper presentation and visual enticement, and this is not that difficult a task.