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P1 – Describe the visual merchandising and display techniques used by three different types of retail outlets.

What is visual merchandising? Visual merchandising is about making products look good and to promote them by using design skills which also help in promoting the image and the services of a retail business. There are eye-catching product displays and also layouts and design of a specific store so they can make the customers more attracted to this store and be more encouraged to buy their products.

Purpose of visual merchandising? There are many purposes of using visual merchandising and the main one is that visual merchandising is displaying a product in a catching and attractive way to the customers so they feel more encouraged to buy this product. Also, visual merchandising is helping the customers to find what exactly they are looking for, more easily, for example, when the products are ordered in colours, sizes, etc. Another purpose of the visual merchandising is that it helps increasing the sales of a specific store when the customers are pleased with their experience in this store and, of course, with the product that they were looking for.

Different types of retail outlets There are many different types of retail outlets such as: -

Department stores; for example, Marks & Spencer, Selfridges Discount stores; for example, Pound land, Tiger Supermarket; for example, Sainsbury’s, Tesco Malls; for example, Brent Cross Centre, Westfield Speciality stores; for example, Boots, Superdrug Warehouse stores; for example Costco

Different types of techniques -

Types of furniture Fragrance of the store Technology Proper Space & Theme Display Lighting End-cap techniques (cross merchandising) Placing of dummies End caps

- Micro-merchandising I am going to describe three different types of retail outlets and how they use the visual merchandising and display techniques.

Department store Department stores have different sections of products, for example, they have section with books, cosmetics, clothes, electronics, etc. In department stores customers can find every product that they are looking for only in one place. This type of stores gives many options to their customers and provide them with all the products they need for their shopping. For example, Marks & Spencer is a department store in the UK. Marks & Spencer have 852 stores around the UK and many international stores in different countries. They became the first British retailer that is making over ÂŁ1 billion pre-tax profit in 1998. The founder of Marks & Spencer is Sir Michael Marks Thomas Spencer. In 2015, they are 83,069 people working in Marks & Spencer internationally and around UK. Marks & Spencer has many different sections of their products, such as products for women, men, kids, beauty section, gifts, foodhall, jewellery and watches, etc.

When we talk about the store image, Marks and Spencer have a wide variety of price range on all home dĂŠcor, accessories, apparels and footwear. For all their customers this is a pleasant shopping experience. Also, the customers are

provided with very good customer service as when they need help to find something or they want information about a specific product, there is always someone from the working team that can answer their questions and give the customers better orientation.

When it comes to the exterior of the store, Marks and Spencer always have very attracting window display so they can grab their customers and/or win even more new customers. The mannequins are dresses with the latest collection and that keeps the customers in touch with the latest trends in fashion. Marks and Spencer prefer the dim lighting because this emphasizes their products and makes them more eye-catching. Also, they provide their customers with information about their products.

As the store interior is not less important, there is an installation of a new modern, brighter, unique and spacious design which includes the replacing of the carpets with shining white tiles all around the store. For the clothing section, there are new design clothing rails as well as more fashion and unique product stands. For the comfort of the customers, Marks and Spencer have large fitting rooms where the customers can try their chosen products and make sure that they’re perfect for them to buy. There are also product walls, which is even better way to introduce their products to the customers in a way that is very attractive and catchy. As the customers walk around the store, they can see the products everywhere – on the stands, on the shelves, on the walls.

Different product sections in Marks and Spencer: -

Women’s section Men’s section Kids’ section Beauty section Home & Furniture Gifts Food & Wine Lingerie section Flowers section

The window display of the store includes mannequins in white colour that have different poses and design. The principles of this colour are to keep the things classy but simple at the same time and also to emphasise balance.

Speciality store Speciality stores focus on selling specific items and associated products. Most of them will keep significant depth in the type of product that they focus on in selling by putting them at best prices so they will provide better service and higher guidance to buyers. For example, Superdrug is a speciality store in the UK, providing people with health and beauty products. It is the second largest speciality store in the country. It has more than 900 stores around the UK and Ireland. Also, Superdrug sells not only health and beauty products, but it also have pharmacies sections combined with rooms for consultation in more than 200 stores. The founder of Superdrug is Ronald & Peter Goldstein. The store has pre-tax profit which is ÂŁ62.2m in 2015.

Superdrug is changing its look in a new different way that is more likely to catch even more the existing customers’ attention and even win more new customers. This is done by using the existing brand name but applying it in a unique way – the letters are illuminated and mounted into the glass so it looks like they are moving. Also, digital technology with screens is added in the windows of the shop to display the offers and promotions to the customers.

In the store, there are many different sections with different products. Superdrug has a pharmacy section, health section, personal care section and beauty section which include make-up but they are all separated to different zones. There are zones for hair, skin, food and health, beauty, make-up, essentials. The use of the line that separates the departments is very unique and it helps in the orientation of the customers. When the customer walk into the store, he/she will find very easy the product that they’re looking for as all the sections have a sign which states what exactly the products are in this section. If the customer, for example, is looking for specific mascara in the make-up section but cannot find the exact same one that they’re looking for, the great customer service in Superdrug provides every customer with help when they need it. The customer can ask someone that is working in the store and they will be directed right straight to the product that they’re trying to find.

When it comes to the inside store interior, the main colours are black and white, and the floor is dark timber vinyl as that makes the space look more warm. The lighting in the store is with metal halide spotlights so it brings more attention and it highlights specific fixtures and displays. The cash desk in every Superdrug store has the brand name in pink. The pharmacy department that features with a new design treatment makes the customers feel encouraged to ask for consultation with the staff. The pharmacy department is with green walls and graphics emphasising the health and also to create warm atmosphere.

Supermarket Supermarkets are grocery stores that offer a wide variety of food and household products. It is much bigger than a grocery store, but smaller than a hypermarket as it is more limited. Supermarkets sell fresh products such as dairy, meat, baked goods and of course there are shelves filled with packaged goods. For example, Tesco is a multinational grocery (supermarket) in the UK but it also has stores in 12 other countries. Measured by profits, it’s on the third place in the world’s largest retailers and on a second place measured by revenues. The founder of Tesco is Jack Cohen. The revenue of Tesco in 2016 is £54.433 billion. The number of people working in Tesco stores is 476,000. Tesco is selling mainly food, but it also has other products such as household products, clothes and technology products.

When it comes to a window display, one thing you will always see is their brand name and of course the words ‘Every little helps’. This is the logo of Tesco which tells the customers that they can find everything necessary for their shopping, mainly food. Also, they have the newest discounts and promotions as a window display, so that will attract the customers to spend less or to make a great deal at Tesco. The promotions are always in red so it tells the customers not to miss the deal and of course the blue colour.

When you get into the store, you first see all the products that have discounts or they are in promotion. Tesco also put the products from big brands at the front so they are more likely to be seen from the customers at first and also the products for children are put on lower shelves so the kids will see the products more easily and will also ask their parents to buy those products. To be more catching for the customers, Tesco is using stock facing for their products. Vertical displays are used for better known products as it catches more easily the attention of the customers and they are more likely to buy them. However, the products that are less popular are on a horizontal display.

Tesco is using blocking to create a feeling of small and separated shops in the store in the different sections, for example the fish monger section has a design that makes it look like an actual fish mongers. Also, Tesco has lines in the store that separates the different departments and each of them has signs that tell the customers what products each department has. In this way, Tesco helps its customer to orientate to the right way to the product they’re looking for. The best deals that Tesco offers to the customers are in big bright yellow signs so this grabs the attention of the customers to see what deals are available so they will not miss them.

Conclusion The three different types of retail outlets that I described in this assignment use the visual merchandising and display techniques in different but similar ways. For example, they all have promotions/discounts on their products so they can catch their customers’ attention and buy their products. In this way, they also make great deals with the customers and they are more likely to come into the store more often. Superdrug, Tesco and Marks & Spencer use unique ways to grab their customers through the window display, including lighting, products displayed, etc. The visual merchandising helps them to be even more successful as companies.

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P1 - Visual merchandising  

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