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 January 2008


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Chief Editor
& Visualiser

Anuraag S

Swati Bhalla

Special Contribution
Aarti Karyaun

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Season’s Greetings!

Firstly, we would like to thank our dear subscribers for their participation. The response was great and we had a great experience in learning from you all. The next few tables/graphs will take you through a quick summary of our survey.

Team ThinkTank works on various visual merchandising, display and retail solutions related projects. There’s lot of research work, which happens on a very continuos basis. The data is captured and used for various projects & reports. To learn more about our few research works, subscribe monthly RVG Online Retail Newsletter (log on to

Soon, ThinkTank will be completing one year & you will come across with some great new sections, with lot of display basics, research reports, downloads, vendor details, innovative merchandise & more!

Your suggestions are most welcome!!!

1. Please rate the content of ThinkTank on the following criteria:

2. Which section do you enjoy the most? (you can select more than one)

3. ThinkTank should be:

4. Would you like to contribute?


January 2008

A chance to get noticed in the industry. A chance to show your creativity. A chance to participate and win display awards every month.
(submit your entries at [email protected])


14th Dec. '07
Authored by Kate Smith

The gorgeous hue Blue Iris was chosen as the color of the year for 2008 by Pantone a global authority on color.

The color of ocean and sky, blue is perceived as a constant in our lives. As the collective color of the spirit, it invokes rest and can cause the body to feel calm and isn't a feeling of calm just what we are seeking as the world around us becomes more complex?

Purple gives Blue Iris a sense of mystery and luxury. It takes blue from tried and true to new and intriguing.


WhizBang! Training, Phone: 616-842-4237, Fax: 616-842-2977,
To sign up for your FREE Tip-Of-The-Week go to

Tip #135 Borrow Your Customers' Eyes

In our town one of the most popular lunch spots is right next to a really fine independent bookstore. I love bookstores and so recently after lunch I decided to stop in, browse around, and pick up a magazine or two.

As soon as I hit the lease line between the restaurant and the bookstore the sidewalks turned treacherous and icy. Clearly they hadn't been shoveled for quite some time. Arggghhh.

Even more annoying, the doorway to the store WAS shoveled and dry. They just hadn't bothered to shovel the sidewalk.

You see, they were paying attention to what happens inside the store, but they forgot that a customer's experience starts well before they hit the door.


It's easy to miss the obvious when we see it everyday. We don't see how dirty the windows have become, how many cigarette butts are scattered around the parking lot, how badly the paint is peeling on the sign, how the canopy has faded, or notice the burned out light bulbs in the rear of the store.

Just like it's surprising to look at a picture from a year ago and see how much your children have grown.

But just because you don't see the icy sidewalk that is a hazard to your customer doesn't mean your customer isn't noticing - and reacting emotionally to it.

Bottom line: Retail (any business for that matter) is detail. Doing lots of little things well creates big time customer loyalty, which in turn creates big time bank accounts for you.

Window Display Case Study


By Anuraag S
(Photograph no.1 & 3 are contributed by Ms.Aarti Karyaun)
Cambridge, located somewhere in Mumbai. The thread-reels are majorly used as props. A very innovative way to get the attention.
A sign somewhere near Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi (west). I could see 5 in a row, but was unable to understand the objective. I found it bit funny though.

Typical way to show the complete assortment. Notice the grouping of the bigger items at back and in stacks.


This St. Valentine's Day window in New York in 1948 is a typical display of what is available to buy for loved ones

Submit your entries at [email protected]

Home Lenin Valentines Display

The heart-shape candies, candles, key-chains are added to keep up the interest and ‘surprise’ element.

The Chocolate Covered Beetle Published by Ashley February 17th, 2007 in Chinese Car News.

We're shocked to discover that this happened in our back yard and we didnt even bother to write a post about it, yet American sites like Jalopnik and Autoblog were on the ball. Doh!

Not to worry, as Andi was at the shopping mall when the chocolate Beetle was unveiled he just so happened to have his camera with him and took a few snaps for us. More after the jump. They used 200kg of chocolate to cover this Beetle up for valentines day celebrations, it took 7 people all night to finish it! Thankfully they used a plastic film to protect the cars paintwork from the dastardly evils of sugar.

Retailers have only one language in which they communicate
effectively with the customers and that is VISUAL MERCHANDISING!
We offer a 5 month online course on Visual Merchandising
with complete easy-to-download literature and on-hands
guidance at any given time! Call us to know more!

Contact: [email protected]


Big breasts for dummies

Mannequins with giant bazooms are busting out in shop windows from coast to coast. More than just garment racks, they are a mirror of current beauty and fashion.
By Wendy Paris

I was in Miami in October, strolling past the retail shops on Collins Avenue in South Beach, when I saw two mannequins in a store window that caused me to stop and stare. I wasn't the only one staring. The mannequins-one wearing a tight white bikini and the other a flirty miniskirt and a T-shirt tied at the waist- were modeled after women who'd had breast augmentation surgery and gone in for DDDD cups. These buxom Fiberglas beauties weren't in a head shop or an adult video store, but rather at Deco Denim, a family-owned Miami retail group specializing in brand-name denim and casual wear.

I've never been one to complain about our culture's obsession with beauty, to worry that shows like "Extreme Makeover" normalize plastic surgery in an already looks-focused society. You won't hear me ranting against Botox treatments at the mall. "Which mall?" is more likely my response, "And how much does it cost?" But these mannequins with their massive chests crossed the line from a little harmless obsession with appearance to a society run amok.



February 27 & 28, 2008
Las Vegas Convention Center
Digital Signage Expo and Interactive Technology Expo

The world's largest event dedicated exclusively to digital signage, interactive solutions and point-of-consumer media networks in retail, hospitality, financial and public spaces.

Digital Life: Living the Future
Free Digital Displays?
Electronic ink blending displays into walls like wallpaper?
Displays as part of our clothing and landscape?

Don't miss Digital Signage Expo's Keynote Presentation featuring Dr. Andrew Lippman, Associate Director, MIT Media Lab, Director, Digital Life Consortium

Dr. Lippman will show how we can reach this future, take us on a tour of some of its features, and introduce us to a growing program at MIT called "Living the Future" where the campus will be transformed into a participatory, inventive and dynamic universe.

Registration NOW OPEN:
Digital Signage Expo has grown into the largest event on the globe dedicated to digital signage and interactive solutions. The 2008 event is larger than ever! Take a look what we have in store for you:
A. 30 Educational Sessions focused on:
Advertising and Marketing
Public Spaces
Digital Signage 101
NEW Tech Track for integrators and installers!
B. 145 exhibiting companies featuring the best the industry has to offer
C. KEYNOTE: Digital Life: Living the Future, Dr. Andrew Lippman, Associate Director, MIT Media Lab
D. BREAKFAST SUPER SESSION: Wal-Mart: The Past, Present & Future of the Nations's Leading Retail Media Network
E. Guided Digital Signage Tour through Las Vegas
F. Global Virtual Tour: The best programs from around the world


Eye drive-Decking up store windows is the hot new profession, says V.Kumara Swamy

Till a few years ago, visual merchandising meant installing a couple of mannequins in the store along with some garish decorative pieces. That is no longer the case. Calcutta-based student Saurabh Gunderia would like us to believe that visual merchandising is the emerging salesman. “For a retail outlet, the most important thing is to communicate silently. If the visuals manage to lure the consumer inside the store, selling a product becomes easier,” he says.

He is quite excited about the future for visual merchandisers (VMs) like himself. “VM is all about detailing. Most multi-brand outlets have nearly the same products, the only difference is in the way they are presented, that is, the experience a store offers,” says Delhi-based Swati Bhalla, CEO, Studio Atomium, a VM consultant and trainer.

According to Swati, the increasing demand for VMs is inspiring professionals from other fields, such as fashion designing and interior designing, to try out this field. Because of the retail revolution, the most job vacancies for VMs are in this sector. Some of the other fields VMs can get into are designing, training and interior decoration. That's not all. Even software companies that design games and other entertainment software employ VMs for designing and marketing the product.

In a retail chain, VMs are involved right from the layout drawings designing aisles to ensure smooth customer flow to micro details of placement of products and brands in strategic places.

“A good VM makes sure that the company moves forward with a standard selling strategy, thus delivering a consistent application of company policy in store, which improves the customer experience and maximizes sales opportunities,” says Karl McKeever, an international expert on VM.

“In India, only two per cent of the retail market is organised, so lots of people are required in VM to help explore the rest of the market. And since the concept of VM itself is very new in the country, competition is also very low at this point,” says Calcutta-based Jayant Chandouk who is a consultant for various multinationals in the field.

“A good VM should have a sense of colour co-ordination and an eye for detail apart from an acquired aesthetic sense. And of course, a VM should be innovative,” says Astuti Bajaj, an established VM and head designer of a major retail chain.

Chandouk stresses that a VM should display ownership. “Recently, on my visit to a leading electronics retail chain store during Diwali, I saw the National Flags, originally put on display for the Independence Day, still making their presence felt. Someone who takes ownership will not make such mistakes,” he says.

Experts also warn that this is a career where most of the work happens late at night (after the retail outlet closes) and on weekends. That means no weekly offs on Saturdays and Sundays. But the hard work is often well paid. Though a fresh VM diploma holder may get a salary of Rs 8,000 or 10,000 per month, if your efforts justify your worth, then sky is the limit. “With three to four years of experience, one can earn Rs 50,000 easily,” says Chandouk. And the ladder of growth is fast too. The average package for the head of the department of a company is around Rs 15 to 20 lakh per annum.

Apart from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, institutes that offer courses in VM include the Pearl Academy of Fashion, Delhi, Wigan & Leigh, the JD Institute of Design, Delhi and the Mudra Institute of Communication, Ahmedabad. In fact, some institutes have aligned themselves with retail chains to offer courses in VM. Pearl Academy has joined hands with retail giant Pantaloon to conduct a six-month course in visual merchandising. Online courses are available too, like the one offered by Studio Atomium. While diploma courses, usually spread over two years, cost around Rs 1,50,000, certificate and online courses cost a lot less.

Swati aptly concludes, “One thing is for sure, there is no stopping a talented VM.”

Post messages, enquiries, contact details here...know the industry... Build your network!

The Newsletter this week was really wonderful...Keep up the good work...

Let me first of all congratulate you on bringing out a wonderful newsletter on VM & design for which my mouse anxiously wait to click on. Your mail helped me locate the newsletter archive, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I would love to contribute to your Newsletter in future.
Suhel Khan
e-branding consultant

Please find attached picture you can use in your upcoming issue.
This snap gives idea about how to use the show windows which are away from visibility level. As one cant leave them blank at all.
This is Odyssey store in RT Nagar, Bangalore.
Jayant Chandouk



Send us your comments and feedback on [email protected] Your valuable suggestions can only let us improve this newsletter. For contribution of articles, snaps, information, do mail us. Hope you enjoyed this issue!! Happy displaying...
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