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 November 2007

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Chief Editor
& Visualiser

Anuraag S

Swati Bhalla

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Special Contribution
Rasika Narayan

How visual merchandising can improve retail fortunes
Karl McKeever, brand director of brand delivery consultancy Visual Thinking looks at the marketing disciplines of visual
merchandising and in-store brand delivery how VM materialises in-store, affects retail teams and affects customers.

Karl How does VM materialise physically in-store?
Another way of thinking about VM is that it provides 'silent service' for consumers, helping them to find products more easily, providing inspiration and solutions, advising on product information etc., and all without the help of a sales person. Therefore, successful VM involves developing all areas of store presentation to promote the brand and product range more effectively.

It means getting range segmentation, store layouts and use of space, merchandising principles and techniques, window and in-store displays right. And, it includes developing effective POS & POP solutions, seasonal events and promotions to stimulate shopping behavior. Finally, important operational standards and activities i.e. replenishment and range fragmentation issues should be considered for delivery sustain ability.

These all help to make stores run more efficiently, effectively and productively, and importantly in a targeted way for the brand and its consumers-allowing expensive staff resources to be deployed on other complimenting strategies, such as providing better consumer engagement through customer services.

But having good VM policies is not enough without effective store communications and retail training in VM to implement the strategies in-store. These are the enablers (glue) that make the policies stick and become embedded throughout the organisation.

As a result, retailers benefit from running a more focused retail operation and succeed through the increased capability, productivity, and consistency of delivery, sales generation and an overall improved commercial performance.

How does it affect consumers - does it make them buy more?
Successful VM and brand delivery is all about understanding and satisfying customer needs. So the more that a company understands its consumers, brand and competitors, the better it can define and refine its own VM practice to deliver better solutions instore to improve the customer experience.

As they say, whilst the idea may not be 'rocket science', it does require real expertise in store design, space planning and presentation expertise and a real commitment to adopting a consumer led approach. It's a fact that good VM will get consumers to buy more.

Essentially, VM is a set of practical selling tools (levers) to influence what, when and how consumers buy and no serious 21st century retailer can afford to ignore the powerful effects and huge commercial potential of implementing better VM! Whether this is achieved by increasing the size of spend, type and number of items that people buy, the frequency of purchases, the brands and lines that shoppers select and even down to the stores they choose to shop in.

Practical examples of VM techniques could include prioritising the location of certain items that are on promotion to increase the volume and rate of sale. Grouping different, yet related product items together to create higher value is also a commonly used technique, as are all-inclusive solutions such as outfit combinations in fashion stores, meal suggestions in supermarkets and project areas in DIY stores to inform, influence and inspire customer purchases.

Good VM even goes down to the micro-detail of understanding which shelf positions perform better to influence what brands people buy and the rate of sale. And, as the world gets a little smaller everyday and consumers travel to more global destinations, having a consistent and recognizably global brand image can help retailers win out by providing shoppers with the reassurance, familiarity and trust they expect from the brand making the whole selling process much easier.

How does it affect retail teams?
VM offers retail teams more time to concentrate on the right tasks, i.e. implementing corporate policy-rather than having to create their own. It allows the whole company to move forward with the same selling strategies, components and practice to maximize opportunities delivering a consistent application of company policy instore, which improves the customer experience and maximizes sales opportunities.

Retail Teams benefit from greater clarity of direction, and from better information and training to help them perform role related tasks with an effective integrated approach. This multiplies success throughout the business and is good for motivation and personal development aspects too.

Pick of the Month
November 2007

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])

Louis Vuitton, Oberoi Hotel, New Delhi                                 
Tip of the Month WhizBang! Training, Phone: 616-842-4237, Fax: 616-842-2977,
To sign up for your FREE Tip-Of-The-Week go to

Tip #101 A Sweet Marketing Idea

The very best marketing for small business owners isn't fancy, expensive, or difficult.
Here's a great idea that you can use LOTS of different ways…it comes to you from Scott Noble, owner of Sew Vac Ltd. In Long Beach, California.

Scott generated thousands of dollars in sales being fun and creative. You can too. Here's a lightly edited version of Scott's e-mail to us:

“Hi Bob and Susan, here's a simple promotion we've had a blast doing … There's a fruit stand right across the street that I drive by every day. Lately, every time I stop at the light next to the fruit stand, I am overwhelmed with the incredible aroma of fresh strawberries. Of course I had to pull in a buy a flat.

I brought them back to the store, washed them, and put them on a table in the front of our store for our customers to enjoy. On the same table we displayed a sewing machine, an embroidery model and created a stitched “sign” with embroidered pictures of strawberries and the words “Free Berries”.

We've sold 10 Bernina sewing machines off this table in ten days! Is it the smell? Is it the sweetness? … Who cares! We're going to try the same thing with cherries, now that they are coming into season.”

Payment at Touch of Fingertips
Published by Cindy October 15th, 2007 in Shopping Center Marketing, Retail Marketing

Shoppers in Shanghai now have a safer way to pay for their purchases, as more than 1,000 retailers have adopted an electronic payment terminal that can match consumers' fingerprints with their bank accounts.

The retailers include department stores, supermarkets, restaurants and entertainment venues, including Parkson Department Stores, Lawson and Kedi convenience stores. When customers place a finger on the payment terminal, the system will recognize the fingerprint and take money from their bank account.
[Full Story by Winny Wang and Maggie Zhang at Shanghai Daily]

We can hear YOU now.
Source: www.fastrakretail.com

For more details & product brochure,
visit www.fastrakretail.com

Tip of the Month Every category is different and thus every category must have there own presentation norms. These norms depend on the customer buying behavior, type of merchandise (for kids, ladies, adults etc.), size of merchandise, price point (fashion jewelry vs. diamonds), etc. Let us discuss a few categories each month, to give you an idea of how these norms are set:


1. Gift items, must have a signage. Size of the signage must be at least 6” x 6”. Details like price, product details
(e.g. In case of cups, ‘Set of 6 Rs.99 only’), Brand name too can be mentioned

2. In case of gifts, most items are breakable, and thus not every one is comfortable touching them. Price signage here

becomes very important. Moreover, it helps customer to decide fast on what range he or she wants to go for.

3. Photo frames must be kept as similar ones together. All wooden together, all metal together etc. Within themselves, they must be kept size wise.

4. Mugs have to be color blocked just like shirts.

5. All glass and crystal items to be placed at the back at lower level as chances of breakage is high if placed on higher shelves.

6. Gift items should be displaced category & sub category wise. Show pieces together, within Show peices, Glass products together, wooden together, POP products together, etc.

Window Display Case Study

By Anuraag S


This is an entrance to Vizag Fish Aquarium. You actually have to walk though the sharks’s open mouth. Lot of people stand at this entrance and get their snap clicked.

Last issue we covered ‘Kitchen in a Car’. Here is a ‘Kitchen & a Shop in an Auto Rikshaw’. From tea-time snacks to an Omelet with bread or toast, everything is prepared in this mobile kitchen cum snack shop. Even the merchandise is laid out properly and it’s parked in front of a waterfall near Cochin, Kerala.

An unusual shop. This guy makes only ‘Dies’ for jewelers at Dariban-Chandani Chowk, Delhi. You can notice various Dies displayed at the shop walls, and the most frequently & popular designs are show cased in the wooden boxes placed in the front of the shop.

Window Display Case Study

Vinyl Sign Techniques
A brand new, comprehensive guide to every facet of the vinyl sign and graphics business. Compiled, edited, updated and condensed from 54 Vinyl Graphics columns in Signs of the Times magazine into 39 chapters, Vinyl Sign Techniques is a tremendous resource. The book is divided into four sections: sales and marketing, materials, fabrication, and vinyl application and removal. There is something for everyone in the business, from management, to sales staff, to installers in the field.

Every important aspect to running an efficient and profitable vinyl sign business is covered in detail, often including valuable charts, tables and photos for reference. Jim Hingst, arespected and experienced veteran of the printing and vinyl industries, offers the lessons that were 25 years in the learning. Your business will benefit greatly from the advice in Vinyl Sign Techniques.

Visualize Your Ideas with Mind Mapping Software

Work smarter to organize information, create presentations and manage projects.
From planning through presentation and reporting, SmartDraw lets you create, modify and style your mind maps (or concept maps) plus a host of other business graphics in minutes. SmartDraw's innovative SmartTemplates™ technology makes you instantly productive. Simply choose a template and customize to fit your needs. The intuitive interface allows you to focus on your goals, not learning new software.

Download SmartDraw (Trial Version) here

This mind mapping software is perfect for: Brainstorming, Presentation’s, Plan-o-grams, Project Planning, Info Management, Strategic Planning, Reporting, etc.
SmartDraw makes visualizing ideas easy with included templates for:
Mind mapping, Concept mapping, Brainstorming diagrams, Time-lines and much more. TRY IT!

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]


Window Display Case Study
Visual merchandising sees big spend

Anjali Prayag, Bangalore
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com

Visual merchandising is no longer about mannequin dressing, nor is it about colorful posters on the wall. As companies strive to convert brand thinking into retail thinking, point of sale promotion is getting a bigger slice of the promotion pie. Mr Prathish Nair, Head, Marketing, RAMMS India, a Bangalore-based retail consulting company, says that visual merchandising (VM) is seeing some big spends this year. While large department stores are spending about Rs 30-40 lakh per season on VM, malls are spending close to Rs.15 lakhs for every changeover that happens and this is at least four times a year.

Mr Nair says that regional celebrations are also assuming importance now. "Pongal in Chennai, Onam in Kerala, Diwali in the North and Christmas all over the country are make-over times for large stores and malls," says Mr Nair. Mr.Susil Dungarpur, Head-Retail at Prestige Group (which owns the Forum Mall), Bangalore, agrees that the VM spend has doubled this year, compared to the last couple of years. Earlier, retailers spent 1.5-2 per cent of their turnover on visual merchandising, and this figure has now touched four per cent.

Crowd puller
"As retail gets more competitive, VM is the only crowd puller within the mall," says Mr B.G.Uday, Managing Director, Garuda Mall, Bangalore. VM involves shopper research, creating an identity for the retailer and of course, creating a commercial to trigger the entire promotion process.

In fact, companies are now moving from brand thinking to retail thinking. "As purchase decisions are made at the store, design interventions are needed to attract more customers," says Mr.Shantanu Saha, CEO of Idiom Design & Consulting Co, a retail design company.

Earlier, top-of-the-line budgets used to garner a huge chunk of the promotion budget (close to 80 per cent), but now retailers have flipped the entire allocation process with below-the-line promotion taking up 70 per cent of the share. The VM industry in the country is still largely unorganized like the retail sector. But rough estimates of the VM spend in the country gives a figure of Rs.200 crore, and growing `100 per cent every year'.


Leave a Message Calling for entries for the second edition of the VM&RD Retail Design Awards, India's only awards event for excellence in retail design. One winner and two merit awardees to be chosen in 14 categories classified by merchandise/ product/ service type, size and/or format. Plus special jury awards for BEST SHOPFITTING, BEST LIGHTING, BEST VISUAL MERCHANDISING and BEST STORE DESIGN.
So send in your entries today. Last date for entries - 30th Nov 2007
Log onto www.instoreasia.org for entry forms and more information
www.instoreasia.org   yasmin: +91 99019 73576
Leave a Message Post messages, enquiries, contact details here...know the
industry... Build your network!

“It’s been great reading the newsletters. I really look forward to them...! I wanted to share a photograph of my recent trip to Istanbul, where I visited the "Grand Bazaar" which is a larger format of Palika Bazaar where the speciality is pottery, carpets and lamps.

This photo is from a store, that sold glass lamps, and the store although tiny stood out from thousands of others because the vendor had hung red fabric on his back-wall to create a dramatic backdrop to his multi colored glass lamps...
And the effect was amazing...We crossed many other lamp shops but none looked as good with pale walls.

-Rasika Narayan, Visual Merchandiser, Marks & Spencer

The Kitchen in a Car was damn neat and specially since it has the dumplings!
Next time this one’s a sure ‘stop’ for me...!!

-Sonal Bhadra, Account Director, PRIL, Mumbai

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...