Useful Links & Glossary

Useful Links

1. Visual Merchandising is the art of displaying merchandise in a manner that is appealing to the eyes of the customer. It sets the context of the merchandise in an aesthetically pleasing fashion, presenting them in a way that would convert the window shoppers into prospects and ultimately buyers of the product.

2. Visual Merchandising (VM) is the art of presentation, which puts the merchandise in focus. It educates the customers, creates desire and finally augments the selling process …

3. Latest Retail Signages

4. Good visual merchandising drives sales. It has never been more important to invest in visual merchandising software to make certain your shop layout looks good every week…



Glossary of words commonly used in fashion industry

Abstract Mannequin – A highly stylized, usually non-featured mannequin devoid of wig and / or make-up details. Though based on human measurements and proportions, the shape and sculpting is not realistic and strives instead for a decorative and non-objective effect.

A female, male or child mannequin that is ageless, non-ethnic, nonspecific and can be finished in a variety of decorative colors or metallics.

Acrylic – Synthetic fabric often used as a substitute for wool.

Afro – Hairstyle popular among African-Americans

Aigrette – Feather from osprey or egret used to adorn or trim hats

Alecon Lace – Got the name from Alecon Normandy famous for its needlepoint lace.

A-Line – Shape of a dress made popular by Christian Dior during the 1950s

Angled Window – Similar to the parallel-to-sidewalk window but are angled to feature more displays in less space.

Angora – Hair of the angora goat and/or angora rabbit. This soft fiber is mixed with rayon and wool to create dresses, knitwear and sweaters.

Animal Prints – Popular since the 1930s, animal prints are fabrics which depicts the patterns and colors imitating the skins of animals.

Anime – pronounced ah-knee-may An artistic, and sensual type of Japanese animation. On the Internet one can find hundreds of superb anime Web sites.

Ankle Rod – The short, upright bar that extends up from the floor base and inserts into the fitting above the mannequin’s ankle. It is the usual way of keeping male mannequins upright and is also desirable for female mannequins that wear pants. It is almost invisible and usually doesn’t require the opening of any seams for the insertion of the supporting rod. See: Foot Spike. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Ankle Socks – Usually white and made of cotton an/or wool usually used with sports shoes.

Ankle Straps – Part of a shoe (usually open shoes or slingbacks) used to secure the foot inside the shoe.

Applique – Ornamental piece of fabric either sewn or glued to another fabric as a decoration.

Articulated Forms or Mannequins – Forms similar to, or the life-size variations of, the wooden artist’s mannequins that can be repositioned into myriad human poses. Forms or mannequins with articulated or movable joints (elbows, wrists, knees, hips, etc.) which can be swiveled or turned in different directions. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Artificial Silk – Other name for Rayon, man-made cellulose material

Ascot – Mens neckwear popular during the mid-19th century. During that time, it was part of a formal dressing, During the mid 20th century, the ascot was adapted to be part of women clothing also.

Assortment –

An assortment is a retailer’s selection of merchandise. Includes both the depth and breadth of products carried. Also Known As: Merchandise Assortment, Product Assortment

Baby Doll – A look popularized by the film Baby Doll released in 1956.

Backpack – A utilitarian bag, worn on the back and attached to the body by shoulder straps. This bag has been used during man’s early civilization but did not become as a fashionable accessory until the 1980s.

Ball Gown – Popularized during the mid-1800s, the ball gown is a full-skirted skirt that reaches down to the ankles. Most common fabric used in its creation are satin and silk.

Ballerina Skirt – A type of ball gown that reach only to the midcalf or above the ankles.

Batik – An East India method of wax printing where wax is applied to certain areas of the cloth to create a design. It is very popular in the Far East specially in Bali, Indonesia.

Battle Jacket – A single-breasted, waistlenght jacket used by the U.S. Army during World War II. It is actually part of the set of uniforms issued to the G.I.

Beehive – A popular hair style during the 1950s and early 1960s. It is tall, dome shaped hairstyle that look like — a beehive! (Lucky guess?)

Bias Cut – Invented by Madeline Vionnet, it is a cut across the grain of the fabric.

Bikini – Technically, it is a two-piece bathing suit. The interesting thing about it is how it got its name. It was launched in the fashion world during 1946 and was called the atome . That same year, the U.S. did their nuclear testing at the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. During that time, nuclear weapons are generically called atomic bombs. The connection is the word atomic and atome . The atome was renamed bikini and the name stuck.

Bikini Cut – A female mannequin with a removable leg and the break or cut line is close to the pubis area and thus will be successfully hidden by the bottom of a bikini swim suit. A more natural look for displaying abbreviated swim wear, sportswear and lingerie. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Blouse Form – An armless and headless, bust defined form which ends just below the waistline. It may be equipped with an adjustable up-and-down rod and a decorative base. It is used to display ladies blouses, sweaters and sometimes jackets. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Boating Shoes – Originally developed during the 20th century with a traction rubber sole to grip the boat deck. It was originally made of leather (the top part) and later, the leather was replaced with canvas. Ralph Lauren popularized the use of boating shoes as part of casual attire.

Bobby Socks – An American term, used by American teen-agers during the 1950s to describe short white socks during the 1940s and 1950s. The term is still used today for the same item.

Body Trunk – A torso form, sometimes male, which starts above the waistline and continues down to just below the knees and is used to show walk shorts, underwear, swimwear, etc. See: Torso Form, Trunk Form. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Boutiques – Circa 1920s, and were originally small shops within couture houses.

Bow Tie – A man’s necktie in the shape of a bow and usually part of formal dress, usually the tuxedo.

Bra – short for brassiere. See brassiere.

Bra Form – A headless and armless bust form, with or without shoulders, which ends just below the bustline. For long-line bras and braselettes it is possible to get longer bra forms that continue down to the waistline or slightly below. The form is usually scaled for Misses at 34B and to 32A for Juniors. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Brasellete Form – A bra form that ends at the hips rather than below the bustline or at the waistline. It can also be used to show lingerie and slips. It takes a 348.(From Martin M. Pegler)

Brassiere – No one knows exactly who invented the brassiere, but it dates back to the early 1900s. In 1914, a design was patented in the U.S. by Mary Phelps Jacob for a brassiere. It was made of two handkerchiefs and a narrow ribbon.

Bustle – A popular skirt shape during the 1860s and 1870s. It was called dress improvers during its heydays. Technically, it is a pad which is worn under the skirt and served as a base for the skirt material to be pleated or looped.

Butt Fitting – A square metal hollow tube with a set screw that is set into the mannequin’s butt or upper thigh. It receives the butt rod which angles up from the metal, glass or plastic mannequin base and holds the mannequin erect. See: Butt Rod. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Butt Rod – The square metal rod which extends up, at an angle, from the mannequin base. The metal end fits into a square opening, equipped with a set screw, on the mannequin’s butt or upper thigh. The butt rod, when secured in place, keeps the mannequin upright in the position it was meant to hold. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Button – A decorative item for clothing since the 14th century and still currently used.

CAD – Technical Term computer aided design a program used by architects, engineers and 3D artists who want to visualize and manipulate the objects or spatial environments they are designing. One of the most popular of these programs is AutoCAD by AutoDesk. Sometimes referred to as computer assisted design.

Circular Windows – A non-traditional window used to display merchandise. Usually used to individualize the image of a retailer.

Claw Hammer – It is used to hammer nails as well as removed nails and other fasteners.

Colorize – to display merchandise by color, hue or intensity. Also known as Colour Blocking

Convert to Sale – Turning a browsing customer into a buyer.

Daily walk-through – Maintenance of store displays; An everday task of every very merchandiser. Each VM is usually assigned an area. Every morning, before the store open, VMs walk their assigned area, fix and fluff the display that had been handled by customers. This way, the display’s appearance begin each day with a fresh look.

Depth of assortment – The number of styles or brands and variety within a product line or classification of merchandise. Also known as product depth

Distressed goods – Items that have been damaged or soiled. Also known as Returns, Clearance, Liquidation

Dressmaker form – A dress form used by designers, tailors, seamstresses, etc. to fit garments in work, or to try out designs or patterns. It is available in a variety of dress sizes and can also be customized for specific bust, waist and hip measurements. The dressmaker form is often seen on a wire basket-like structure supported on an ornate cast-iron base, with or without casters. The dressmaker form is usually associated with custom-made and designer fashions. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Dummy – Reference for a mannequin most commonly used to describe the headless, legless and armless upholstered dressmaker form. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Easter egg – A hidden suprise in a program or on a Web site. A special feature which is not otherwise made obvious but when “discovered” or clicked on offers something special. This could be in the form of an extra game level or secret area or an animation or a message of some kind. Programmers often “bury” easter eggs in their programs to add a certain extra depth to their program or Web site and to challenge users to find it.

Fabric samples – Small pieces of fabric. Also known as swatches

Fashion – The prevailing manner in dressing, behaving, and living, at a given time or place.

Feature – Details and aspects of a product that describe or set it apart from similar products.

Fiber content – Percentage of fabrics used in a particular material.

Flexible Pricing – A method of selling where customers are able to bargain with retailers.

Foot bracket – A sandal-strap-like device that is attached to a flage or base and will accept and hold a leg form or pantyhose form in an upright position. It is usually made of a clear plastic material. It may also resemble a cup. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Foot spike – The short metal rod that extends up from the metal, glass or plastic mannequin base and insets into the matching square fitting, with set screw, midway between the heel and the calf of the mannequin leg. It supports and holds the mannequin upright, but can interfere with the use of hosiery or the wearing of pants.

Forecasting – Predicting the future, usually in sales or trends

Form – A headless mannequin. Specifically a three-dimensional representation of a part or parts of the human anatomy; the torso, bust, shoulder to waist, hips to ankles, etc. See: Torso Form, Bra Form, Coat Form, Dress Form, Blouse Form. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Forms, articulated – Forms similar to, or the life-size variations of, the wooden artist’s mannequins that can be repositioned into myriad human poses. Forms or mannequins with articulated or movable joints (elbows, wrists, knees, hips, etc.) which can be swiveled or turned in different directions. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Freestanding store – A retail outlet that stands by itself and is not attached to a mall or shopping center.

Frequent Shopper Program – Customer reward usually in the form of discounts, awards or perks based on their shopping patterns. Designed to promote loyalty and visit frequency.

Fuller figure – The larger sized mannequin for the plumper, fuller figure. The female form wears a size 14’/2 and, depending upon the pose, stands about 5 ft. 9 ins. tall. The bust, waist and hips, as well as the arms, legs and head, are proportioned to suit the half-size garment. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Gift Certificates – Paper certificate or card that can be redeemed for a specific dollar value at a particular store.

Girdle form – Usually a lightweight, three-dimensional form, flesh colored waist to toes. It may be used toes up and waist as the base, or upright with the toe set into a foot bracket. It may also be used to show stretch tightsand slacks. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Glass base plate – The heavy piece of glass, equipped with a metal plate or flange and extending rod, which is used to support a mannequin. The base plate may be almost any shape and is usually about 18 ins. wide. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Glass eyes – Large, artificial, but extremely realistic eyes which fit into the hollowed-out eye sockets of a mannequin. They are usually made so that they can be positioned to look to the right, left, straight ahead, up or down and appear to make contact with other mannequins in a grouping. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Glove hand – An accessory to a mannequin, replacing the regular hand that joins the arm at the wrist or a separate entity, which is designed to wear gloves. The finger arrangement facilitates the putting on and taking off of gloves and yet presents them in a graceful manner. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Glue gun – An electrical tool where a plastic resin (glue) is melted and used as an adhesive while the plastic resin is still hot. The favorite adhesive of Visual Merchandisers.

Grouping – Two or more mannequins which are designed, arranged or positioned to go together and create a situation or a semblance of belonging in the same place at the same time. Mannequins which are proportioned and posed to be used together. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Hang tag – Manufacturer’s label describing the merchandise or a hanging price tag used for garments, purses, and similar merchandise.

Hard Tag – Reusable EAS(Electronic Article Survelliance) tag that is removed from merchandise at the point of sale to be reused on other merchandise. This type of EAS tag is primarily found in the apparel market

Headless mannequin – A complete, life-like mannequin which ends at the neck. Sometimes the neck is straight or flat cut, or it may end in a fanciful swirl. Either way, the decapitated form is a full-size, full-scale, non-personalized representation. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Hypermart – An extremely large self-service retail outlet with a warehouse appearance.

Junior mannequin – A mannequin size rather than an age. It is often posed and made-up as a young, active type of woman, but depending upon pose, make-up and wig style, the Junior mannequin can be a college freshman, young executive, or sophisticated, mature lady. It wears a size 7 dress and averages about 5 ft. 8 ins. in height. Hip, bust and waist measurements will vary slightly with the manufacturer and the fashion trends. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Junior petite – A special size and type of mannequin which, depending upon the manufacturer, will wear a size 5 or 7 and average about 5 ft. 5 ins. in height. It is often made-up and posed as the superannuated, freckled and braided, saucy and perky teenager, though with the right pose, make-up and wig can represent the smaller woman. (From Martin M. Pegler)


1.A kiosk is a display showing location of departments or stores.

2. A kiosk is an interactive display or terminal giving access to an Intranet or to the Internet from inside a store for ordering or checking on merchandise.

3. A kiosk is a small leased area, booth, or cart inside a store or mall.

Like-Store Sales – Sales money generated only by those stores that have been open more than a year and have historical data to compare this year’s sales to the same time-frame last year. Also known as Comp Store Sales, Comparable Store Sales, Same-Store Sales

Mail order retailing – The sale of goods and services to customers through the mail

Maintained Markup – The final markup on an item based on the actual selling price

Mall – A combination of many stores designed to serve a large geographic area

Make up – Body and facial coloring — the color and art work used on the lips, cheeks and around the eyes. The subtle or dramatic use of rouge, mascara and lipstick — the enhancement of the facial sculpture. The brushwork, the blending or sharpness of line and color. The mannequin type or Image as personalized by art work. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Mannequins – Stylized plastic, wood, fiberglass, plaster, metal, or glass representations of human form used for displays.

Mannequin, abstract – A highly stylized, usually non-featured mannequin devoid of wig and / or make-up details. Through based on human measurements and proportions, the shape and sculpting is not realistic and strives instead for a decorative and non-objective effect. A female, male or child mannequin that is ageless, non-ethnic, nonspecific and can be finished in a variety of decorative colors or metallics.

Mannequin, articulated – Forms similar to, or the life-size variations of, the wooden artist’s mannequins that can be repositioned into myriad human poses. Forms or mannequins with articulated or movable joints (elbows, wrists, knees, hips, etc.) which can be swiveled or turned in different directions. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Mannequin, custom – A mannequin that is especially sculpted to order for a particular customer. It may be a special head which can be used on an existing line body, or it may be an all new form which will express a store’s Image or look. It may also refer to a very individualized makeup, finish, glaze or texture. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Mannequin, ethnic – A mannequin which is realistically portrayed with the skin tone and body and facial physiognomy of a particular ethnic group. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Mannequin, realistic – A full round sculpted form that resembles in face, pose and proportions a particular type and size woman, man or child. Not abstract. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Mannequin, semi-abstract – An abstract or highly stylized mannequin which may suggest either in the sculpting or the artwork a face or semblance to a particular type of individual. Sometimes a mannequin with sculptured features but no make-up or tonal qualities. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Markdown – A reduction in selling price.

Market Segmentation – The process of dividing the total market into smaller sections based on shared characteristics

Marketing Research – The investigation and gathering, recording, and analysis of data pertinent to a specific issue

Martin M. Pegler – Author of several books about Visual Merchandising.

Model stock plan – A plan for maintaining adequate merchandise on hand.

Multiple-Pricing – Selling two or more of the same at an unit price that is lower than the unit price if only one is purchased

No Frills Retailer – A retailer whose facilities are minimal and prices are low

Odd price – A price just below an even dollar or cents amount, such as Rs. 199.95 instead of Rs. 200

Open-back window – Store front window that is not separated by a wall from the rest of the store. The idea is that the entire store should be visible to consumers.

Planogram – A schematic drawings of fixtures that illustrate product placement. Also Known As: POG, P-O-G, plan-o-gram

Planogramming – An inventory control and merchandise display method that allows a retailer to maintain shelf inventory in an orderly way to improve efficiency and customer service

Peg Tag – A tag or sticker with merchandising information of what belongs in that place on the shelf or hook in the planogram or display. Also Known As: Bin tags, bin labels, peg tags, shelf labels, planogram tags.

Rack Jobber – A wholesaler that is allowed by a store to install, stock, and replenish selected items on display racks.

Receipt of goods / ROG – The cash discount period for payment begins with the retailer’s receipt of merchandise.

Referral Premium – A gift that is awarded to customers who refer potential new customers.

RFM – Recency, frequency and monetary value. Used to determine the value of a particular customer’s business. Related term: CLV.

Refund – Money or charge credit given to customer, generally for return of merchandise.

Reserve Stock – Merchandise that is stored in an area inaccessible by customers.

Retail Display Allowance / RDA – An additional discount off the cover price of a magazine for guaranteeing adequate display of the magazine. The RDA is paid on top of the normal discount off of the cover price.

Retail Merchandise Management System / RMM – A system that tracks the performance of merchandise, reordering good sellers and identifying poor sellers, enabling store buyers to make timely merchandise decisions.

Retail Method – A method for estimating the cost of an ending inventory on the basis of a ration of the cost of the goods available for sale relative to the retail price of the goods available for sale.

RGB – Red, Green, Blue The three colors that create all other colors on a computer screen.

Retail price – Price placed on an item or service for sale to the consumer.

Retailer – An individual or firm that sells goods and services directly to the consumer.

Retailing – The selling of goods and services to the consumer.

Rigging, rig – Dressing of a mannequin or form. The padding, pinning and plumping out of merchandise on the inanimate object to make the merchandise look and fit better and to emphasize the best features of the garment. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Rotate stock – Stock new merchandise behind old merchandise when filling displays. In some cases this also means replacing old stock completely with new stock.

Rounders – Round apparel rack fixtures.

Salary Supplement – Money or prizes offered to salespeople as an incentive to increase sales of a particular type of merchandise.

Sales Forecasting – Estimating future sales volume on the basis of current sales figures and information from manufacturers, wholesalers, accountants, economists, and bankers.

Sales per square foot of selling space – Net sales divided by the square feet of selling space.

Sales Promotion – Methods used to generate sales, attract customers to the store, build loyalty, and promote goodwill.

Salvage goods – Merchandise that has been damaged in transit or storage.

Scrambled merchandising – Increasing the types of goods that have traditionally been carried by a store.

Seasonal discount – A trade discount given to retailers willing to order, receive, and pay for goods during the “off season.”

Seasonal merchandise – Products that are in demand at a certain time of the year, such as Christmas or Back-to-School.

Self-liquidator premium – An item of merchandise sold, usually at cost, to a shopper after he or she has bought a product or tried a new service.

Self-service – Customers select items from open displays and take them to the register for purchase.

Shadow box windows – Used in stores which feature small items such as jewelry. These windows are raised, and closed backed, with clear viewing of the merchandise for inspection by the customer.

Shell form – A half-round form. Usually a lightweight, plastic bra, blouse, sweater or dress form with a fully dimensional front but scooped out back for one-sided merchandise presentation. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Shirt form – The male version of the blouse form. See: Blouse Form. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Store window – Usually an 8-10 foot high showcase that is located in the store front. Some store windows are 3-4 feet high which are used to display smaller items. See: parallel-to-sidewalk window; corner window; open back window; angled window

Shrinkage – Merchandise losses due to shoplifting, internal theft, damages, paperwork errors, etc.

Signage – Signs, labels, shelf tags, and other identification signs to provide directions, prices, or information on merchandise or policies

SKU / Stock Keeping Unit – An identification number assigned to a unique item by the retailer. The SKU may be an internal number to that retailer or may be tied to an item’s UPC or EAN.

Special Order – A custom or one-off order for a specific customer, usually of a product not carried in normal inventory.

Specification buying – A system in which buyers develop product specifications for their purchases rather than selecting from what is already available in the market.

Staples – Products that are constantly in demand and infrequently influenced by fashion changes.

Statistics – A set of tools for collecting and summarizing data, and for using the data to draw inference from the population which it is supposed to represent.

Step Theory / AIDA – A view customer decision making where the choice to buy or not follows these steps: attention, interest, desire, action.

Store Credit – A Merchandise Credit is a store voucher good for merchandise that is given for returns instead of cash.

Stock turnover – A measure for determining how quickly merchandise is being sold.

Stuffers – An advertising piece that accompanies a billing statement or is placed in shopping bags.

Suggestive Selling – Suggestive Selling is when the salesperson suggests additional items that are related to the original item being purchased. Also Known As: Adding-on, Suggestion Selling

Syndicator – A retailer that sells goods and services in conjunction with credit card companies.

T-stands – Basic apparel fixtures with posts topped by cross bars.

Tag Pollution – The act of a live EAS (Electronic Article Survelliance) label leaving a store without an EAS system (or without triggering the EAS alarm) and entering another store with an EAS system causing an undesired alarm.

Target Market – A defined group of consumers whom the retailer tries to satisfy.

Theme display – A display designed with an idea as a selling theme to stimulate the interest of the customer.

Trade discount – A reduction in list price given by vendors to volume purchasers.

Trading post – A place where trade may be carried on, by barter or cash, usually in a sparsely populated area.

Trading up – Selling where the salesperson persuades the customer to buy a more expensive item or a larger quantity than originally intended.

Trends – A current style or preference.

Tri-level round – An apparel fixture with three face-out arms or a rounder split into three adjustable sections.

Trunk show – Vendors present their merchandise directly to store personnel and/or customers in the store.

Twig – A small department store branch that stocks only one kind of merchandise or several similar lines versus larger remote locations (branch) or the main (flag) store.

Universal Product Code – A standard for encoding a set of lines and spaces that can be scanned and interpreted into numbers to identify a product.

Visual merchandising – presentation of a store and its merchandise in ways that will attract the attention of potential customers (From Contemporary Visual Merchandising, Jay Diamond and Ellen Diamond)

Vendor – A person or company providing merchandise or services to a retail store.

Visual merchandising guidelines – A publication generated by the store which discuss in detail how the store is set up, ranging from what type of fixtures to use in each area, use of store logo to distance of shelves from each other.

Visual plan – An actual photograph, a hand drawn illustration or graphic presentation of a display

VM & SD – Visual Merchandising and Space Design

Waterfall fixture – A diagonal bracket from which merchandise hangs down giving a tiered or “waterfall” effect.

Wig – Detachable hair pieces used on the bald heads of mannequins. They are usually made of synthetic yet realistic fibers that can be arranged into life-like hair styles. Wigs may also be quite decorative and made of yarn, rope, papier-mâché, wood shavings, etc. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Wig foundation – Skull cap or bathing cap type of unit to which the fibers of a wig are attached. The foundation fits onto the head of the mannequin and sets and keeps the wig in place. (From Martin M. Pegler)

Window Schedule – Literally a schedule of upcoming displays to be installed

Windowless windows – Similar to the open back window, but there is no dais or platform that separates it from the store. All displays are set on the floor, using props and risers to raise them. This window is popular in malls and boutiques which have ample store frontage but very limited selling space.

WYSIWYG – What you see is what you get.

WYSIWYB – What you see is what you buy