What is the work of a visual merchandiser and how did you come to it?

My job is to create effective communication with the client through the use of visual techniques – this applies primarily to the shop window, placement of goods in the sales floor.

While working in the HR sphere, I always paid attention to how competent appearance and presentation skills strengthened and emphasized the experience of the candidate, which influenced the success of the interview.

So, I decided to undergo training in the sphere of image-consulting and styling and at the same time launched a project (blog) of fashion-thematics, as well as started looking for a job in the fashion industry.

I joined the Top Secret team at the stage of the project launch in Russia as a team assistant, six months later I moved to the position of visual merchandiser. At the moment I have been working in the company for about 4 years.

One of the brightest professional discoveries was the course of Marina Kazakova at M&W school on effective merchandising and showcases. During the training period, there was an opportunity to work on projects to develop the concept of showcases, as well as to create a layout of shopping space and equipment.

How does the foreign visual differ from the Russian one?

In Russia, attention to visual merchandising began to be paid only in the early 2000s, and in Europe it began to develop much earlier.

So, at first, the main instrument of Russian merchandising were POSM, while in Europe the greatest attention was paid to the techniques of display and presentation of goods. Nowadays, the majority of large well-known brands have come to understand the importance of visual merchandising as a leading link in the sales chain.

Also, it should be noted that the difference in mentality – Russian clients prefer more feminine and vivid stylizations, which we take into account when presenting our products. Also, in our experience, front and wardrobe weighting is more effective in Russia, while in Europe clients show a high interest in products, including those on tables.

What are the principles of product placement in your stores?

The motto of our brand is “Express yourself! Our customers always look flawless and feel confident and comfortable. We offer our clients images for each case, so we use a complete layout of the goods, creating a ready-made stylization.

The important point is universality – choosing models from a set, the client has an opportunity to create at once some images. Often, the stylizations presented in the hall, serve as a real inspiration.

We, as well as each brand, have guidlines and standards for product presentation in the sales floor. Based on the weekly instructions we receive from the head office, the staff places the collection in the hall, taking into account the existing filling.

Also check of photoreports and departure on a platform each week is spent. In general, the entire sales area is divided into three main zones – zone A (new deliveries), zone B (current actual collection) and zone C (goods remnants and sale). When the goods are delivered, the entire collection is placed on the nets in zone A, and the current shares can be placed in this zone as well.

In my work I use the widest possible set of available tools:

  • trade equipment of different types;
  • Attractive display of goods;
  • retail marketing (POSM)
  • the design of the showcase;
  • lighting;
  • dummies;
  • audio communications.

Complete (wardrobe)

  • Cross-marketing (to promote related product groups)
  • marketable
  • repetition
  • color blocking
  • thematic history.

The basic rules of visual merchandising are as follows:

  • zoning of trading space, logical and simple navigation
  • product selection against the background of the environment (using color, light and POSM)
  • Placement of goods at the customer’s eye level
  • faction
  • rule of three
  • Proper use of POSM

How do stores create a shopping environment?

We start with a well-planned space and product presentation. New products, bestsellers and image models are located in the hottest places – on mannequins and fronts. Another important aspect is the lighting and musical range.

Separately, it is worth noting the use of POSM, which is a key instrument of merchandising and is used to communicate with customers directly at the point of sale – so the customer learns about promotions, new products and bestsellers.

When you visit other stores, do you evaluate them from a professional point of view?

Of course, I often visit stores of other brands, but more often for inspiration and new ideas. It is always interesting to see the work of professionals and bold decisions. The desire to outweigh something arises less and less often 😉

What mistakes are made by beginner visual merchandisers?

If we talk about the frequent mistakes of novice merchandisers, the most common: ignorance of the basic rules of displaying goods (it is important to combine visual aesthetics with functionality), incorrect placement of equipment, high or low density product weighting.

What inspires the visual merchandiser Top Secret Russia?

Architecture, fashion shows, painting, good cinema. Separate inspiration is the shop windows of fashion houses, telling the whole story. Travel, acquaintance with new people – always give emotions and impressions.

“*Brand DNA (Brand DNA) is a strategic concept of a brand personality, its external expression, a set of its identifiers; it reflects the unique characteristics of the brand that motivate the buyer; it plays a key role in the process of brand recognition by consumers; it forms its uniqueness; it is the main element of motivational vertical brand management, involved in the formation of the model and brand image.