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Parsons X Teen Vogue Assignment of the hour ūüôā RETAIL MARKETING!

A little light reading on visual merchandising was provided and encouraged to begin the assignment.

Here are my takeaway points from the article:

–Sales per square footage is an important way to measure profitable success in a brick and mortar retail space.

–Retail space = MVP of salespersons (use the space efficiently to make the most money!)

–Visual merchandising = art + science (to create window displays, signage, layout of the space, etc.)

–Visual merchandising goal: catch customer’s attention enough so that they spend money

–Target the customer at a deeper level: behavior and lifestyle, all five senses via “sensory branding!”¬†(Too good to re-hash, I am including this bit about sensory rebranding directly copied from the article by Humayun Khan¬†posted May 2, 2016. See the full article here)

Humayun Khan wrote:
“…the secret to creating an engaging and immersive experience is to create a multi-sensory experience or what’s known in the industry as “sensory branding.” Let’s take a closer look at how you could go about doing just that:

  • Sight: There are an endless array of visual cues you can play around with to communicate your message. From using colors for their psychological triggers, to leveraging lighting, symmetry, balance, contrast, and focus to direct and control where a customer looks and for how long, it’s one of the most fascinating components of merchandising.
  • Sound: The music you play in your store has such a profound yet subtle effect on how your customers behave in store. Depending on who you’re trying to target and bring in, you can slow people down by playing more mellow music and causing them to browse, or playing Top 40 to communicate that you want teenagers in your store and so on.
  • Touch: This one’s probably the easiest to get right in that you need to simply remember to put your best foot forward and give customers the ability to touch, feel, and try out whatever it is you’re looking to sell.
  • Smell:¬†Believe it or not, there’s an entire science to what’s referred to as “scent marketing,” with several studies and real-world case studies of global brands like Samsung, Sony, and Verizon applying it to their advantage. The reason being that smell is considered to be a fast track to the system in your brain that controls both emotion and memory, two very prominent factors behind why we choose one brand over another.
  • Taste: This can work magic if you happen to be in the business of selling consumables, giving people the ability to taste and sample before they buy is the equivalent of letting people try on clothes, a general and effective best practice.”

–Display items so that customers can see and feel them, envision them in their own space, on their own body, etc.

–Group similar items with similar items (increases efficiency and profit!)

–Work in sets of three (apparently, this has been researched and proven successful by visual merchandising specialists)

–Human eye prefers symmetry over asymmetry

–Use lighting to “set the mood”

–Retail space should be a constant science experiment. If you think something would work, try it, see what happens, collect data and carry on or make a change.

After being enlightened on the art of visual merchandising, I was instructed to visit local retail shops to observe and document store layout designs.

I chose a nearby specialty mall (The Galleria at Mt. Lebanon, PA) that has housewares, clothing stores (for adults and children), accessory stores, shoe¬†stores, and several restaurants, including a Starbucks (what mall wouldn’t have one?!).

After perusing a multitude of window displays, I was drawn to the Anthropologie window…

It utilized the rule of three’s in the window display. The dried potted plant and minimalist pedestals on varied levels creates the coveted ambience of effortless chic. The colors of garments are seasonally appropriate for spring and compliment one another. The style of garments and shoes/accessories captures the aesthetic of the company. The minimal design also capitalizes on the curiosity of the shopper, giving just “a taste” of the creative and unique pieces waiting inside. So, of course, I went in.


Initially, when I walked in, there was a clothing display in the center and I traveled to the right of the display to find housewares to the right of the main drag.


Around the back center of the store, linens, personal items, and loungewear were interspersed with tchotchkes, books and quirky items. Clusters of overhead lighting highlighted each area, drawing the consumer in closer to see what was on display.

The fitting room was in the back center of the store and to it’s immediate left was the “sale rack,” which was more of a room than a rack. The location of the sale items was not surprising…If you’re heading to the sale items, you have to find them and sift through the full price displays first.

Another favorite display was this one:


I really was drawn to the sculpture on the wall and the color of the orange dress that complimented the gold and grey background. The drawer unit was another quirky addition to the mix, that most likely was a functional piece for floor salespeople. From a consumer standpoint, this is more of a clean, minimalist look than staring at dusty shelves with a disarray of clothes that never seem to stay folded.

The natural flooring and timber accents compliment the natural vibe of the displays while letting the displays do the talking.

It was really hard not to walk out with a purchase!

It is safe to say that the visual merchandising at Anthropologie was effective overall.



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