Degrees Explained: Visual Merchandising
Ready to get involved in retail, developing floor plans and three-dimensional displays? Source: Chester Wade/ Unsplash

With Christmas around the corner, there’s a great demand for visual merchandisers.

By mastering the art of window display design and the development of floor plans to maximise sales, you’ll soon become a consumer connoisseur!

Draw in shoppers with your creative expertise. Source: Giphy

As UCAS explains, “Visual merchandisers use their design skills to help promote the image, products and services of retail businesses and other organisations. They create eye-catching product displays and store layouts and design to attract customers and encourage them to buy.”

Expected roles of a VM

Depending on your job, the daily roles may include:

– Creating display design ideas and mapping out effective floor plans that will boost consumer interest.

– Crafting special displays to promote an exclusive product or offer.

– Drawing designs and plans by hand or computer.

– Utilising a store’s space and layout.

– Deciding how to use space and lighting.

– Creating branded visual merchandising packs to send to each branch of a store.

Degree modules to expect

While studying visual merchandising, there are certain frameworks you will experience.

If we take a look at the Bachelor of Visual Marketing at IFA Paris, the three-year structure allows for all aspects of the subject to be covered.

Accredited courses such as this will first expect you to build upon your marketing, communication, market research, human resources and accounting skills in order to deal with customers and peers accordingly.

Practical elements usually come into play towards the end of your first and second year. By introducing you to the design principles of architecture, you’ll eventually progress to practical projects related to the creation of shop mock-ups.

The final year is where you’ll burst onto the retail scene and produce a visual display project based on a client brief. By putting your skills into practice, your talent will shine and your confidence will radiate as you produce a design of your own.

Career expectations of a VM degree

The obvious answer to this one would become a visual merchandiser, but there are alternative routes to take with this degree specialisation.

For instance, you could also become a:

– Customer Service Representative
– Display Designer
– Fashion Merchandiser
– Merchandise Displayers
– Merchandise Manager

Or, you could start your own VM company and train up other merchandisers into consultants.

As with every degree, your chosen subject shouldn’t limit your career options. A Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree will open up many unexpected doors for you and your future is yours to design.

Here are some examples of visual merchandising in action:

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