“retail integration workshops!”


“retail integration workshops!”

…bringing together cross-functional teams to deliver efficient & profitable stores


VM-Unleashed’s retail workshops are practical and commercial. They focus on the systematic delivery of attractive & profitable stores.

They are completely customiseable to cover either a single retail function in depth or more commonly several functions and the integration and collaboration between them required to deliver sales performance improvements.

Retail workshops can be 1 day or more usually 2 days in duration with flexible modules to suit daily client timetables.

The workshops are personalised to the audience, to the sector and to the job function and objectives of the retailer team present, however most benefit is achieved from an attendance from across retail departments and essentially buying & merchandising, visual merchandising, marketing, space planning, commercial, sales and store operations teams.

The workshop process also includes at least a day of client store visits and discussions leading to a review in the workshop of the client’s stores, as well as reviews and reference to competitors and current international best practice stores.

The workshops themselves are a combination of visual stimulation and strategic process insights and can also include practical exercises in a head office pilot store.

Every retail workshop is written and delivered to be as relevant and productive for each client as possible including both individual and team exercises and discussions.



Retail Integration Workshop:

Our classic workshop and our most popular.

This intensive 2 day workshop systematically explores all of the processes that are involved in delivering attractive, efficient and commercial stores and builds up a picture of the integration and collaboration that is required.

The workshop programme involves a day of store visits and discussions before the workshop, exercises within the workshop, and concludes with priority recommendations on where the client can improve their processes and internal integration.


The workshop covers all retail functions from space planning, buying & merchandising, store layout and design, visual merchandising & communication, retail calendar development, prime & price promotions, VM tools, processes and retail organisational structure

Because the workshop specifically addresses the integration between functions, it is therefore appropriate for an audience drawn from across the business. Functions and departments represented should include product design, buying & merchandising, category managers, space planning & allocation, store operations, logistics, supply chain, visual merchandising, sales, marketing, store design, graphics, regional managers, store managers and store personnel.

The workshop can be adapted to be suitable for less than 10 people up to 40.


Retail Integration Workshop Agenda:

Day 1:


1.       Review of client stores and selected best practice propositions

  • What is the client proposition and how well is it communicated in store
  • Overview of selected competition and international practice, their stores & propositions
  • What we learn from best practice stores


2.       Space planning and assortment structure planning

  • Principles behind space & assortment planning integration
  • Buying for space
  • Breakdown of assortment by category and collection
  • Range structure leading to display criteria
  • Square metres and linear metres
  • Space conversion – sqm to linear metres
  • Space blocks & product stories
  • Store grading and assortment grading
  • KPI measurement related to space
  • Planning a multi-category store


3.       Product stories and buying & merchandising

  • Principles of buying, merchandising and assortment planning
  • Visual criteria in assortments – colour, size, style, fashion position and end-use
  • Product stories related to colour and other architectures – price & size
  • Translating assortment into store product stories
  • Product story grouping: categories, silhouettes & heroes
  • Combining the commercial & the visual:
  • Looking at product stories from a customer perspective
  • How to segment, explain and communicate category stories
  • VM stories adding value – price and prime promotion


4.       Store layout & the customer experience

  • Creating a commercial layout
  • Varieties and combinations of store layouts
  • Departmental and category location planning
  • Creating power walls, focal points and strike zones
  • Maximising the first 1/3rd of the store
  • Identifying and maximising the customer experience
  • Store layouts & personalised journeys
  • Shopper missions, customer journeys, touch points and emotional triggers
  • VM developing customer touch-points within the store
  • Store analytics to understanding customer experience behaviour


Day 2:

5.       Creating store theatre and delivering the emotional experience

  • The brand box & the dynamic content
  • The brand box – the setting of the stage
  • Lighting, ceilings and flooring
  • Using colour, focal points and internal walls
  • Fixtures for commercialism and brand
  • Service areas – tills and changing rooms
  • Store facias and windows
  • Store design strategies and refreshment
  • Investment & ROI


6.       Visual merchandising

  • Dynamic content – creating theatre and experience
  • Display rhythms, balance and techniques
  • Busts, mannequins and props
  • Product interaction
  • Technology displays – explaining the product
  • VM display – making the product look good
  • Service model & delivery
  • Staff skills & training


7.       Visual communication

  • Creating a graphics hierarchy
  • The functional journey and the promotional journey
  • Colour, fonts and elements of visual communication
  • Do’s and Don’t’s of graphics and POS delivery
  • Rules on different use of graphics by store grade and location
  • Rules on the dynamic of graphics – when to change them
  • Environmental graphics to create atmosphere
  • Brand graphics, logos
  • Product information & pricing
  • Service messages – online, returns etc…


8.       The Retail Calendar

  • Modern principles of a retail Calendar
  • How to create a retail calendar
  • Channel strategy for core, occasional and new customer groups
  • Dynamic content development


9.       In-season Management

  • The new product dynamics
  • Promotional calendars – prime & price promotions
  • Maximising sales, margin and gross profit with promotions
  • Appropriate promotional mechanics
  • Sales & markdown strategy and delivery


10.       The VM Toolkit, processes and organisational structure

  • How to make VM work
  • The appropriate VMToolkit
  • VM Guidelines booklet & formal training documents
  • Store Planning documents & VMGuidelines
  • Seasonal guidelines & ongoing informal training
  • Dynamic communication
  • Rules & Regimes – daily and weekly task
  • Store staff structure roles & responsibilities
  • Compliance or Education?
  • Remote technologies – mobiles, tablets and cameras
  • VM processes integrating with other disciplines
  • From “boardroom” to “stockroom” integration

Workshop summary & conclusions


So now, what about you?

Are your stores delivered & maintained more by luck than by judgement?

How well integrated are your functional departments…do they ever speak?

Do you need a “Retail Integration Workshop?”






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