…identifies where maximum ROI exists in visual merchandising in physical stores


Visual Merchandising offers the potential of “quick-win” yet sustainable sales increases through low-cost, low-risk, low-investment solutions, which are dynamic and flexible.

In a world of austerity visual merchandising has come of age. Visual Merchandising makes the most of what retailers have.

But whilst the benefits of Visual Merchandising are widely acknowledged one solution does not fit all, and no retailer should assume that even excellently delivered Visual Merchandising is appropriate for them.

Maximising investment in stores is about identifying which, if any, visual elements represent the most guaranteed returns.


VM-unveiled! is a benchmarking & analytical tool which answers the correct questions in the correct order:-

1   Is visual merchandising a good investment for me at all?

2   What propositions should I communicate using better VM?

3   What elements of visual merchandising should I implement and improve?


This is what we do…

  • We interview relevant head office executives to understand the important brand perceptions that the physical store must transmit to the customer
  • We measure and benchmark over 100 visual merchandising elements in a selection of physical own stores.
  • The same elements are measured, and compared, in agreed competitors and best practice retailer stores
  • A selection of the retail elements benchmarked might include…
    • product story group types & balance – categories, themes, silhouettes…
    • product group types first 1/3rd store
    • product visibility by height
    • {9a7291a7292e83c5148384adada0c82317c2655f4bcb859b5345564a4c272287} product on floor and on walls
    • breakdown of fixture type
    • Display density in sqm and in linear metres
    • linear metre space conversion
    • {9a7291a7292e83c5148384adada0c82317c2655f4bcb859b5345564a4c272287} folded merchandise, lateral and frontally hung merchandise
    • display techniques
    • folding techniques
    • Unit depth by category
    • linear metre walls
    • No. of POS messages in first 1/3rd of store
    • {9a7291a7292e83c5148384adada0c82317c2655f4bcb859b5345564a4c272287} by message type
    • POS size by message
    • POS location by message
    • POS density by department
    • Graphic colour breakdown
    • Density of price communication
    • Ratio space to changing rooms
    • Ratio space to cash desks
    • {9a7291a7292e83c5148384adada0c82317c2655f4bcb859b5345564a4c272287} open or closed windows
    • Number of mannequins
    • {9a7291a7292e83c5148384adada0c82317c2655f4bcb859b5345564a4c272287} mannequins by style
    • Ratio mannequins in first third store
    • Mannequin density
    • Items on display per mannequin
    • Balance of boxed, packaged product
  • We identify “quick-win” and “cost-effective” VM opportunities
  • We also measure the collective effectiveness of these retail elements in delivering 10 important customer perceptions
    1. Ease of Shop
    2. Product Inspiration
    3. Product Visibility
    4. Product Dynamics
    5. Assortment Authority
    6. Price, Promotions & Value
    7. Fashionability & Freshness
    8. Femininity & Friendliness
    9. Customer Centricity
    10. Multi-channel focus
  • Depending on the priority of the brand perceptions we recommend which combination of elements will transmit that perception most effectively, create brand loyalty and generate higher sales performance.


This is what we report on…

  • Ease of shop
    • How easy is the store to shop?
    • How well used are store layout, space management, product visibility, fixture design…
  • Product inspiration
    • How inspiring is the product?
    • How well used are store elements which inspire customers such as product coordination, colour technique, mannequin displays, busts and focal points, graphic communication, price and promotional messaging…
  • Product visibility
    • How visible is the product?
    • What {9a7291a7292e83c5148384adada0c82317c2655f4bcb859b5345564a4c272287} of the product is visible from main aisle and the store front?
    • How well used are store elements important for visibility such as space layout, vistas & sightlines, product story grouping, product density, product blocking…
  • Assortment authority
    • How well does the store project authority?
    • How well used are the store elements that create authority such as intuitive walkways and layout, product story grouping, category & hero product display, functional signage, power of product display techniques, colour management, visual communication styles…
  • Price, Promotions & Value
    • How clearly and how powerfully is price and promotion communicated?
    • How well used are store elements that can be used to generate a favourable price perception such as the strategic use of the first 3rd of the store, the promotional calendar, boldness of graphic communication, store layout and focal points, price architecture visibility in product stories, packaging…
  • Fashionability & Freshness
    • How well is newness and the perception of fashion communicated?
    • How well used are store elements important to communicate fashion such as windows & store entrances, music, mannequins, delivery of a retail calendar, eye-catching display techniques, colour rotation & highlighting, product movement, use of silhouettes as fashion stories…
  • Femininity & Friendliness
    • How feminine is your store?
    • Does it feel friendly and welcoming?
    • How well do you use store elements such as store design & colour use, lighting and atmosphere, assortment layout, product coordination, lifestyle imagery that all add warmth to a store…
  • Product dynamism
    • Does your store give the perception of dynamic change?
    • How exciting is your store?
    • How well do you use physical elements important to show product dynamics such as a store retail calendar, window displays, focal points, graphic communication, space zoning and product story rotation…
  • Customer centricity
    • How customer focused is your store?
    • Is your store just an operational product warehouse?
    • How well do you use store elements that show customer focus such as an empathetic store layout, intuitive product grouping, assortment logic, intelligent retail calendar delivery, best seller merchandising…
  • Multi-channel focus
    • How well does your store communicate multi-channel
    • Is your store truly multi-channel or just a marketing exercise?
    • How well do you use multi-channel elements of importance such as clear and consistent price architectures across channels, digital communication, in-store devices to access online assortment, collect services, consistent visual hierarchy, consistent best seller merchandising, coordinated product information design, graphic consistency and coordinated but channel specific events & promotions

Ultimately we illustrate at a strategic level what are the current strengths and weaknesses of the brand proposition, and recommend what actions are required to improve which retail elements to allow the product propositions to achieve their full commercial potential.

We can look at all or part of the store and the product assortment.

Once the scope is defined then the process takes between 4-8 weeks depending on the number of activities.

It ends with a detailed report with conclusions, recommendations, visual illustrations and prioritised action plan, and is delivered in a half-day, cross functional, interactive workshop.


So now, what about you?

Do you know which of your brand and product propositions is being delivered in-store correctly?

Do you know which visual elements are strong and work well and which ones are a drain on time & money for little benefit?

Are you in need of VM-unveiled?




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