“Visual Merchandising – A Return to Selling!” part 2

An article by Tim Radley in VM&RD Magazine India, Oct 2015




I was fortunate enough this year to be invited to speak at the In-Store Asia 2015 event in Mumbai. What I found was energy, enthusiasm and real excitement about the future of Indian retail and this great industry in general.

Subsequently I have written a couple of articles  for VM&SD Magazine, India’s only magazine to focus on all aspects of retail design and visual merchandising in the context of branded shopping environment.

“Visual Merchandising – A Return to Selling!” is the current article. You can read excerpts here and the full article via the link.


“Visual Merchandising – A Return to Selling!” part 2


No longer are consumers bound by the strict dictate of the retail buyer, brands are learning to balance less choice with more freedom. Against this setting of increased customer confidence and freedom of choice, a looser coordination has had to develop.

Equally the new commercial undertones of the assortment have served to revitalize the category as an ever more important presentation mechanism. Working to present categories in store, the imagination of visual merchandisers increasingly communicates not only authority through repetition but visual impact, inspiration and choice. “Killer” category displays, combined categories and coordinated categories are all delivering boosts to sales through a timely focus on the historical sales trends of each category.

A new world of “heroes” is also emerging, this time from the best seller re-focus. Primary store locations, bold displays and engaging visual communication of these “hero products” is creating a brand “halo” which flows out from the displays themselves to energise the wider assortment and proposition.


“Boldness and repetition add huge authority and value to the simplicity of the Uniqlo message.”


The selection of the correct products and the creation of theatre around them can help any retail store to project a stronger perception of fashion, price, quality, tradition, newness or whatever is the most important facet of any brand, at any particular time.

“Making room for heroes,” in the space opportunities of lower density stores, is a priority opportunity for space planners, merchandisers and display artists.

So, if selling “more of less” is the commercial objective of retail businesses then “creating more from less” should be the mantra of visual merchandising.


“Hero products such as stretch jeggings are also commercial best sellers within American Eagle but are also used to create fashions silhouettes with complementary products.”


Set against a long history of fighting against “too much stuff” this should sound like music to the creative’s ears, and so it should. However the creative and commercial pressure is on to deliver imaginative, distinctive and compelling visual displays and windows, within a tight budget, which also drive best seller performance and higher margin and profit, against the market cycle of lower prices and insidious price promotions.

More than ever, adding value and margin is the task for visual merchandising.

Ultimately, the commercial success of less product, displayed more beautifully, more attractively, with more excitement, more authority, with impulse and urgency, will determine the success, the worth and the future of visual merchandising.

But isn’t this what visual merchandisers have always strived for? Free from the burden and oppression of too much product, the opportunity to shine as creators of brand environments and beautiful product displays, engaging customers and driving sales and profit performance.

For you as a retailer the questions begin. Are you trying to sell too many things to the customer? Are you lacking authority and confidence in your buying & selling? Are you lacking commercial categories and best-seller heroes?

And if the answers to all of these questions is yes, then are you using and supporting visual merchandising to “create more from less” and ultimately to generate “more sales from less?”


view the full magazine below… VM&RD Visual Merchandising A Return to Selling


VM-Unleashed! is a retail consultancy. It is what it says … “Accessible expertise: Helping retailers make the most of what they have!”

We are always looking forwards to hearing from existing clients and potential new collaborators…


We work in three main ways – through workshops, through projects and through retail tools.

    • Our workshops are completely tailored to our clients. They range from our classic 2 day VM Operations workshops, to any length, level of interaction and content focus. They are always interactive, personalised to the client including a review of the current business; they are both visual with current best practice and competitor reviews as well as expertly analytical with detailed strategic outlines and best practice processes. discover more here…


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In all cases, essentially we are small, often just myself, with the aim to leave a legacy in a business through the variety of people we work with, the close way that we work with them, and how we make them work together. Our improvements and our benefit, lasts long after we are gone.

Whether you are an established player, or a new kid on the retail block, we can probably help improve your efficiency, your expertise, your store delivery and of course your sales performance and profitability.

Catch my profile on LinkedIn…always happy to connect! uk.linkedin.com/in/timradley/

I look forward to hearing your questions, whether large or small.

Always expert and easily accessible.

Thank you.

tim radley - CEO, VM-unleashed.ltd


+44 (0)7967 609849