Monday, 22 June 2009

Visual Merchandising Work Experience for Dwell Baby at Earl's Court London

In the summer of 2008 I did some more work experience in visual merchandising.  This time it  involved arranging Dwell Baby products for their stand in Earl's Court in London.  

When you stood in the space you felt like you were in a baby's room with the cot and the lit Dwell Baby sign as central focal points, shelves filled with toys and baby blankets and bags hanging off hooks.  The two sets of display cubes either side of the cot created interesting displays for customers to shop around and I think the colourful patterned products stood out against a plain white background. 

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Visual Merchandising Work Experience in New Zealand at Kirkaldie and Stains

Whilst in New Zealand I did some work experience with the Visual Merchandising Department at the top department store in Wellington - Kirkaldie and Stains.  I assisted with the Mother's Day display.  White roses in the graphics and arranged in large silver pots around the store tied the displays together.  I painted plinths and flats, cut out graphics, laminated the pots and helped arrange the roses.  It was a valuable insight into the everyday life of a Visual Merchandiser.  Below are the photos of the final display:

I'd just like to say a massive thank you to the Visual Merchandising team at Kirkaldie and Stains for being so lovely to work with and for letting me help out!

Visual Merchandising in Russia...Again!

This definitely isn't the best window ever but I like the idea behind this.  Maybe it would have been better in this case if they had just kept to using different sizes of the inflatable rings and kept them more in the background so the product can be focused on more.

 I think I spoke too soon - the windows below are definitely the worst I've ever seen - the terrible ones in New Zealand and New York are great compared to these. What is going on?! You can barely see that clothes are being displayed, the little sale notices are completely different to each other and something has slumped to the bottom of the left hand window. They look so uncared for - I can't see how they would attract anyone into the store - awful!

Visual Merchandising in America

There was so much to take photos of in America - there was huge variety but it's clear that most of the shops here knew what they're doing when it came to visual merchandising. However, as in every country in the world, there was the odd one who had a very long way to go!  

I thought the rainbow effect created by this curving rail and different coloured tops was very effective.  The odd mannequin displaying the said tops emphasises the colourful collection.
This photo is of an in-store display in Macy's in New York.  The theme is 'Summer of Love' and the collective use of graphics, the peace sign props, a mannequin and plinths displaying accessories all (just about) tie in together through colours.  I like how the models peace necklaces in the photo tie in with the large peace props.

This display is in Macy's - I like the femininity it's portraying which matches the clothes.  The fragile looking lamp shade, the writing on the wall saying things like 'Your hearts desires' along with the black and white photos and white embellished photo frames all help achieve this look.  

This is the worst display I saw in America.  It was all way too much.  I don't even know where to start...! 

I thought this was so simple but really effective for the type of shop it was - a top end children's clothes store.  The white picket fence and tipped over bucket with white starfish hints at summer and completely goes with the cute clothes on display.  Store above take note - sometimes less is more!  

The next five photos are from a store called Forever 21. The first three are from the one in Los Angeles and the last two are from the one in New York.  The windows were good but I thought the in-store displays were great.  

The first photo is of the accessories area.  I loved the circular ornate tables, the candelabra, the black and white floor and the accessories displayed in glass bowls - the products weren't high end but these elements added a bit of class and created a lovely shopping atmosphere.   

I like the different positions of these mannequins especially the one in the pink dress as it's facing the door and it's in the brightest colour so could catch the eye of passers by.  I also like how the circular plinth reflects the circular light fitting above.

 I loved how these floral heads matched the floral tops below them.   

This display looks fun and very in season with the oversize flowers and insects mixed with the colourful wigs.  I like the simple use of the colourful hanging material on the second display - again looks perfect for the summer season.

The white walls and floor and clear perspex boxes create an airy and clean feel - a perfect base for the bold floral rugs and colourful clothes on the sunglasses wearing mannequins.   

I think this display is an effective way to create interest for customers going up the stairs to the upper level.  It's clear that the mixture of clothes and accessories have been well thought out as the pinks and reds work perfectly together. 

American Apparel's carefully placed rows of multiple mannequins effectively demonstrates their range of colours and product. 

I loved this in-store design in Abercrombie and Fitch in New York.  The mural and statue create a men's gym/macho feel - they definitely define the men's department! 

I wasn't sure about this display - I don't feel like the glittery umbrella or phone enhanced the clothes in anyway and I'm not sure what message I was meant to get from it.  

Saks department store definitely had a pink colour theme in their display!  Each window was painted completely the same pink as each other and then had slight variations of flamingos projected onto the wall.  Each window has a different designer and the mannequin dressed in their clothes was either all in pink or had pink somewhere in the outfit.

I love these plastic bubbles - there's a lot of potential with these and maybe this window could have used them even better.  Possibly a different background - one that looks more like the outdoors to create a more summery feel.

The following six photos are from a store in New York called Anthropologie.  I just loved the displays - it is clear that they have been very well thought through and that this effort had paid off.  They sell bohemian, vintage-inspired and well crafted clothes and homeware and this is reflected in the worn, soft colours and textures used and the quirkiness of their displays. 


This display was found on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.  I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but I think the coloured pipes that dominate this display suit the clothes that are being displayed down to a t.  They also create depth and give the mannequins access to different levels.

I liked this LA boutique because of it's quirky blue mannequins which stand out against the white walls.  I also like the words 'Courageous', 'Outrageous' and 'Contagious' written across the wall in varying letters and the silhouette portraits in the background.  This, plus the well spaced clothing racks, all adds up to a interesting and welcoming store. 

The falling white paper bells highlight the white textured dress at the forefront of this very effective J.Crew display.

I noticed two stores that used the same concept - transparent blue transfer to create a sea.  
These were Ralph Lauren Children (immediately below) and Juicy Couture (the following two photos).  

I think that Ralph Lauren was the more effective as you can clearly see a story - children fishing and a couple of them snorkling.  Also the fish look really effective, the variety of them add interest and they create a lovely background for the Ralph Lauren sign.  

The sea area and the area above are less defined in Juicy Couture.  Also, there is one mermaid and the other mannequins are normal but are standing on the sea bed and sitting in shells so it all looks a bit confusing. 

I liked this garden themed display - especially the wall of colourful seed packets.

Ralph Lauren has come up trumps again with these two summery displays - sailing rope, surf boards and sand all with well dressed mannequins displayed at differing levels.

Probably the craziest display I saw on my travels!  Not to everyone's taste but it definitely does its job and catches the passers-by eye!

This New York Lulu Guinness store was charming.  You can see another but very different example of a way to use a silhouette portrait - this looks more classic which is essentially the look of the whole shop.  I especially think the lip clutches displayed on the pretty white table really work as a focal point.

Visual Merchandising in New Zealand

New Zealand's visual merchandising seemed to range from the fantastic through to the average and the terrible!

I thought this one was pretty average.  The mannequins in this gentleman's boutique had boxes for heads with heads drawn on each side of the box.  These three heads match the three lamps behind the mannequins.  I think it's a very certain look but works for a gentleman's boutique.    

The next two photos are taken of the Easter display in the Wellington department store Kirkaldie and Stains.  I think they look really effective - the colours are fresh and the tree transfers link all the windows.  I especially love the swing coming from the tree in the second photo with the child mannequin on.

I wasn't keen on this window display in Christchurch.  The trees in both windows were obstructing the mannequins and the small and gold pine cones suspended in the air and strewn on the ground looked too Christmasy.  Also, in the display directly below there is one necklace hung on one of the branches which looks very random.  It was turning to autumn at this point so I can see that's what they were trying to convey in this display but as a whole it just didn't work.  Maybe if the trees were behind the mannequins and they got rid of the gold cones it might be an improvement.  It would even look good if they wanted to concentrate solely on selling the jewellery and in one window got rid of the mannequins, just had the tree and hung loads of necklaces and bracelets of it to look like they were growing from the tree. 

The following two photos are from another boutique in Christchurch.  Both windows are linked by a heart shaped patch of grass which I think works much better in the second picture as the shoes are displayed on it so it looks like it has a purpose and makes the overall display look simple but cute.  In this first photo however, the grass heart is just sitting there on its own so it has no purpose.  This alongside the two silver moons and the picture of a bird creates a random display without a cohesive look.

 I thought this display in Auckland was great with the youthful, colourful graphics taking centre stage - a sure hit with its teenage customers.  The posters advertising local bands and the sweet machines placed to the left as you enter the store all add to this funky feel.

These two displays from the same shop in Te Anau have to be some of the worst displays I've ever seen.  There is so much space, and yet everything is clumped together so you can hardly see what is being displayed.  The tables in the first photo are awful as is the poster at a jaunty angle in the second window.  There is no scheme to join the two windows - the only thing which is the same is the light green wall section at the back, which is not enough.  

The first window is promoting mothers day so one assumes the products are gifts that you could buy for your mum but the mix of products don't go together in anyway, shape or form.  If they were different types of products but had the same colour scheme or theme that would be great but there is nothing to bring these items together - it looks like a jumble sale.

The display tables in the second window are nice but there aren't enough with two and the space is too large to have such small amounts of small product in it. 

This space has so much potential - what a waste!