How to become a Visual Merchandiser

Visual merchandisers develop floor plans and three-dimensional displays of goods and services in order to maximise sales and profit. These include window displays, interior point-of-sale displays and special promotions.

Personal requirements of a Visual Merchandiser

  • Creative flair and imagination
  • Good hand–eye coordination
  • Good colour sense
  • Good drawing and design abilities
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job

Education & Training for a Visual Merchandiser

You can work as a visual merchandiser without formal qualifications. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification in visual merchandising or retail operations. Applicants may be required to submit a portfolio of artwork. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

Duties & Tasks of a Visual Merchandiser

Visual merchandisers may perform the following tasks:

  • communicate with managers of department stores to determine the floor layout, traffic flow and display points, as well as what items are to be displayed and how
  • design window or internal displays based on a theme, style or trend of promotion
  • obtain props and accessories for constructing displays
  • make and paint props and signs
  • dress mannequins and use appropriate lighting to display merchandise for the best possible presentation
  • arrange ticketing and signage
  • maintain, store and dismantle displays after promotion periods.

Working conditions for a Visual Merchandiser

Visual merchandisers may be required to carry equipment and products, climb ladders, unpack stock and work in confined areas. Those employed by large department stores or firms may travel between head office and branches. They may need to work at night and on weekends and public holidays.

Employment Opportunities for a Visual Merchandiser

Visual merchandising requires creative talent and an eye for detail. Major employers include department stores, small to large retailers and other businesses such as display and exhibition companies. Some visual merchandisers are self-employed as consultants, freelancers and trainers. Wholesalers sometimes employ visual merchandisers to work with retailers to maximise sales through visual presentation in showrooms, exhibitions and trade shows.

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