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Career as Visual Merchandiser

Career as a Visual Merchandiser

About Visual Merchandiser

Visual Merchandiser is a primary job role that is offered to students who pursue higher education in the field of design. Many design aspirants wish to make a career in visual merchandising. A visual merchandiser is responsible for putting together the visual presentation and arrangements for items that are on sale. Their main job is to creating something that is alluring while being a good representation of the product. They use their design skills to help in promoting the products, image, and services of retail business and other organisations.

Creating eye-catching product displays, store layouts, and design in order to attract customers and encourage them to buy the product is what visual merchandisers are in charge of. The job of a visual merchandiser requires them to be highly creative and innovative. They have to come up with new ideas to place their product in the market and grab the attention of customers. Visual merchandisers produce window displays, signs, floor plans, interior displays, and special promotions displays so that the customer is lead to be inclined towards walking through the entire store.

Eligibility to become Visual Merchandiser

Meeting the eligibility criteria of a visual merchandiser is a primary objective that must be fulfilled by any candidate who wishes to pursue this professional venture. The educational qualification and prerequisites required for becoming a visual merchandiser have been listed below.

  • The candidate must have completed his/ her graduation with a degree in design.
  • It is essential that the aspirant obtains his/ her undergraduate degree from a recognised university.
  • Students may also complete their post graduation before stepping into the job market. They must, however, have specialised in Visual Merchandising in their masters.
  • Candidates who have done a diploma course in Visual Merchandising are also recruited at certain posts.
  • Having some experience during an internship etc. will make the candidature of the student more solid and he/ she will be given preference over others who have no experience.
  • Proficiency in design tools and software like Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. is mandatory.

Types of Job Roles Visual Merchandiser

The employment areas of visual merchandisers are diverse. Visual Merchandisers are hired for promoting specific products, new technologies, fashion lines, or special promotions by a brand. Their job should not be confused with that of retail merchandisers whose work lays emphasis on sales and stock rather on the visual aspect of the merchandise. In any large retail company, visual merchandisers have to work as part of a display team and have to follow design plans that are created at the head office by a visual merchandising manager or a senior display designer. They might also have to work closely with a display designer, who is responsible for designing things like display stands, stock containers, sales posters, etc.

Employment Opportunities for a Visual Merchandiser

The sectors and industries in which visual merchandisers are recruited consist of a vast range. Some of the leading industries that hire visual merchandisers have been listed below. Candidates can look for a job as a visual merchandiser in any of these areas.

  • Retail Establishments
  • Museums
  • Department Stores
  • Galleries
  • Various Outlets
  • Theatre Companies
  • Fashion Stores
  • Marketing Agencies
  • Jewellery Stores
  • Accessory Lines
  • Print Media
  • Books and Publishing Houses

Top Recruiting Companies for a Visual Merchandiser

Here is a list of some leading companies that hire visual merchandisers.

  • H&M
  • Shoppers Stop
  • Mahindra
  • Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing
  • Reliance Industries
  • Aditya Birla Group
  • Puma
  • Marks and Spencer
  • Kohler
  • Big Bazaar
  • Forrest Essentials
  • The Beer Cafe
  • Penguin Random House

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Pay Scale/Salary of Visual Merchandiser

The salary of a visual merchandiser depends on several factors. The qualification of a candidate, previous work experience, the company he/ she is working for, etc. are some of the major details that are responsible for determining the salary of a visual merchandiser. On an average, the beginning salary of a visual merchandiser is around Rs. 4 lakh per annum at the organisations of the basic level. The package can go up to Rs. 9-10 lakh per annum if the company is well known and internationally acknowledged. As the experience of the candidate as a visual merchandiser increases, his salary also witnesses a significant rise.

Books & Study Material to Become Visual Merchandiser

Some of the best books for visual merchandising preparation have been mentioned below. Candidates can use these as reference books to enhance their knowledge about visual merchandising before they step into the professional venture of becoming a visual merchandiser.

  • ‘Visual Merchandising for Fashion (Basics Fashion Management)’ by Sarah Bailey and Jonathan Baker
  • ‘Visual Merchandising, Third edition: Windows and in-store displays for retail’ by Tony Morgan
  • ‘Visual Merchandising and Display’ by Martin M Pegler
  • ‘Online Visual Merchandising’ by Katrandjiev Hristo and Velinov Ivo
  • ‘Window and Interior Display: The Principles of Visual Merchandising’ by Robert Kretschmer and Robert Kretschmer
  • ‘Store Design and Visual Merchandising: Creating Store Space That Encourages Buying’ by Ebster
  • ‘Silent Selling: Best Practices and Effective Strategies in Visual Merchandising’ by Judy Bell and Kate Ternus

Pros of becoming a Visual Merchandiser

  • The job of a visual merchandiser is very creative and innovative. Hence, these individuals never find their work to be redundant or uninteresting.
  • Interacting with the customers directly through their designs given them an opportunity to get honest feedback.
  • As innumerable companies in almost all sectors require visual merchandisers, finding a job is not that difficult. Moreover, candidates can even switch between sectors and industries if they want to try something new.

Cons of becoming a Visual Merchandiser

  • At times, visual merchandisers have to work extra so as to meet the deadlines and have all the work completed by then. Some urgent requirement may lead them to pull off extra hectic hours in order to deliver within tight deadlines.
  • The pay scale of visual merchandisers increases gradually. Freshers are not given huge salary packages unless they are working for leading international brands.
  • The competition in terms of visual merchandising is quite tough. Therefore, visual merchandisers have to constantly provide better and more creative work.

Paths for Being Visual Merchandiser

FAQs about Visual Merchandiser

What are the alternative career options for a Visual Merchandiser?

Alternative career options for a Visual Merchandiser are Store Manager, Fashion Merchandiser, Retail Buyer, Retail Store Manager, Retail Merchandiser etc.

What are the top colleges that offer courses to aspiring Visual Merchandiser?

Top colleges that offer courses to aspiring Visual Merchandisers are Army Institute of Fashion & Design (AIFD), Bangalore, Istituto Marangoni (Marangoni Mumbai), Mumbai, JD Institute of Fashion Technology (JDIFT), Delhi, Academy of Applied Arts (AAA), New Delhi, JD Institute Of Fashion Technology (JDIFT), Bangalore etc.

What is the advantage of becoming a Visual Merchandiser?

The main advantage to a visual merchandiser is that the job requires immense creativity and experimentation which do not let the work become monotonous. Also, a visual merchandiser interacts directly with the customer, which helps them in increasing the network. The biggest benefit is that an individual has multiple options to pick from as almost every industry requires a visual merchandiser.

What is the average salary extracted by a Visual Merchandiser?

The average salary extracted by a visual merchandiser is about Rs. 432,768/-

Is a bachelor's degree important to become a Visual Merchandiser?

Possessing a bachelor's degree is not a compulsion to become a visual merchandiser. Certain companies offer jobs to an individual simply based on skills and talent. Having a diploma in Visual Merchandising can also lend an individual some good job offers. However, completing a bachelor's degree provides a candidate with more exposure and knowledge which in turn offers better employment opportunities.

Name some recruiting companies that hire a Visual Merchandiser?

Top recruiting companies that constantly look out for professional visual merchandisers are H&M, Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing, Mahindra, Shoppers Stop, Marks and Spencer, Kohler, Forrest Essentials, Big Bazaar, Penguin Random House, Aditya Birla Group, The Beer Cafe etc.

What is the difference between a Visual Merchandiser and Fashion Merchandiser?

A visual merchandiser is the one who helps the stores to sell the products as soon as they arrive while a fashion merchandiser is the one who restocks the store with new merchandise. Visual merchandisers use their skills to create attractive store layouts and displays while fashion merchandisers analyze changing market trends, oversees production costs and determines how the product must be displayed within the store.

What skills are required to be a Visual Merchandiser?

The basic skills required to be a visual merchandiser are Ability to understand technical plans, Smooth communication, Interpersonal skills, Attention to detail, IT, Creativity and Teamwork.

How to be a Visual Merchandiser?

To become a visual merchandiser, it is essential to fulfil the basic eligibility criteria. Students with a Bachelor's degree or a Diploma in Visual Merchandising from a recognised university are offered vivid employment opportunities by top recruiting companies. If aspirants have completed master's in the relevant discipline, more career options open up for them. They also get paid better than the rest of the applicants.

Who is a Visual Merchandiser?

A visual merchandiser is an individual who uses his/her design skills to promote products by creating eye-catching store layouts and product displays. The responsibility of a visual merchandiser is to grab the attention of the consumer and encourage them to buy the product.

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