Humans are visual creatures and tend to gravitate towards areas that appeal to our sense of sight.  This has led to the creation of a new type of career – visual merchandising.  Yes, it is true, this position has been around for many years, however, it is not until recently that retail establishments truly began to understand the impact of this position.

Visual merchandising involves the designs and layouts in a retail environment.  When done correctly, it will highlight and promote the attractiveness and appeal of a store to its customers.  Many years ago, a visual merchandiser was someone who “dressed” the store front window with mannequins.  Today, they are the masterminds behind elaborate decorations, in-store displays, and still the captivating window display.

The unique skill set required of a visual merchandiser is why this position is in high demand.  Not only do you need to be creative, but you also need to have business sense.  Some of the skills needed for this unique position include organizational skills, which will be used in planning displays, marketing skills, which will be used to attract the proper demographic, and administrative skills, which will be used to in the day-to-day operations.

Those with a passion for creativity, a keen eye, and are adaptable to change, typically have a bright future in this field.  Typical expectations in this field, include:

  • Challenging – this field is very challenging, but can provide you with great rewards.
  • Critical – you must be able to handle criticism openly. Some say you must have thick skin to thrive in this field.  Not everyone will enjoy your work, therefore, you must be able to accept that and continue on.
  • Physical – this field is very physical. If you are looking for a “desk” job, this is not it.  You may have to climb tall ladders, walk on scaffolding, or even carry heavy displays across the store.
  • Education – education is a requirement in this field. A degree in Visual Merchandising is needed to excel.
  • Creativity – you must have a creative side. Those that have a passion for fashion or interior design, typically do very well in this position.
  • Passion – you must love what you do. Creating visual scenes for others to enjoy has to be a passion.

A day in the life of a visual merchandiser can be different from one day to the next, and even from one hour to the next.  It is a very exciting profession and typically is one that always evolving and changing.  You might start your day out by designing a display for a new product line, and end your day sitting behind the desk completing paperwork.  If you are looking for a creative, yet rewarding career, you might consider becoming a visual merchandiser!

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