What are the trends in Visual Merchandising in India?

Visual merchandising is showing merchandise and concepts at their very best, with the end purpose of making a sale. Visual merchandising techniques in the market are subtle, aesthetically appealing yet economical. Identifying the macro trends of visual merchandising that is prevalent in larger formats like hypermarkets in the market. This covers several categories of products which are available in a hypermarket and extends a keen eye to the fixtures, displays, lighting, signage, music, etc. This is based on a study spans over stores like Hypercity, Spencers Hypermarket, Star Bazaar, Big Bazaar, Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, Westside, Homestop, Home Centre, Home Bazaar, Ezone, Tata Croma.

Thus, we try to identify trends by studying stores with comparable categories like Fashion, Food, Furniture, Fruits and Vegetables, Non-food, Hi-Tech & Appliance & Multimedia, etc. In categories like fashion, food, non-food, etc. the most common fixture is Gondola which is used in most categories with modifications. Browsers are used in case of fashion and most browsers stock merchandise on a slightly higher side in numbers than its actual capacity. Thus, the common practice is to use capacity fixtures to stock and showcase merchandise. Gondolas used for food, non-food are mostly of metal make and are top lit. Many fixtures are customised according to the store type and are combinations of Gonodlas, Browsers and Glass tops.

Displays is a technique of showcasing merchandise by putting them in a fashion which is aesthetically appealing and at the same time is able to convey a story line. Displays are done using mannequins and other props. Cross and complimentary merchandising techniques are used to make the displays attractive yet effective.

The general lighting in most of the stores is a combination of white and creamy yellow which accentuates merchandise and focal points and enhances visibility of the same. Special lighting like focus lights are used specially in windows for displays. The windows within the store are box-type, closed back top lit, while windows at the façade of the store are open back and bottom lit. These windows typically have themes while doing displays and mostly lifestyle merchandise is used to do the displays.

Colours and Signage vary according to different categories of products and formats as well. Signages are mostly varying according to the category it represents. For example in case of Hi-Tech is of size A-5, on Bins is A-6, in case of Fashion is of A-4, etc. There are also shelf talkers on shelf strips and wobblers are placed to highlight offers and new merchandise in most stores. Colours of the store walls are mostly off-white, cream or such light coloured.

Music is played in most stores which keeps the atmosphere of the store lively and relaxed. Cleanliness, upkeep and maintenance of the store and fixtures is given prime importance and the aim of all retailers is not just to provide a customer a wide variety of merchandise to buy but also ensure a good shopping experience.

Visual Merchandising is a technique commonly and rightly called “Silent Salesman” and is widely used in market to increase footfalls and attract shoppers and make shopping a pleasant experience to one and all.

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