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Luxury Real Estate Staging

Laurie Hartwell 

 ~Interior Designer ~

Model Homes ~ Visual Merchandising 

Hartwell Design offers Visual Merchandising

for Retail Stores of all Venues.

Furnishings, Clothing, Accessories...

Most any Product you offer your clients...

we can present it for you in a more effective manner...

Visual Merchandising:

is the activity of promoting the sale of goods,

especially by their presentation in retail outlets. 

This includes combining products, environments, and spaces into a stimulating and engaging display to encourage the sale of a product or service. It has become such an important element in retailing that a team effort involving the senior management, architects, merchandising managers, buyers, the visual merchandising director, designers, and staff is needed.

Visual merchandising starts with the store building itself.

The management then decides on the store design to reflect the products the store is going to sell and how to create a warm, friendly, and approachable

atmosphere for its potential customers.

Many elements can be used by visual merchandisers in creating displays, including colour, lighting, space, product information, sensory inputs such as smell, touch, and sound as well as technologies such as digital displays

and interactive installations.

Visual merchandising is not a science; there are no absolute rules.

It is more like an art in the sense that there are implicit rules but that these also exist to be broken for striking effects. The main principle of visual merchandising is that it is intended to increase sales,

which is not the case with a "real" art.

Visual merchandising is one of the final stages in trying to set out a store in a way that customers will find attractive and appealing and it should follow and reflect the principles that underpin the store’s image.

Visual merchandising is the way one displays 'goods for sale' in the most attractive manner with the end purpose of making a sale.

"If it does not sell, it is not visual merchandising."

Especially in today’s challenging economy,

people may avoid designers/ visual merchandisers because they fear unmanageable costs. But in reality, visual merchandisers can help

economise by avoiding costly mistakes.

With guidance of a professional, retailer can eliminate errors, saving time

and money. It is important to understand that the visual merchandiser is there, not to impose ideas, but to help clients articulate their

own personal style.

-Visual merchandising is the art of implementing effective design ideas to increase store traffic and sales volume.

-VM is an art and science of displaying merchandise to enable maximum sale. -VM is a tool to achieve sales and targets, a tool to enhance merchandise on the floor, and a mechanism to communicate to a customer and

influence his decision to buy.

-VM uses season based displays to introduce new arrivals to customers, and thus increase conversions through a planned and systematic approach

by displaying stocks available.

-Recently visual merchandising has gained in importance as a quick and cost effective way to revamp retail stores.

Visual merchandisers are mainly tasked to develop, create, and implement in-store displays and other store visuals to ensure entice customer to checkout the store's products. Visual merchandiser professionals exploit the impulsive buying attitudes of many consumers in order to gain good store profits.

Visual merchandisers can work in varying settings from brick and mortar retail stores, regular boutiques, online fashion stores, up to high-end fashion boutiques. As a professional visual merchandiser you are expected to assume a myriad of store responsibilities that may include the following:

  • come up with creative and artistic concepts for in-store displays
  • take over of the visual look of the store
  • devise, implement and execute effective merchandising strategies
  • closely supervise other members of the visual merchandising team
  • create and maintain different visual displays
  • constantly conceptualize new and fresh store design ideas
  • formulate striking marketing and advertising strategies
  • communicate with clients to acquire store feedbacks
  • coordinate with designer, sales associates, and manufacturers
  • present effective promotional ideas to increase store profits
  • and sale
  • move and position store merchandises
  • maintain an organized, visually appealing and welcoming store environment
  • build clientele through effective marketing and advertising of fashion products
  • organize fashion events, discount sales, and other gimmicks to attract more store customers

In general, a visual merchandiser will have to oversee tasks related to visual displays, inventory management, store merchandising, product promotion, fashion merchandising, fashion sales, and human resource training.

Clients Include:

Gobbler Gear in Salem, Va

Ginger's Jewelry

at Smith Mt. Lake

Hidden Treasures

in Roanoke, VA

Visual merchandisers

ask themselves:

  • What is the image of the store
  • How does that image relate to what the customer wants?
  • Is the customer looking primarily for value?
  • Or is the customer more interested in style?
  • Is the store located in a mall or on a street?

Planning the Store

Window designs are a key part of visual merchandising when enticing foot traffic is a primary goal. However, visual merchandisers must think of the store as an

entire unit.

For interior planning, visual merchandisers often use a planogram, sometimes called a POG. A planogram is a document specifying where and how merchandise will be displayed in a retail space. A planogram might include such details as shelf size,

merchandise dimensions,

and store square footage.

There is planogram software available that makes the task of creating a planogram easier, often including visual space modeling and inventory management tools as part of the creation of the planogram.

Many retailers create a set of visual merchandising guidelines that specify in detail how their stores should be set up including everything from how the store's logo is to be used to the distance between shelves. This is especially true in large retailers with many locations and a well-defined brand.

Beyond Fashion

While visual merchandising is an integral part of the fashion industry, it is also used in other retail businesses such as grocery stores, toy stores, book stores, hardware stores, electronics stores, and almost anywhere there is a retail environment.