n International Retail and Marketing Review - Visual merchandising displays - practical or ineffective?

Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN :



Is visual merchandising display dead? It has been suppressed so many times before and in more than one way - especially when times are bad. However it has been brought back to life over and over again. Visual merchandising displays have long been a contentious issue in the apparel industry. Visual merchandising displays is about creating a sensation inside a store, creating the perfect look for a store and promoting the image of the store. Some regard it as a mere waste of good selling space. This study was undertaken to acquire a consumer response centred approach to visual merchandising displays and the effect is has on consumers. The study explored which aspects of visual merchandising displays consumers consider as significant in apparel retail stores. Therefore the primary research question posed by the literature was to identify which aspects of visual merchandising displays are the most significant and important to consumers. Explorative research was deemed to be the most appropriate for the study and qualitative data were collected. Focus groups was used to collect the first round of data where after naïve sketches was used to support the findings. The focus groups and the naïve sketches were analysed by means of a thematic analysis process. The findings indicated that a prominent visual stimulant and important aspect of visual merchandising displays was colour, which creates visual attraction and stimulation. Other important aspects of visual merchandising that were identified were the positioning of displays and the use of space, lighting as well as the neatness of displays. A further important aspect that was noted was that visual merchandising displays should provide information about the products sold in store. It became clear from the findings that visual merchandising displays have a functional role to play in apparel marketing.

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