“Fantasy & Fantastic”: the marriage of classic VM Retail Essentials and new technology for consumer experience.

As one industry insider put it, these days visual merchandising ‘needs less crystal ball, and more strategic creative approaches.’

With the well documented shift in consumer shopping habits, and the need for retailers to integrate digital and bricks-and-mortar store experiences, there is an interesting framework that has emerged – that of the assimilation of classic store visual merchandising elements still standing the test of time and finding their use, versus the new desire for experience, for stores to become experiental, theatrical with sometimes more of an ‘art installation’ approach to display, and to be quirky, fun, intriguing, engaging, and interactive. And, for the retailer, of course, to ensure instore sales success too.

The Head of Visual in Selfridges, Erin Thompson, says, ‘I think it’s tough to predict the impact of the digital generation, as by then a whole generation of customers who have known nothing but touchscreen interactive technology will have grown up and be shopping for themselves. However, marry that with the fact we all know how old school techniques really work and that we are always going to be tactile people, I think we might have a new combination of old and new ways working by 2020. Plus, add the fact that increasingly our job isn’t to highlight new product, but to highlight it in new ways.. Customers have already seen our products online and this will surely just increase, so our job becomes more and more about entertainment.’

The combination of craftsmanship and technology is something that will become the height of innovative and imaginative retail. Visual merchandising will be a major part of the shopping experience, providing excitement and entertainment instore. Consumers love the experience of ‘real live’ shopping. Shoppers also still long for connection, and it’s about finding creative ways to bring them into our displays and help them feel connected to the world beyond tech-saturation.

One visual merchandising blogger says that ‘store displays will become more of an art installation, notably window displays, a reflection of lifestyle, trend, and social being.’ The return of excellent craftsmanship with attention to detail in displays to counteract mass production is also key. Excellent design will always stand out.

Visual merchandising teams, both from retailers themselves and from their selected suppliers, rely on visionary creatives to help with the constantly morphing of technology and skills required to take display to the next level. Props, mannequins and point-of-sale and Retail Essential display items such as plinths, gondolas and tables will always be crucial in the VM world, but the materials, finishes, shapes, forms, and themes will constantly evolve as discerning consumers demand more and more from their retail experience. “Fantasy and Fantastic is the way forward,” says an industry Creative Director.

This will be done in a number of ways: through theatre and the art of creating a unique, sensorial experience; personalised service to make the customer feel integrated and invested, special and included; and of course brilliant and clever installations and displays!

British retailer Ted Baker’s Miami store reflecting the art deco/Miami theme and ‘Hello Flamingo’
Ted Baker’s Miami store fitting rooms continue the experience
Ted Baker’s Miami store – art deco ‘Hello Flamingo’ Miami theatrical experience continues
Mini pop up store
A store in Shanghai
Anthropologie, NY
Nike window display
Window display in Japan
Berghoff Goodman window

Display Logic is perfectly poised to harness all the potential of these new trends to create something quite unique and tailored to retailers – with a full-house service from creative design, complete manufacturing process covering all key departments, to installation. We have invested in a comprehensive 3D facility, 3D Impact, and through this we create the magic, the ‘theatre’, the fun and surprise elements to displays. Not only that, but we have the full facilities to create unique textures and finishes, and the addition of other display elements. Our joinery workshop is extensive, as is our printing, acrylic fabrication and spraypainting to name but a few.

With over twenty five years of display and visual merchandising supply experience, we work closely with our clients to create their next VM and display success.