February 2005

Retail Desire: Design, Display and Visual Merchandising

Rotovision SA, Sheridan House

  • 112-116A Western Road, Hove
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What is the goal of Visual Merchandising (VM)? This is the question Johnny Tucker, international visual merchandising guru, explores in his new book, abc Retail Desire: Design, Display and Visual Merchandising xyz . Tucker writes that with Visual Merchandising, “Lifestyles are promoted, stories are woven, eye-catching, head-turning, even stomach-churning, material is used to give life and a depth of cultural meaning to that essentially bland word, the Brand.”

Using examples from boutiques around the world, from Prada’s flagship store in New York to naKed bunch in Tokyo, Tucker illustrates new VM concepts and techniques using real-life examples. Lighting, specialty displays, unusual mannequins and innovative materials are thoroughly explored in an easy to understand format. For those without Louis Vuitton’s budget, Tucker shows how graphics, “quick, cheap and efficient” and the “judicial use of color” can create statement-making displays for less.

Why is establishing a cultural connotation so important to name-brand companies? Through VM companies can make their customers feel good about themselves via their purchasing power, ensuring that they will buy more and buy often. “Despite the occasional applications of new technology, in truth, visual merchandisers and designers spend their entire working lives striving to find a new angle on the same thing, trying to differentiate their work or products in a huge and increasingly competitive market.” Ultimately, the goal is to sell product.

Jargon/Acronyms used in abc Retail Desire xyz :

  • VM – Visual Marketing
  • FMCGs – Fast Moving Consumer Goods
  • 3D Brand – when a brand takes the entire in-store environment… into the realms of graphics, audio-visual media, point of purchase material...total embodiment of the brand.
  • Specials – customized work, such as special mannequins or displays, used to creative an unique environment specific to the store/brand.

Retail Desire is an excellent resource for future VM professionals, as it presents both the artistic and commercial aspects necessary to create a successful presentation. Through and well-researched, abc Retail Desire xyz is a welcome addition to the Library’s collection.

Reviewer: Sophie Lalazarian, FIDM Library Staff Member