The job title ‘visual merchandiser’ sounds very exciting, and those who have design and creative skills may be drawn to it. The role of a visual merchandiser is one that does require a great deal of imagination, and there are many opportunities for those who have the ambition and the flair.

What does a visual merchandiser do?

 A visual merchandiser will use their creative skills to promote products by way of in-store and window displays, and occasionally create displays for exhibitions. Those who apply for this type of position will need to be flexible as weekend and evening work may be required, depending on the company. The specific job description will vary from position to position but when using an agency such as Randstad Business Support, candidates will be matched to jobs according to their skills.

Visual merchandising job description

Candidates looking for a position in visual merchandising will need to be able to:

  • Present ideas to clients: Presentations can be made in person at meetings or via video-conferencing.
  • Talk about the brief with the client: In order to determine the key points for the display the ability to ask the right questions will be essential.
  • Learn about a client’s business and products as well as their target market: It may be necessary to carry out research into the latest trends in order to make sure that the design meets the needs of the business in question.
  • Plan for the space required for any display within the set budget.
  • Create designs and images for the display that meet with the requirements of the client: This could be point of sale displays for every store in a group or individual window displays for a single store. Sketching out plans for this will be essential as it is important to make the most of the space available. 
  • Carrying out research into costs: It is essential that the budget for any design work be adhered to.
  • Rework designs following client feedback.
  • Oversee the production of the design to ensure that deadlines are met: In most cases, the work will involve liaising with printers, contractors, and manufacturers to get the right display equipment. It will also involve installation of the display and dismantling it in a timely manner.
  • Preparation of visual merchandising packs so that each store can create the display to the set design.
  • It may also be essential to visit stores and train staff. 

Essential skills for a visual merchandiser

Individuals who want to work in this field will need to be:

  • Creative and imaginative.
  • Have a natural flair for colour and design.
  • Possess excellent communication skills.
  • Have a strong interest in art and design.

In many cases it is not essential to have specific qualifications. Those who are prepared to work their way up can find training available, and there are apprenticeships available in this field. Individuals who are looking for visual merchandising work in shops may find that some experience in retail is an advantage.

What next?

Those who gain the right experience and/or qualifications in visual merchandising can always go on to higher roles such as supervisor, head designer, or manager of a department. There may be opportunities for international travel for those who work for larger companies. There are also self-employed visual merchandisers who work on a consultancy basis.