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Discover the retail jobs that best suit your personality: part 1 - Visual Merchandising

By Alicia Reyes Sarmiento


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Illustrative image of a Visual Merchandiser. Credits: Korie Cull via Unsplash.

Finding a job that suits you is just as important as finding those jeans that salvage any look, the ones you feel good in and wouldn't trade for any other pair. With the sheer number of jobs available, it's natural to feel overwhelmed at times.

In this series of articles on Working in Fashion, FashionUnited will explore various career options that are ideal for different personalities and in high demand. In this first instalment, it's all about Visual Merchandisers, fashion professionals who play a crucial role in the representation and presentation of a brand's image.

Immerse yourself in a career where creativity and the latest trends merge to transform the shop, captivate customers and convey a brand message that distinguishes the brand from the competition.

What does a Visual Merchandiser look like?

A good visual merchandiser should be a combination of a creative artist, retail strategist and a professional. Their goal is to create an engaging and satisfying shopping experience for customers, which in turn will drive the success of the fashion retail shop.

In an increasingly competitive business world, fashion companies face ever greater challenges. This is where the role of the visual merchandiser becomes critical, enabling brands to stand out from the competition.

You've probably heard or seen this position on job boards, but you may not be aware of its duties and importance in the fashion industry or whether it would be a position you could fit into.

Are you a person... ...able to create and materialise compelling visual concepts that enhance both the products and the essence of the brand?

... with the ability to identify, understand and innovatively apply current trends and market preferences in the presentation of fashion collections?

...with the communication skills to convey the ideas of the collections you are involved in to the rest of the team?

...gifted in design and visual composition: you fuse colour palettes, silhouettes, textures and graphic elements in a harmonious way so that it makes a real visual impact?

...who understands the target customer perfectly and adapts the visual presentation to meet the customer's wants and needs?

...able to evaluate the performance of visual presentations and make adjustments supported by data and observations?

...who can plan and execute multiple projects and presentations whilst sticking to tight deadlines.

Then the position of visual merchandiser is perfect for you!

What does a visual merchandiser do?

The following activities are usually part of the standard set of tasks:

  • Coming up with creative concepts.
  • Designing the shelves/shop.
  • Decorating shop windows, displays or showrooms.
  • Optimising in-store routing.
  • Consulting with customer(s).
  • Keeping up to date with trends and developments.

How much does a Visual Merchandiser earn?

According to data from the employment platform Indeed, a Visual Merchandiser can earn an average of 24,177 pounds per year in the UK and 57,618 dollars per year in the US.

However, what does this average mean? According to figures from Glassdoor, a website where employees anonymously rate companies, Marks&Spencer and John Lewis & Partners lead in the UK in terms of salaries for entry-level visual merchandisers for instance, closely followed by Topshop and H&M, where differences can reach up to 17,000 pounds (21,400 dollars) per year depending on the brand and its segment within the group.

Although it is not essential to have a specific diploma to work in this profession, communicative, innovative and creative skills, as well as an interest in the commercial field, are highly valued. Students coming from careers related to communication, marketing, advertising and even design tend to be appreciated in this line of work.

The ESIC Business & Marketing School, a business school in Spain, argues that those with an average of five years' experience or training in the field in their own country occupy positions with greater responsibility in which the salary ranges from 30,000 euros to 50,000 euros.

In terms of training, there are many options ranging from specialised courses in visual merchandising to master degrees in marketing management and fashion communication. But usually companies also offer in-house training for those members of their teams who wish to move up to visual merchandising.

Perspectives and professional development

Working as a visual merchandiser opens the door to opportunities for growth. With the experience gained, you can aspire to coordination or management roles, as well as focus on online visual merchandising.

In short, visual merchandisers play a vital role in the fashion retail industry, fusing creativity and trend knowledge to shape captivating shopping experiences and represent a brand image in a unique way.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.ES. Translation and editing from Spanish into English by Veerle Versteeg.


Think this job is for you? Then take a look at the Visual Merchandiser vacancies published here on FashionUnited and find out how you can get started.