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Displaying an aptitude.

IF YOU have a passion for fashion and creative flair, then working as a visual merchandiser could be your dream job.

The role - which is also known as window dresser or display designer - involves coming up with eyecatching displays and strategies to help drive sales.

A visual merchandiser is most often found in a retail environment but can also be employed by other organisations, such as museums and theme parks.

THE LOWDOWN A visual merchandiser develops and delivers visual concepts to promote products through window displays and in-store displays.

They are likely to be employed by fashion retailers, department stores and well-known high street brands.

Those just starting out will usually begin their career as an assistant visual merchandiser and could progress to the role of visual merchandising/image controller. More senior positions are often based in head offices.

It goes without saying that anyone interested in working in this field must have a strong interest in fashion and be passionate about keeping track of current and future trends.

You will need to demonstrate creative flair and imagination, a talent for design, good communication skills when dealing with other relevant teams and the ability to work to tight deadlines.

Duties will include liaising with buying, design and marketing teams to create strong visual themes, identifying props, fabric and lighting, building and dismantling displays, and carrying out "comparison shops" to keep up to speed with other retailers' own visual concepts.

You may be required to carry out other tasks, such as selling, while working at a more junior level. A good level of fitness and stamina is also necessary due to the physical nature of the role.

THE PAY Assistant merchandisers can expect a starting salary of between PS12,000 and PS18,000 dependant on experience.

Those with more experience, or who hold a managerial post, will usually earn about PS20,000 to PS27,000, while senior staff could earn around PS30,000.

Directors or international level positions can command salaries of up to PS60,000. You will typically work 35 to 40 hours per week but this may involve early morning starts and late night finishes.

THE TRAINING A degree isn't required to work as a visual merchandiser but a further education qualification in a relevant discipline could help your career prospects.

Some colleges and universities offer specific visual merchandising courses, while art and design-based qualifications can also be beneficial.

The British Display Society runs a distance learning certificate in Display & Visual Merchandising, while London College of Fashion has an online short course option in Visual Merchandising and Display.

Some employers offer apprenticeships in retail and visual merchandising.

THE CONTACTS British Display Society, London College of Fashion, Skills Development Scotland,


CREATIVE Visual merchandisers need to create displays that will capture the attention of the public


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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 28, 2016
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