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The Retail Design & Visual Merchandising Workshop

A 2-Day Design, Branding & Visual Merchandising Training

July 8-9, 2015 - The Westin Colonnade, Coral Gables, FL, US

(See bottom of page for other dates and locations and registration button)

Retail Design, Branding & Visual Merchandising Workshop Venue

Retail sales are a function of making an emotional connection with the customer on a level that makes them want to take a piece of your store – your brand – home with them.  Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company, or the Shop Around the Corner, your customers need to know and understand you.  They want to engage with you and experience your brand through the shopping experience.  What do your stores say about you?  Do they engage the customer?  Do they excite the customer?  Do they assist the customer in finding what they’re looking for quickly and easily?  Is your store environment your best salesperson?  It should be.  In this workshop you’ll discover:

How to define your Brand, and design a store environment that becomes a Brand Experience;

How to space plan a store that is efficient, engaging, and easy to shop;

How to create Merchandising stories that encourages up-selling and interest in groups of products;

How to find and select display fixtures that validate the quality and value of the merchandise and assist in a graceful customer/salesperson interaction;

How to create a Signage and Graphics program that supports your brand, communicates offerings and policies, and assists the customer in the shopping process;

How to create Window Displays that are dramatic, powerful, and engaging;

How to design an efficient lighting program that makes product pop;

How to make Color and Materials selections that support your brand image, are durable and maintainable, and support the presentation of your products; 

How to design a logo, mark, and tagline that are memorable, concise, and that reinforce the brand.



    DMSRetail's perspective on Visual Merchandising

    Are you a retail expert? You are when you shop...

     Everyone is subconsciously evaluating a store design as they shop and measuring it against a predetermined list of values, needs, and wants

    What is Retail really all about, and how does that affect your design?

     A personal connection between retailer and customer

    An emotional response that leads to sales – customers buy on emotion, justify by logic


    What is a brand, and why should I define that before designing anything?

     A brand is to a company as a personality is to a person

    Brands vs. Commodities

     Brands create loyalty, commodities compete on price and product

    Describing your brand: Core Brand Characteristics

   Brand DNA is largely the same – it’s the few rungs of the DNA ladder that are different from your competitors that define you within the marketplace

    The Value Equation / Brand Benefit

    Customer Demographics & Psychographics

    Emotional Connections / Desired Emotional Response

    What are you really selling?  (Hint:  It’s not the “stuff”)

Corporate Identity


    Types of Names

    How to choose / evaluate a name

(1)  Is it memorable?

(2)  Is it easy to say and spell?

(3)  Does it speak to what you do, or at least conjure up a feeling?

(4)  Do you, or can you own it?


    Evaluating by the same criteria as the store design

    Updating old logos – when and why to update (or not)

    Do’s and Don’ts in application


    When to use one and why

    Composition with the Logo


    When to use one and why

    How long/short they should be

   Composition with the Logo

    The importance of consistency

    Confusing the customer by sending mixed messages

Design Basics

   Intro/Overview of Space Planning, Merchandising, Fixtures and Casework, Signs and Graphics, Lighting, Colors and Materials, and Corporate Identity



    List of Stories to be Told

    Message Hierarchy

    Product/Service Mix

    Form: This Space Should Feel…

     Screens/Design Criteria

    Image Boards


  Break into groups of 5 to 6 people each; provide stacks of photos for groups to combine into a collage image board for a store design

Space Planning

    Plotting the Story

    Defining the “Givens”

    Bubble Diagrams

    Sight Lines

    Access/Traffic Flow

     Placing walls, changes in levels, fixtures, signage, and POS

Visual Merchandising

    Telling a Story  -- creating a “stage set” of props wherein a story is told about the products and their place in your life

    Display vs. Stock – levels of presentation and their effective use

    Negative Space – creating a sense of separation and relief between merchandising stories

    Cross-Merchandising – upselling customers to groups of products as opposed to individual products

Casework & Fixtures

    Purchasing vs. Custom



   Custom options to your brand image

   Unique circumstances

    Balancing consistency with not being the “brand x fixture store”

b)    The quality of the fixtures needs to match the quality of the merchandise

Signs and Graphics

    Creating a Comprehensive Sign Program

     The 200’-20’-2’ Rule

    Way Finding

    Lifestyle Graphics

    Informational Signage

    Types of Sign Media



     Internally Illuminated



   Break into groups of 5 to 6 people each; provide each group with a product to be featured (Apple iPod), and a list of details about that product that need to be communicated to the customer.  Have each group sketch up a planogram for a visual merchandising display that achieves everything on the list in some way.  Have each group present their solution to the class.

Window Displays

    When to do them, how, and how deep

    When graphics are better than product display


    Creating a Lighting Program

  Ambient / General Illumination

  Feature lighting

  Thematic / Theatrical Lighting

    Types of Fixtures and Lamps – Overview:

  Line Voltage

  Low Voltage



  Ceramic Metal Halide



  Fiber Optic

Colors and Materials Selections

    Basics: color, texture (visual or physical), quality, durability, customer touch-points, affect on customer pace

    Using complementary colors to make things pop

    Where to put your money



Whether you plan to design your stores yourself, or you just want to better understand how to evaluate the effectiveness of your shopping environment and experience, this workshop will give you the foundation you need to achieve the fundamental goal of any store design or visual merchandising effort – to increase sales.

Retail Design & Visual Merchandising Workshop

Current Dates & Locations:

July 8-9, 2015 - The Westin Colonnade, Coral Gables, FL, US

September 6-7, 2015 - Sheraton Dubai Creek, Dubai, AE

October 22-23, 2015 - Radisson Martinique, Broadway, New York, NY, US

Who Should Attend: Store Design and Construction Managers, Visual merchandisers, Store Owners, Merchandising Managers and Anyone who has interest and/or responsibility in design, branding and visual merchandising.

Duration: 2-Days (typically, 9am-5pm)

Registration Fees:

Regular Rate: US$1,995.00 ($2,295 if you pay at the door - subject to availability)

Regular Group Rate: US$1,749.00 (Minimum of 3 people from the same company)

Groups of 6 or more, please inquire at ( ) or call +1 (312) 239-0919

Workshop fees include presentations, practical exercises and case studies, continental breakfast, full lunch, all-day refreshments, all workshop materials and all take away materials.


Individual Registration US$1,995

Retail Design, Branding & Visual Merchandising Workshop Add to Cart 1

Group Registration US$1,795 (Min. 3 Attendees)

Retail Design, Branding & Visual Merchandising Workshop Add to Cart 2


"The price of education is paid just once. The price of ignorance is paid forever!" Anonymous



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Last modified: May 3, 2015

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