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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.


1)    Introduction

a)    DMSRetail's perspective on Visual Merchandising

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

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

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

i)     A personal connection between retailer and customer

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

2)    Brand

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

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

b)    Brands vs. Commodities

i)     Brands create loyalty, commodities compete on price and product

c)    Describing your brand: Core Brand Characteristics

i)     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

d)    The Value Equation / Brand Benefit

e)    Customer Demographics & Psychographics

f)     Emotional Connections / Desired Emotional Response

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

3)    Design Basics

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

4)    Programming

a)    Objectives

b)    List of Stories to be Told

c)    Message Hierarchy

d)    Product/Service Mix

e)    Form: This Space Should Feel…

f)     Screens/Design Criteria

g)    Image Boards


(1)  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

5)    Space Planning

a)    Plotting the Story

b)    Defining the “Givens”

c)    Bubble Diagrams

d)    Sight Lines

e)    Access/Traffic Flow

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

6)    Visual Merchandising

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

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

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

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

7)    Casework & Fixtures

a)    Purchasing vs. Custom

i)     Flexibility

ii)    Style

iii)   Custom options to your brand image

iv)   Unique circumstances

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

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

The Retail Design & Visual Merchandising Workshop

8)    Signs and Graphics

a)    Creating a Comprehensive Sign Program

i)     The 200’-20’-2’ Rule

b)    Way Finding

c)    Lifestyle Graphics

d)    Informational Signage

e)    Types of Sign Media

i)     Print

ii)    3d

iii)   Internally Illuminated

iv)   Digital


a)   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.

10) Window Displays

a)    When to do them, how, and how deep

b)    When graphics are better than product display

11) Lighting

a)    Creating a Lighting Program

(1)  Ambient / General Illumination

(2)  Feature lighting

(3)  Thematic / Theatrical Lighting

b)    Types of Fixtures and Lamps – Overview:

(1)  Line Voltage

(2)  Low Voltage

(3)  Fluorescent

(4)  Halogen

(5)  Ceramic Metal Halide

(6)  HID

(7)  LED

(8)  Fiber Optic

12) Colors and Materials Selections

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

b)    Using complementary colors to make things pop

c)    Where to put your money

13) Corporate Identity

a)    Naming

i)     Types of Names

ii)    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?

b)    Logos

i)     Evaluating by the same criteria as the store design

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

iii)   Do’s and Don’ts in application

c)    Marks

i)     When to use one and why

ii)    Composition with the Logo

d)    Taglines

i)     When to use one and why

ii)    How long/short they should be

iii)   Composition with the Logo

e)    The importance of consistency

i)     Confusing the customer by sending mixed messages

14) Questions?

15) Conclusion

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: March 30, 2015

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