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  Chief Editor Anuraag S | Editor Swati Bhalla | Powered by GigaSoft™ January, 2011

Visual Merchandising:
The only language of Retail

By Swati Bhalla & Anuraag S, 2009
Tata McGraw Hill, New Delhi,
264 pages, Price: Rs.399.



Some people feel that the malls in India have western splendor & lack the excitement of domestic buying. Some may enjoy the domestic buying with a flavor. Namely, price bargaining; seeking hidden variety; & home delivery, and in few cases, buying on credit. This may elate their ego. The importance of customer's tastes and the way it is usually represented leaves an impression on the customer to go for the product. Visual Merchandising is all about this art.

There is no indigenous book available on the art of Visual Merchandising. The book written by Swati Bhalla, Visual Merchandiser, Studio Atomium, A post graduate in Fashion Communication from NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi) & Anuraag S, Head-Visual Merchandising, Store Planning & Projects Department, Future Axiom Telecom Ltd. and Chief Editor of exclusive and only online newsletter on Visual Merchandising-THINKtank; has come as a breeze of fresh air in retail education. The publishers Tata McGraw Hill Education have recently come out with whole lot of splendid Retail titles.

The cover of the book in question is a Visual Merchandiser's dream. With four mannequins & one of them holding an electric bulb illuminating the light says it all. The book is a brave venture in the field of retail science. Earlier the Indian market only had books by foreign authors on this subject but none of them suited the Indian retail scenario. Here is an Indigenous book which explains A to Z of Visual Merchandising.

Angles and Sight lines: It is believed that customers tend to view products from a 45-degree-angle and at eye level.

The book has been foreword by Mr.Surender Gnanaolivu (Vice President – Store Development, Mahindra Retail) and he has mentioned that Visual Merchandising and display are subjective and keep changing with times. The subjectivity makes them pretty evasive to capture and organize into principles that can be interpreted & adopted across different market context. Mr.Gnanaolive believes that Visual Merchandising and display are subjective and keep changing with time. This subjectivity makes Visual Merchandising pretty evasive to capture and organize into principles that can be interpreted & adopted across different market context. This book manages to set the basics of VM correctly in the minds of its readers.

There are a total of thirteen chapters in the book, laid out in five sections. Each section is introduced by a known and respected member of the industry. The first section of the book deals with Introduction to Retail and Visual Merchandising and is introduced by Mr.BS Nagesh, Managing Director - Shoppers' Stop Ltd..

The second section is about Display Basics and covers the basics of Visual Merchandising. This section is introduced by Rahul Rajamuthiah, Chief Business Planning, Big Bazaar, Future Group.

Planogram showing details of merchandise on various fixtures (Image courtesy: vrSoftware Ltd.)

Section three explains Store Planning and Fixtures. It also covers the types of circulation plans and Plano grams. This section has been introduced by Sharat Kumar B. Arch., PMP; Design Manager at Majid Al Futtaim, Dubai, UAE.

Section four consists of Merchandise Presentation, Window Displays and other important tools of visual merchandising, including the Quality Management and Standard Operating Procedures. SOP's are highly important for any successful organization, yet it is very rare to find VM related SOP's in any book in India or abroad. This section is introduced by Surender Gnanaolivue, Vice President – Store Development, Mahindra Retail.

The fifth section has incorporated something unusual and exclusive. It is about Experience Economy, Brand Experiences, Experience Design and Experiential Retail. This section is introduced and co-authored by Anurag Sehgal, Founder and Principle Interaction Designer and Puneet Monga, Principle Designer – Interactive Media, Experiential Design Lab Pvt. Ltd.; New Delhi, India & Milan, Italy.



Plano gram: Candles and incense (with Key);
And Implementation of the plano gram:
Merchandise presentation

What makes the book even more interesting is that after each and every chapter, the authors have included the insights of various Visual Merchandisers from the industry. And that is not all! Throughout the book there are some very fascinating facts & tips to improve shop performance from 'WhizBang! Training.

The authors are truly inspired by Martin M. Pegler and his comprehensive book 'Visual Merchandising & Displays'. Authors give all the credits to his books and work, as that's been major resource for all their efforts. The appendices of the book contain some very unique & useful and must-have information for every display person. It covers the 'Resource Guide' which has a list of all related websites, magazines & Trade Shows. The authors have also discussed how to make an impressive 'Resume & Portfolio' and the alternate career options for a visual merchandiser. Also, the extensive glossary available in the end of the book, on the subject is vast.

The composition, layout, printing and the look of the book has been thoughtfully designed by non other than McGraw Hill Education and is priced very reasonably. Even after considering books by many authors being available in the market, this book is far economical and useful in Asian and Indian Context. The book may prove to be a trendsetter in Indian Retail industry.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) details out the flow of activities and should address What, Where, Who, Why, When and How the activities would be performed. Some of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) of VM is depicted in the boxes.   Alixir temporary experiential retail store with an interactive holographic projection and an interactive kiosk.



Visual Merchandising
By Swati Bhalla & Anuraag S, 2009
Price: Rs.399.

The book is available in all leading book stores. You may also order your copy by mailing at [email protected] and sending a DD/Cheque of Rs.435 (including courier charges) in favor of Swati Bhalla at Studio Atomium, 3514, Pyarelal Road, Bank Street, Karol Bagh, New Delhi – 110005 India. The book can also be ordered online through, &



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