Paris: The art of visual merchandising

Posted on September 6, 2014 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

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For years I have wanted to be a visual merchaniser. I even tried to apply for a job, but without previous experiences in the field, it would be hard to land a job in this field unless you are a newly-graduate or willing to work for peanuts.

Visual merchandising is an art yet it is also related to the psychology of selling. Its ultimate goal is to attract potential customers, entice them into the shops to make purchases. It can be highly creative because you are given a confined space, props and merchandise to work with, these limitations provide the best environments for creative experimentations. On my book shelf, I have a book called "Confessions of a Window Dresser" by Simon Doonan, the creative genius behind the most controversial window displays at New York's Barneys. Simon is probably one of the most famous shop dressers in the world. When I was living in New York many years ago, I used to love going to Barneys (and the now closed Takashimaya), partly to check out their inspiring window displays.


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As one of the most artistic cities in the world, Paris' visual merchandising is truly inspirational ( Sorry but London simply cannot match). No matter where you look, from department stores to big fashion houses to boutique shops selling homeware, stationery, antiques and even food, every shop has its own distinctive characters that would differentiate itself from others. Artistic flair is like second nature to the French, it's not something that can be learned or copied.


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I love window shopping in Paris, I don't necessary need to go inside the shops because sometimes it's more pleasurable to simply enjoy the 'theatrical' aspect of the window displays.




Some of the most creative and 'dramatic' displays are often found at the artisan chocolatiers and p√Ętisseries stores. Honestly, just looking at the display would make your mouth water... and it makes you wonder why French women can stay slim all the time?


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Here are only some snap shots that I took during my short stays in the city, so they don't really do them justice. Pre-Christmas is the period when you will find stunning displays everywhere...

The two photos below demonstrate why the French are such creative visual merchandisers... The first one was taken outside a small cobblers shop and second one was the window of a real estate agency. I have never seen a real estate agency in London that has seashells, balloons with descriptions written on chalkboards as their window display! Yet why aren't they doing it? That is the question that I want to know. Do all windows displays of estate agencies have to look so proper and dull? If you want to stand out from the crowd, don't follow others, do something different. Be creative and have fun with it, it might even bring some unexpected surprises!



A cobbler's shop window



A refreshing window display of a real estate agency



This post was posted in Shopping, Travel, Paris, Visual merchandising and was tagged with shopping, paris, visual merchandising