Visual merchandising is all too often related only to jobs with stores, but in reality there are limitless job opportunities. While stores of all kinds do hire visual merchandisers, however, museums, catalog companies, interior design firms, florists, advertising agencies, fashion designers, fashion design companies, event planners, etc. also hire visual merchandisers. These companies hire people with a visual merchandising, interior design, production design or fine art background/degree. These are the people that are my competition. Although, stores don’t require a degree or any background since their openings are typically entry-level (Time, “The Pay Scale for Visual Merchandisers”). At the corporate level, extensive experience and sometimes a degree is necessary.
According to Schwabe, a lot of people get into this field with a background in theatrical lighting or set design since it is a great way to get hands-on experience in sculpture, painting, signage and lighting (Schwabe, “Visual Merchandising). A great example that Schwabe gives is th...
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...the primary sponsor for The Global Shop trade show makes it the best association membership option for a visual merchandiser. The events, networking and benefits like discounted WindowsWear Pro and Material Connexion that members enjoy are industry specific and are great resources for a visual merchandiser.
There are a few trade magazine geared towards visual merchandising and retail design. The most popular being Visual Merchandising and Store Design or VMSD. Another well-known magazine in the industry is Design: Retail Magazine. VMSD and Design: Retail have very similar content. Both report on industry news, buyer’s guides, new products, trends, events and information on new industry players. VMSD, however, also reports on the latest in store design and visuals, merchandising strategies (ST Media Group International, "Headlines & Hot Topics”).
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