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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Merchandising Tips from Rowena Doyle.....

Get The Right Fit!!!

When preparing for a new fit out think carefully about how you want the store to look and feel, consider the space you have to work with and look around for inspiration. Plan your shop and really focus on your stock, and how best to show it, Lots of stores use the wrong fittings for their products!! Ensure you have enough room to create display areas or locations for visual merchandising that will attract attention, without detracting customers from exploring the rest of the store.

Do customers really notice the difference though? Yes.

They’re never sure why, but they can sense that the shop may feel bigger and suddenly they see items they may have missed before. In my experience I have seen huge reaction to customer’s behaviour once thought and careful consideration has been put into the layout and fit of a shop. Customers want value and choice but they also want it shown to them in a nice environment free from clutter and excess. It’s all about balance.

As soon as you open the door to any business you are inadvertently conducting visual merchandising of some kind, as it’s about the experience you offer your customers. All retailers should look at the way they merchandise; they should have their staff trained in this area so they can give consumers the best service. From shop stores, to fashion to hardware, to even bakery, they all involve visual merchandising techniques of some kind as merchandising is about the whole experience of the store even down to your price signs

SFD is one of the largest shop fitting companies in Europe and Steve Kemp, the Sales Director, has seen his fair share of successful fit outs and some less so.

“Understanding the time the project can take, the preparation is very important to ensure that the store is launched with the best timing at the opportune moment and with maximum impact, it’s imperative that all the building regulations and inspections are carried out at the earliest opportunity before committing to new premises and remember that the right product has to be in for the launch,” warns Steve.

This year SFD designed, produced and installed a groundbreaking new lifestyle store called Iconic in Dubai, and at 70,000sq ft it is completely different from any other stores in the in the Dubai retail scene, aimed at a younger market with high levels of visual merchandising throughout the store.

In terms of favourites, Steve has a few: “There are lots of stores that we think get it right such as the new Luxury department at Brown Thomas & the New Levis Store in Regent Street London, stores that we love are those that push the boundaries such as Anthropologie and a new store called Acne on Dover Street London.

Stores can get it wrong when they become complacent and don’t continually strive to improve; it’s all about delivering the best experience to customer whilst matching the brand expectations to the retail journey to achieve the best results,” he says.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Merchandising Tips from Rowena Doyle !!!!!!!!!!


Visual merchandising can carry the same principles as advertising, graphic design and interior design, the idea is to create a logical and pleasing environment that can grab people’s attention and in return increase sales. In essence there are three simple functions ... entice, impact and inspire!

Bottom of Form

My top tips for merchandising:

1. Keeping it simple

2. Space management

3. Atmosphere

Keeping it simple”

Ask any shopper why their favourite store stands so highly in their regard and they usually reply that it’s easy to find items, the signage is clear and informative and they feel inspired to shop!

According to scientists most people only store around 5 items in their short term memory for around 200-500 milliseconds, so the more you show them the less they will remember.

The most important part of merchandising any product is to keep it simple. Keep your message to the point. Often I see shops where the window or the floor is overloaded with unnecessary items.

Customers may want choice but that choice must be presented in a clear and uncluttered way. Retailers that tend to overload their shop floor can spend up to 90% of their time helping every customer in the store. The clever retailers however are the ones who offer great service but have spent minimal time with their customers – they are “silent selling”. In these stores the merchandise is so well laid out that the consumer is happy picking items themselves, without help from the retailer.

Space management is vital for happy shoppers. This is where you draw your customers around your store and guide them to where you want them to go. It’s all about the way you place your fittings and fixtures and how you merchandise them. There should be a natural flow in your store. If there is then customers will visit every part of it and engage with your products and your brand.

Shopping should be a pleasurable experience. People can be put off by unsuitable music in a store, so it’s crucial to have the right type of background music. Consider your customers and think about the type of music they would enjoy listening to. It should add to the overall experience and not be intrusive so be mindful of the volume too.

Often people say to me “making things look nice must be a rewarding job and I agree it is. However, visual merchandising, unlike display is much more than this it is a mix of science and art and when implemented in the correct way can dramatically change your customer’s behaviour, footfall and bottom line.

Rowena Doyle

Visual Sense

The Girls are back in Town !

The FabLicious Fashion Show


For one night only, Sheila Eustace, Siobhan Mahon, Marie Staunton, Sandra Curley and Sylvia Myers, Maureen Heffernan, are returning to the Irish catwalk. This unique MakeupFabLicious Fashion Event is in aid of the Barnardos children’s charity at The Bar at La Stampa on December 1st.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, these gorgeous models were the original Irish

supermodels, leading the way for the girls of today to follow. It is a real coup to get these

amazing models back on the ramp in support of Barnardos.

And if that wasn't exciting enough news the night will also feature the supermodeling

delights of Louise Loughman, Lisa Cummins, Corina Grant, Jill Diffley and Alison Cavanan, Nicole Lynch and Lynda Duffy all of whom will be styled by Caprice and Kelly Osbourne stylist, Amanda Kevlin.

The Beautiful Glenda Gilson (presenter of XPOSE) will MC the evening along with celebrity hairstylist to the stars Michael Doyle!

The show, produced by Emma and James English of Couleur Productions promises to be the highlight of the fashion year. Sheila Eustace wouldn't have flown specially from her home in Southern Spain otherwise!

Sponsored by and NYC, showcasing the couture collection of our very own Top Irish Designers includes Synan O' Mahony, Richard Lewis, Patrick Casey, and Claire O’Connor along with some of the top Irish boutiques Lara’s Boutique, Audrey Taylor, The Design Centre, Fran and Jane, Kabuki, Olivia Danielle, Couture online, Beverly Hill and Carol Shaw Jewellery , not to mention incredible performance’s from renowned violinist Tara Novak and the Über sexy dancers from Cuban Salsa Ireland,

Naturally, invites to the show are the hottest ticket in town. With the show already almost

sold-out, those expected on the night are a veritable whose-who of both the Irish fashion

and celebrity worlds. Tickets can be purchased from Ticketmaster. VIP tickets for the afterparty are also available from Ticketmaster.

As well as to raise well deserved money for Barnardos, the night is to mark the graduation of the 2010 students at the prestigious MakeupFabLicious Academy in Dublin and the FabLicious Robbie Fox has very kindly donated his new nightclub "The Pink" downstairs in La Stampa. Partying with the fash pack is an option for the ones purchasing the much sought after limited VIP tickets.

For further information about the night you can contact Couleur Productions on 086 37

63343 (Emma English) , 085 1982 623 (James English) Or email them at

To find out more about MakeupFabLicious please visit their web site

Nickys Rag Tales

Ok, I admit there was a hell of a lot of bad news floating around this week and there were moments when I could almost taste the despair as I binged on one news programme after another which all promised Armageddon.

I could have stayed at home and curled up under the duvet but it didn’t take much to refocus my mind to business and get back to doing what I do and enjoying the challenge. Yummie Tummie orders are flowing in following huge press following Heather Thomsons visit a few weeks ago. Oprah has chosen one of the tanks as one of her favorite things again!! Of course product is king and this week I have been offered three really great new Agencies. One thing is for sure by the start of 2011 I will have several top brands on a short order basis and one strong forward order collection. This is the way business has moved on. When I started as an agent fifteen years ago everything was based on the forward order basis. Now it’s one to three weeks with all goods pre paid for. This is a healthy way for both the retailers and the agents/wholesalers. You buy what you need when you need it, sell it and buy again. It all reminds me of the story of the Elves and the Shoemaker. Do you remember that fairy tale?. The Elves made a pair of shoes when the shoemaker was down to his last piece of leather. The shoes were so good they sold and the money bought enough leather for two pairs of shoes which the Elves kindly made and so on and so on.

So the motto of the tale is keep close to what your customers want and need, keep good stock control and re-order just enough of what you need.

Have a fashionable week ahead….

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Occasions Boutique Galway Winter Sale!!!!!!!!!

Occasions Boutique in Galway City is having a massive Winter Sale!! They are offering up to 70% discount off all stock and have a half price rail with many items €99!! Occasions are Galway’s specialists in Occasion Wear so make sure you avail of this enormous discount and browse through there elegant Winter ranges.

Occasions Boutique 1 Middle Street Galway Tel: 091 563311