Staff employed as Visual Merchandisers, help to design the displays found inside of shops and in shop windows. They are responsible for presenting goods in a way that entices customers and maximises retail sales.
Visual retail professionals, usually enter into their careers through a background in design or by working their way up the career ladder following taking on an assistant's position in the retail industry. Foundation degrees and degrees in visual merchandising are appropriate qualifications for this line of work, as are qualifications from the British Display Society (BDS). New recruits usually develop their skills on-the-job, with many large retail companies providing structured training programmes for their staff.
Visual merchandisers tend to be employed by fashion and homeware stores. In large retail stores, visual merchandisers may work independently or as part of a large team. Those in full-time positions may work between 37 and 40 hours a week. Late evening work is commonplace as displays tend to be set up when stores are closed to the general public. Part-time work is often available. Employment openings tend to be advertised through design and retail trade publications and recruitment agencies specialising in retail jobs.
Starting salaries for staff involved in creating visual displays are between £12,000 and £16,000 a year, rising to around £20,000 a year for those with experience. Visual merchandising managers may earn up to £45,000 a year.