Visual merchandising has transformed into one of the most popular career options in the recent times. Explore about the details of courses, colleges, and opportunities in this creative field, with this article.


Careers in Visual Merchandising

The art of promoting the sale of goods in a stimulating and engaging manner for its customers can best be tagged as visual merchandising. It motivates merchandisers, creates desire, and, most importantly, enhances the selling process by presenting the end products in a striking and appealing manner. The visual merchandisers are coordinators, who are involved in each and every stage of the productís development, right from concept to sales, and creatively play with the arts and science of suggestive selling through attractive display and presentation style. These professionals can work in mutate settings ranging from brick and mortar retail stores to regular boutiques, online fashion stores, and high-end fashion boutiques.

Considering the demands of the Indian textile and clothing industry, particularly the small scale enterprises which require adequate knowledge and expertise in display and communication at various national and international exhibitions, quality visual merchandisers are in high demand. Any candidate, with above average abilities for artistic expression, good improvising, and experimenting skills to create dramatic effects without compromising on the functionality of the store or the visibility or accessibility of the products, can become a budding visual merchandiser.

Course Details
A number of certificate and diploma programs are offered by numerous institutions in India. Candidates, who have completed their 10+2 examination from a recognized Institution in any discipline, are eligible for visual merchandising courses. Besides the educational qualifications, one must possess an aptitude towards designing and a brilliant sense of creativity. Interested candidates can pursue a Bachelorís degree program in fashion design or technology where visual merchandising is taught as one of the major papers. Some institutes also offer two-year associate degree programs in fashion merchandising. Furthermore, many institutes conduct an aptitude test and interviews for enrolling candidates into various levels of courses. Crash courses, too, can be imparted for working students and professionals.

Career Prospects
With the widely accepted concept of visual merchandising in India, numerous job opportunities are available for youngsters entering this creative and productive field. Visual merchandisers are usually employed at retail stores as the store's brand gatekeeper, who is responsible for the projected image and style of the company. Employment in visual merchandising is growing faster than the average, with the increase in the number of shopping malls, five star hotels, boutiques, discotheques, and retail outlets. Increasing visual merchandising jobs are generated because of the emerging interests of people in the fashion industry. Whatís more, visual merchandisers can find umpteen opportunities in online retail space. Specialists in merchandising are highly needed in Internet, credit card penetration, and electronic payment processing systems. Plus, they also have the option of joining an interior design company, architecture firm, or starting their own business.

Top Colleges Offering UG/PG/Other Courses
Numerous prestigious institutes across India offer various courses in visual merchandising. These include: KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research, Mumbai; Arch Academy of Fashion Art Design, Jaipur; JD Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi; National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFD), Chandigarh; National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) at New Delhi, Bangalore, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, and Chennai; Mudra Institute of Communication, Ahmedabad; Footwear Design & Development Institute, Noida; Wigan & Leigh College at New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, bangalore, Hyderabad, and Pune; Pearl Academy of Fashion, New Delhi; and Garware Institute of Career Education and Development, Mumbai.

Remuneration
With the constant mushrooming of the retail industry across the world, visual merchandising has become a very remunerative career option. At early stages of the career, one can earn around Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 8,000 per month, which increases with experience. But as a floor manager, one can easily get a monthly salary package of Rs. 10,000-15,000 in the beginning. With experience in retail or fashion designing, one can start with a high pay package at shopping malls and large retail stores. Upon being promoted to managerial positions with higher responsibilities, this profession can reward competent visual merchandisers with handsome salary packets. One can even work as a freelancer from the convenience of his/her home.

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