Visual Merchandisers generally work to creatively present merchandise in a retail, promotional or similar environment. Practitioners in this field present merchandise in a variety of ways using colour, brand, style and price, in various settings, from in-store merchandising ‘stories’ by merchandise category. Display windows are also part of the responsibility of the Visual Merchandiser. Practitioners in this field need to think on their feet and love working with their hands and be flexible in their approach to the job.
The course objective is to develop skills and knowledge in the following areas:
- up-to-date merchandising and presentation techniques
- sound design principles with regard to visual merchandising
- up-to-date knowledge of a broad range of fixturing, mannequins and body forms
- the concept of commercial creativity with regard to visual merchandising.
Visual merchandising is a term used by industry practitioners for occupations in the creative presentation of goods and services, including visual merchandiser, window dresser, exhibition and special event designer and installation worker, creative stylist, and freelance visual merchandiser. The course aims to develop multi-skilled, creative individuals who will be flexible in their approach to work within the industry.
Who would this course suit?
Visual Merchandising is a good option for anyone who:
- has a strong sense of style, creativity, colour and design
- enjoys the fast-paced, ever changing nature of retail
- has a good eye for detail
- likes working with their hands and is physically fit.
From 2011, the Visual Merchandising course will occupy a newly refurbished space at Adelaide City Campus. The program will share this space with the Textile, Clothing, and Footwear and Fashion Retail courses, previously located at Marleston campus. This will create opportunities for strong synergies across these range of courses.
The new facilities will be designed to simulate, as closely as possible, the working environment that a practitioner in this business would experience.
Due to strong industry links over the twenty-plus years the course has been running, graduates of Visual Merchandising have found employment at the businesses listed below. Some freelancing opportunities may also exist on a full-time or part-time basis.
The Visual Merchandising course has strong links with its related sectors of the retail industry. The course receives ongoing support from the following retailers:
- Country Road
- David Jones
- Freedom Furniture
- French Connection
- Harris Scarfe
- Wheel & Barrow
This support is generally in the form of a work placement program, which is a mutually beneficial exercise to both the retailer and TAFE. This exercise is valuable to students because they get to work alongside industry practitioners, many of whom have completed the Diploma of Visual Merchandising.
The relocation of the Visual Merchandising course to TAFE Adelaide Campus for 2011 will present the opportunity to further strengthen industry collaboration. The possibility also exists for project work with other local retailers and businesses.