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Visual Merchandising: Exploring the Future of Retail

Students studying visual merchandising

Course description

This course will introduce you to the challenges and exciting developments within the retail sector with particular focus on innovative visual communication methods and visual merchandising strategies. The project provides you with the opportunity to explore the key market insights that are driving change within the retail sector to determine the recipe for innovating in today’s challenging retail environment and to consider how physical retail can evolve.

What will you study?

Week 1

You will be introduced to the basic principles of visual merchandising and display and explore the current shift within the retail sector from traditional retail environments to curated spaces. In the first week we will introduce you to the innovators and thought leaders who are shaping the future of the retail sector and you will gain a thorough understanding of visual merchandising, its practical application and the different roles of the visual merchandiser.

Week 2

You will begin to record and analyse research and explore creating themes, space planning and management. In addition, field trips will be planned to allow you to build upon your knowledge using the numerous department stores within the city. Your tutors will guide you in preparing your field work. This will help you form the foundation for your theme and build the framework for your retail concepts and your visual communication strategy.

Week 3

You will learn to apply your research for a specific retail brand and turn your insights into retail concepts and visual communication strategies. Your tutors will guide you through this process via workshops and tutorials. You will create a research report and design a visual merchandising strategy that you will present at the end of the course to your peers and tutors.

Tutor Description

Vita Woods is a product innovator, experienced in developing and delivering original brand building concepts for fashion, retail and sustainability. For over 7 years she has worked for the luxury department store Selfridges & Co, bridging the Creative and Buying Teams, where she has specialised in concept development, product direction and project curation. Passionate about the environment, for the past 2 years she has also been shaping and sharing Selfridge’s sustainability agenda to drive change within the retail industry. Vita marries creativity with commerce and has a proven track record in working with brands to inspire, develop and deliver product initiatives at the forefront of fashion.

Additional Information

Academic status: Non-credit bearing
Faculty: Arts, Design and Media 

Dates: 22 July to 9 August 2019 (three weeks)
Venue: City Centre (Parkside Building)
English language requirements: IELTS 5.5 or equivalent

Academic pre-requisites: Level 4 or equivalent
Fee: £2,300