While researching visual merchandising best practices and gathering ideas for creative window displays, we realized that there are very little resources that would help us pinpoint the differences when it comes to visual merchandising in different continents, not to mention countries. So we set out to gather as many examples from around that world and after a grueling search, we’ve come up with some surprising conclusions, listed below. We’re also going to link over 10 galleries of window display designs and visual merchandising examples around the world at the end of the article, so don’t stop scrolling!
Back to the main idea…are the United States different? The answer is YES and in quite a few ways. But the most significant difference that stands out is the way that retailers perceive and use the selling technique depending on the area where their stores are.
We can take the example of the same famous brand which has opened stores worldwide but knows it has to deal with a number of potential customers who are not the same and of course they have different needs. Did they manage to get their attention and turn them into buyers? What issues they had to take care? Let’s talk about that and the differences:
#1. Culture Always Seeps Into Design
Asia, from this point of view, is considered a true heritage of many nationalities, societies and ethnic groups. Let’s check out some traditions that retailers use in their favor. Chinese New Year – most important yearly festival, decorations for such an event are essential. The best idea is to arrange your window for this period so you create maximum visual impact to passersby. Other themes that can be adopted are those of kung fu, tea time, accessories made of origami, fans, dragons and the list goes on.
#2. There’s Always A Story
Europe and the US are recognized for this quality: many things and design elements come together to tell a story. Holidays like Halloween or Valentine’s Day offers the chance to be very creative each time coming up with something new and improved. It’s not enough to add characteristic elements, all kinds of red stuff or hearts for examples, the idea is to choose the right ones that create a bigger picture which stands out.
#3. Media Inspiration Is Common
It’s no longer a novelty to find themes among US store such as successful movies, bestselling books and especially celebrities from television, musicians that have their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Yet, this is a prevalent characteristic mostly in the United States.
#4. Colors Are A Must. Or Are They?
For Europeans and Americans it is very important to find a balance between colors. You can’t make a rainbow in your own window (some do, but they really shouldn’t), it must have a “symmetry of color” and carefully alternate with dark, light, warm or cold. But we didn’t find the same thing in Asia, where India’s Holi festival brings together people who play with colours, dance and sing. Thus, no retailer misses the opportunity to cover his store in the most garish colors there.
#5. Tourist Attractions Are A Common Thing
The most useful idea is to create a decor of the attractions found in that country. Eiffel Tower for Paris- France stores, Taj Mahal for Agra-India and so on. All in all, a common thing pretty much everywhere.
#6. Keeping It Simple – A Western Trademark?
Both Europeans and some American brands try to avoid congestion in window displays. Eventually, creates a focal point to attract attention, it can be turned into one product, for instance, something that is part of the new collection or is representative of the store offer. In conclusion, they choose to keep simplicity first.
#7. Dare To Be Different Or Stay Conservative?
Bond Street and Oxford Street in London are some of the most incredible streets where you can see some brilliant customized window displays where famous brands compete with each other.
#8. Store design – from minimal to absolute clutter
Depending on what you sell, you can arrange your store to highlight products. You can’t neglect this and use the same classical supports or mannequins. The difference can be observed between the shops that sell traditional items of clothing. For example, we have “saree” from India or “kimonos” from Japan.
#9. You Can Always Find Something Special Everywhere
In London, Dior is the sensation. The artist Jean Michel Othoniel has managed to amaze through his own creation, a precious dress with a luminous aura seemed made of gold thread floating in the air in feminine curves.
#10. Our Little Journey Across The Retail World
Let’s get to what interests you most: country specific galleries. We’ve collected and sorted lots of interest displays, store designs and visual merchandising examples from more than 10 representative countries. Enjoy!