Visual Retailing Participates in the
ICBA Visual Merchandising Institute: US
The Independent College Bookstore Association of North America (ICBA) recently held their annual conference in Anaheim, California. ICBA represents approximately 160 independent college bookstores all of which face many challenges. A common key issue is the visual presentation of products coupled with space management.
During the conference, ICBA arranged for a special day and a half seminar to explain the important role that visual merchandising plays as a “silent salesperson”. Through a series of lectures, discussions, and hands-on exercises, the Institute covered the fundamentals of traditional visual merchandising. Additionally, attendees discovered new concepts, new technologies, and new methodologies that increase the bottom line through improved assortment planning, better space planning and management, inspirational product presentation, and leverage analytics to improve overall performance.
The Institute was hosted by Jon Bibo, Chief Operating Officer of the ICBA and Paula Taylor, renowned retail industry executive and visual merchandising consultant.
An integral portion of the seminar was presented by Visual Retailing.
Using its MockShop software, Visual Retailing recreated in 3D, an actual college bookstore, complete with fixtures and VM props. Thanks to the software’s easy to use drag and drop feature, participants were able to create and test compelling visual presentations to enhance the customer experience.
In keeping with one of the seminar’s theme, the software was also used to demonstrate the power of automatically generated statistical and analytical information enabling the modern visual merchandiser to leverage their creativity with meaningful data for cross functional collaboration and business improvement. In addition, participants learned how to create crystal clear visual merchandising directives to ensure accurate execution by even the newest student associate.
Overall the institute was a great success and attendees took away key VM principles which they learnt could be validated in their “virtual” stores before any actual execution.
As a partner of Visual Retailing, ICBA will be afforded the opportunity to share the best-selling VM software with select, nationwide college and campus bookstores in order to help them thrive. Additionally, the company enjoys knowing that the academic knowledge that comes with using the software solution will only aid in enhancing the customer experience as well as introducing students to the important retail aspect that is visual merchandising.
“Being able to tie-in visual merchandising strategies with proper assortment and financial planning is essential to the success of college stores and retailers in general. Visual Retailing’s well-designed tools and virtual environment enables the Visual Merchandising Institute students to engage in creative and analytical ways that would not otherwise be possible. It’s very exciting technology,” Jon Bibo.