Visual Merchandising for High Street vs. High-End Retailers

At Proportion London, we know a lot about visual merchandising. We live and breathe it, so we talk about it – a lot. Visual merchandising is an important factor in retail, but do the visual merchandising strategies used change depending on whether the store is high street or high-end? Let’s find out!

What is visual merchandising?

Visual merchandising is the strategic design and presentation of retail environments in order to attract customers and boost sales. It can be used across both in-store and online experiences, and encompasses a range of features such as lighting, colour, signage, space and positioning in order to draw attention to a product or range of products.

Store layout and design in high street stores

Often, in high street stores, the focus is on showcasing a high volume of products. This means that the environment is usually spacious, but full, and the layout is designed in a way to make it easy for customers to navigate the store.

Store layout and design in high-end stores

High end stores, on the other hand, tend to invest more into a unique, luxurious store design. This usually includes a more open layout with larger product displays and seating areas for a more personalised experience. The aim with high-end stores is to create an atmosphere of exclusivity.

Luxury high end store layoutVisual displays in high street stores

Function is at the forefront of most displays in a high street environment. They display a wide range of products, often through straightforward arrangements or ‘best seller’ displays.

high street shop layoutVisual displays in high-end stores

High end stores have a greater emphasis on creativity in their visual displays. Each display is curated with careful attention to detail and the use of premium, luxury materials. The aim of the displays in high-end stores isn’t always to be functional, but more to evoke emotions through telling a story that contributes to the overall brand image.

Lighting in high street stores

Again, lighting in high street stores is designed to be functional, with the primary goal being to have good visibility of products to increase the likelihood of a sale. It is usually bright and uniform throughout the store.

Lighting in high street shopsLighting in high-end stores

High-end stores usually introduce lighting as another design element. Because it is used in this way, different lighting techniques are used to create ambiance, highlight specific products and draw attention to details. Lighting in high-end stores tends to be warmer, and not as bright in order to create a more exclusive, luxury atmosphere.

Lighting in high end luxury shopsProduct placement in high street stores

High street stores usually place products in straightforward categories in order to make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for. They also usually place smaller, more ‘essential’ products along the queue for the till, so that customers pick up additional items whilst waiting to pay.

Product placement in high-end stores

In more luxury stores, products are often grouped based on themes, colours or materials, rather than by use. This is done with the aim of creating more visually striking displays and encouraging exploration and discovery.

Customer interaction in high street stores

Interaction between customers and staff in high street stores tends to be transactionally focused, with attention more on efficient customer service than anCustomer service in high street storesything more.

Customer interaction in high-end stores

In luxury stores, the focus is on creating a personalised experience for customers. Staff members are often trained to provide a higher level of service, offering expertise, recommendations and a more tailored shopping experience.

Customer service in high end storesHow Proportion London can help

Whilst the elements of visual merchandising are the same across both high street and high end stores, the way that these strategies are implemented and the design and layout of the stores is what sets luxury stores apart.

Our collections feature a diverse array of mannequins, available for purchase or hire, tailored to meet your specific needs. But we can also go one step further. We’ve partnered with our clients in crafting enthralling showcases across high street shops, luxury retail spaces, museums, and displays. 

Reach out to us today to initiate a conversation about your requirements and unearth the ways we can help you.

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