There's a second part of the equation, one that is oh so subliminal, and it is just as important because it totally drives our purchases. It's definitely part of what makes shopping fun--I mean you can shop without buying, it is after all called window shopping-- it's the visual display and the potential thrill of new objects that really pulls us in. Merchandising is an art and it is important.
It's also a talent. Remember Jingle Balls? It was the episode of Will & Grace when Jack somehow got recruited by the snarky Barney’s manager played by Parker Posey to do the holiday display window. With his infinite immodesty Jack thought he could do the window himself and had to be rescued by his Interior Designer friend Grace. Naturally, Grace’s window was perfect, Jack got to take credit, and Will & Grace end up kissing at the end of the show.
As art does imitate life, there are real people out there who live for this kind of work—to inspire us to shop! My friend and colleague Brenda Houston is one of these designers and she specializes in visual merchandising. Brenda has worked around the world, is an award-winning designer, and her specialty is conveying brand identity.
Check out her work at Baby Guess. It’s so cute it makes me want to have a baby! I mean, I’ll take one of everything in that store!
I might not think about it when I shop, but the whole experience is absolutely sensory overload, and for me, pure escapism!