Anna Balandina: How to Turn a Store into a Brand

Anna Balandina: How to Turn a Store into a Brand

The visual merchandising seminars traditionally are one of the popular events of the Exhibition. The seminars are held by Anna Balandina, VM Guru Agency founder and head, a leading practical expert in commercial VM. At this spring Exhibition, Anna will talk about the new reality of offline retail and the technology of visual merchandising serving to increase sales in stores for children. Anna's expert opinion describes the mistakes that should be avoided, she recommends the stores for children how to attract the buyers; she has helped dozens of brands and outlets to blossom forth.

First, let's determine the main feature of the visual merchandising in the stores for children. First of all, in the maximum completeness: the more sets for children you will form and imagine, the more the models will be compatible, the better your sales will be. Children's clothing is sold well in sets. Indeed, many parents cannot determine exactly what a child needs; the task of the store is to help the customer make a complex purchase. In each trading zone, you should not only report the name of this zone, but create an emotional magnet using visual merchandising tools: POS materials, various styles of zones, creative navigation, decorative VM elements, and emotional zones of active purchase.

How can a new store make its name, attract attention using VM technology?

In any case, the entrepreneurs should tend to make up an effective store, and to turn it into a brand. The store design must be unique, memorable, and it should reflect your brand values. In order to attract and to keep children-customers in the store, today we need an interesting shopping concept and an interactive relaxation area inside.

There are certain trends in the design of the stores for children, for example, eco-design is very attractive. It is important for the store to fully correspond to this idea, there should be goods made of natural materials and an appropriate packaging.

For children 7-12 years old, computer zones with iPad and computer games work best. We can take as an example the new trading concept of Mango Kids, where they made an interactive zone for children: theres a round children's table with built-in iPads and multi-colored chairs around the perimeter. Modern children (Generation Z) are attracted by new toys, and if you think your brand is modern and fashionable, keep up with your little customers. All design ideas are usually made up for adults, although it is the children-customers who should like them.

- What mistakes can become critical when making up a store?

First of all, it is overstocking. If the store is overstocked by more than 15 percent, visually you will not be able to hide it, and overloading with the goods will slow down your sales. At the time you are designing the store it is necessary to understand the optimal capacity of the retail space, to take into account the desired numbers, check whether they meet the realities of the shopping concept and the standards of the fashion segment in which the store operates. Maximum capacity does not mean maximum sales, on the contrary.

There are more mistakes, which are quite important to note: the entrance area is unemotional, the shop windows are not worked out well enough, and the lighting is cold and poor: these are critical mistakes for a store. Each square meter of the floor space should work and sell efficiently. It is important to work out both the emotional and commercial components in the design project of a children's store.

More information about visual merchandising will be available at the Seminar on February 26th. Anna Balandinas seasonal intensive visual merchandising workshops will be held in March, you can sign up at