Teen Vogue X Parsons: Retail Marketing

After studying visual merchandising for this assignment, I went to a nearby mall to scout out some creative displays. There were a lot of summer sales happening, so many of the store’s windows were filled with signage promoting their discounts for Fourth of July. The stores I visited, which included H&M, Forever 21, and The Loft, all had large sale sections with very few visual displays. Most of the signs in the store played off of the windows to remind customers about their deals.

Because so many of the retailers I visited were repeating many of the same visual techniques, the merchandising at Macy’s really stuck out to me. The department store’s first-floor windows were filled with warm-weather clothing for men and women, bright colors, and various sizes and colors of floating tubes for the swimming pool.

This imagery in the display, which drew me into the store, was continued throughout Macy’s departments. As a shopper, I enjoyed following the pool floats throughout the store and seeing where they led. From a retailers standpoint, I can also see why they were an effective way to display merchandise. The circular shape of the pool floats allowed the visual merchandising team to frame various mannequins and signs, (see below). This is an effective way to draw shoppers into marketing materials they may otherwise ignore. Some of the signs in the pool floaties were listing “must-haves,” such as off the shoulder tops, statement one pieces, novelty tee/dresses, etc. These materials, along with the mannequins displayed in front of them, let shoppers know what Macy’s has in store and how to style the pieces. Ideally, shoppers will look at the displays and be encouraged to buy more items.

Overall, I thought this was a really smart and fresh take on summer retail marketing. The pool floats are instantly recognizable, but they’re still fun and unexpected for Macy’s. Plus, the display is still informative and helping the company share it’s marketing information.

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