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How to be a visual director

This week Charlotte Yates, digital, marketing and visual merchandising consultant at Success Apointments, tells you how to land a role as a visual director.

“To pursue a career in visual merchandising [VM] you need to have a real passion for retail, a strong creative eye and commercial understanding. Most VM’s have started their careers on the shop floor and worked their way up into more senior head office based positions.

There are many ways you can get yourself into the industry; to start you could take a creative course at University for example in Fashion Retail or a Retail Design qualification. But the best way is to have on the job training and to get a junior level head office based VM role.

As VM director you are accountable for the strategic visual creative direction of the stores. It is your job to know what the consumer trends are, and employers will look for someone who is highly creative and engaging, yet commercial.

Day to day you will take part in weekly trade meetings, and will work alongside different departments including buying and merchandising to discuss the new ranges and with marketing on all new campaigns being produced. You will set the creative direction for new window and in store schemes and be part of the process of producing monthly guidelines which will be sent out to stores.

Salaries vary depending on the size of the retailer and team you manage, but [you can expect] anywhere from £65,000+.”

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