Merchandise Displayers and Window Trimmers

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Also known as:
Display Artist, Display Decorator, Display Designer, Display Specialist, Mannequin Decorator, Merchandise Displayer, Show Floor Decorator, Visual Merchandiser, Visual Merchandising Specialist, Window Decorator

Video transcript

Store window displays can be as elaborate as a theatrical production, or they can be straightforward presentations of what's for sale and for how much. But somebody has to put those things in the window, and that person is called a window trimmer. The goal is to catch the eye and make merchandise look irresistible.

It's a job that requires creativity, the ability to work under pressure, and marketing skills. You need to understand what kind of shopper the store want's to attract. Teenagers? Young professionals? The window has to make the connection, and often it reinforces advertising in other media. And the goods inside the store should be arranged attractively too.

A display designer needs to be able to determine the kind of shopping done at a particular store so the displays work well for both customers and sales people. Small stores often handle their own displays with employees who have other duties, but there are full -time merchandise display designers and window trimmers at department stores and retail chains.

A related profession is designing displays for trade shows. These are conventions that focus on particular industries with multiple booths completing for attention, a designer who can make a booth stand out can make a big difference.

A wide variety of backgrounds can serve as a foundation for this field, from on-the-job training to formal design education or even set-design classes at art or drama schools. In fact, display design can be a steppingstone toward other design or marketing careers at the company where you start, or beyond.

Plan and erect commercial displays, such as those in windows and interiors of retail stores and at trade exhibitions.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
Daily tasks

Obtain plans from display designers or display managers and discuss their implementation with clients or supervisors.

Take photographs of displays or signage.

Select themes, lighting, colors, or props to be used.

Consult with advertising or sales staff to determine type of merchandise to be featured and time and place for each display.

Develop ideas or plans for merchandise displays or window decorations.

Place prices or descriptive signs on backdrops, fixtures, merchandise, or floor.

Construct or assemble displays or display components from fabric, glass, paper, or plastic, using hand tools or woodworking power tools, according to specifications.

Maintain props, products, or mannequins, inspecting them for imperfections, doing touch-ups, cleaning up after customers, or applying preservative coatings as necessary.

Collaborate with others to obtain products or other display items.

Assemble or set up displays, furniture, or products in store space, using colors, lights, pictures, or other accessories to display the product.

Change or rotate window displays, interior display areas, or signage to reflect changes in inventory or promotion.

Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.