Modern Retail Interview: David Anthony

David Anthony, VM

Company Name: David Anthony Creative

Interview Contact Name and Job Title: David Anthony – Freelance Visual Merchandiser and Consultant

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Modern Retail has a catch up with editorial board member and VM expert David Anthony, as we launch our new store showcase feature where he shows the best of London’s Brands and Stores!

MR: Since we last spoke what has been your best achievement?

DA: Becoming an Executive Council Member of The British Display Society.

MR: You’ve had a great VM experience with theatre too, how do you think this has helped you with VM in retail?

 DA: Visual Merchandising is retail theatre and set design has always been at the core of the early days of window dressing as it became a vocation within itself.

MR: Where do you see the future of visual merchandising 10-15 years from now with the increase in online retail?

DA: It’s all about the environment, atmosphere and experience…customers want to be entertained and inspired, the more brands care about customers through engaging them with an artistic interactive presentation they’ll always have the edge over online content only.

MR: With the growth in eCommerce, how do visual merchandisers keep brick and mortar relevant?

 DA: Make it a lifestyle destination!

MR: Do you think there could be a transformation in VM making it more relevant for an online shop? How?

DA: VM is about thought-provoking design catching people’s attention and retail is about touch and the sensory experience in a 3D environment, if this can be brought to life online through the dynamics of graphics and ‘touring’ a shop model space online could better its experience, unfortunately, there’s only remote feeling through the computer screen.

MR: Is there a difference between a Visual Merchandiser and Fashion Merchandiser?

DA: A Merchandiser is usually classed as a buyer or stylist whereas VM encompasses everything about the brand and store experience from a visual point of view, they’re completely different roles and there’s more to VM than just the world of fashion it’s hands-on, creative and hard work!

MR: Do you think there is a difference between the Visual Merchandising language for female and male customers?

DA: In this day and age, there shouldn’t be but there will always be different styles between the two sexes so therefore they would naturally be presented differently according to the feeling that evokes in the retail environment.