Sunday, December 03, 2023


Blending art & structural engineering

By N Jayalakshmi | March 23, 2023

Gouthamraj Kulal, Head of Visual Merchandising and Experience Design at Centro, shares details of this VM installation executed across 31 Centro stores. 

For a Visual Merchandiser today, every installation is an opportunity to express the possibilities when art, storytelling and technology come together. This VM installation executed at 31 Centro stores across the country was conceived as part of the campaign concept ‘New & Slay Ready’ and is an amalgamation of art, fashion and structural engineering. As Gouthamraj Kulal, Head of Visual Merchandising and Experience Design at Centro, now a part of Reliance Retail, says, while sharing details of the VM project, “I have always merged art and fashion through the use of different materials, as I believe, there are no boundaries when it comes to art, and this time I wanted to combine structural engineering with art and fashion. This installation is a result of that: Art + Fashion + LPM (Low-Poly Model). He adds, elaborating, “Visual Merchandising is an art and therefore always evolving - creating new amalgamations of mediums into final installations. While marrying fashion and structural engineering, I was sure it was going to deliver promising results.” 

Visual merchandising window display

Charting clear objectives 

Well, results often have to do with the set objectives in the first place. Talking about the objectives behind this installation, Gouthamraj says, “Our regional & store VM teams had to feel ecstatic while executing the installation, and once installed, shoppers walking into our stores had to get attracted to the unique, vibrant & multi-hued installations.” Well going by the impact, the objectives certainly seem to have been met. As Gouthamraj adds, “While direct impact of installations on sales cannot be measured, there is an upward trend in fresh fashion sales. Shoppers appreciated the displays and commented that they were no less than global standards.”  

Window display

Speaking about executing the installation, he sums it up rather simply, “An engineering drawing for each character which was later fabricated in 10mm square mild steel bars, multi-colour acrylic cladding, LED lights, that’s all.”

Inside look

Evolving role of VM 

On a broader note, addressing the question of whether the role of VM is evolving, Gouthamraj says, “Anything which doesn’t evolve won’t sustain. VM currently is not just about curating aspirational touch points, it’s about spreading the aura of the season/campaign across the store – from the entrance to the last fixture in a large store like Centro. It’s solely the visual merchandiser’s responsibility to convey the brand story to shoppers in every nook & corner of the store.” Finally, talking about the game changers in VM he sums up, “Well, I would say the change has begun, and the biggest game changer would be premiumization of Indian retail where minimal yet effective displays will take centre-stage.”


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