At the top end of the market, there are times when it might seem that success in visual merchandising is posited upon throwing large amounts of time and money at a window.
They stand back and hope that people will notice. And generally they will, but at a price.
For mass merchants things can be more complex. A window scheme needs to be noticed, but funds are
not merely unlimited - at many retailers they have probably been pared back from a budget that was tight to start with.
Step forward Topshop/Topman Oxford Circus, which starts as a flagship but does provide pointers for what’s happening at the rest of the retailer and which majors, for the most part, on extreme simplicity and a good idea.
There are two major windows, on either side of the main entrance, with Topman to the right and Topshop stock to the left. Both are mannequin-heavy and have a single feature that makes you notice what has been done. In the case of Topman, an army of mannequins stare eyelessly heavenwards towards minimalist lines of white neon tubes, while in the Topshop windows the figures are organised on ascending white plinths.
The point about both is that the simplicity of what has been done allows the stock to speak for itself and the groups become small, regimented, eye-catching platoons. The notion of over-elaborate scene setting is immediately dispelled and the onlooker is left with little choice but to stare at the new-season collections.
Sometimes, it’s the clothes that matter in a fashion window.
This is a store that answers the shoppers’ demand - ‘give me a reason to come into your store’.