skillVM Visual Merchandising Competition

Visual Merchandising

Visual Merchandising6 finalists are set to battle for top honours at a competition to find the nation’s most highly skilled window dresser – known in the industry as Visual Merchandising.

Launched by Mary ‘Queen of Shops’ Portas, the final will see the best student and professional visual merchandisers from across the UK create window displays against the clock and judged by industry professionals at the annual event at London’s Olympia.

Visual merchandising encompasses everything from window dressing to in-store displays. Visual Merchandisers can change the fortunes of any shop and the people behind the displays are the unsung heroes of retail. As well finding the UK’s best visual merchandisers, skillVM could also prove the springboard to success on a global level with the WorldSkills competition coming to London in 2011.

WorldSkills is an international competition pitting the world’s most highly skilled hairdressers, bricklayers, mechanics, visual merchandisers among others to be recognised as the best in their fields. Held every two years, WorldSkills will take place in Calgary in 2009 before coming to London in 2011.

Now in its second year, the skillVM (Skillsmart Retail’s Visual Merchandising Competition) competition is organised and run by Skillsmart Retail, the Sector Skills Council for Retail. The regional heats took place in Dundee, Belfast, Manchester, Cardiff and Kent to find the best-of-the-best to travel to London for the grand finale. The final is held over two days at London’s Olympia.

There are an estimated 22,000 visual merchandisers in the UK and the Sector Skills Council has called on retailers to continue investing in their skills to help them prepare for the economic upturn.

For more information visit skillVM.

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