Merchandising Know-How: Read all about it!

As you know, it's hard to find books about merchandising. You can't go to your local bookstore and just come across them. Amazon has more than 40 books on visual merchandising and store design, but it's hard to know which ones are going to be the most helpful. So, here are some of the books that have proven most helpful to me along with two new ones I recommend.
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As you know, it's hard to find books about merchandising. You can't go to your local bookstore and just come across them. Amazon has more than 40 books on visual merchandising and store design, but it's hard to know which ones are going to be the most helpful. So, here are some of the books that have proven most helpful to me along with two new ones I recommend.

Store Planning Workbook for Sporting Goods Retailers
By John A. Chipman, AIA, ISP
Prepared by the NSGA
1699 Wall Street
Mount Prospect, IL 60056

This book isn't fancy. It has no color photographs. Instead, it contains black and white photos and illustrations but its strength is its grassroots approach to planning, outfitting, arranging and merchandising a sporting goods or outdoor store. If you're planning to remodel your store or move to a new location, you'll want to read the chapters about building codes and selecting a contractor.

Silent Selling: The Complete Guide to Fashion Merchandise Presentation
By Judith Bell
Available at Amazon.com or at www.stmediagroup.com/stbooks

Author Judith Bell is well known and respected in the merchandising industry and has headed Target's merchandising department for a number of years. As outdoor stores carry more softgoods and women's apparel becomes a larger part of their inventory, a book dealing specifically with merchandising and displaying apparel is an important one to read. Bell teaches readers how to merchandise walls, floors, fixtures and mannequins as well as deal with lighting and product positioning.

Display & Visual Merchandising
By Ken White and Frank White, ISP
St. Francis Press
7 James St.
Westwood, NJ 07675

This book is heavy on photos and equally heavy on content. It explores many effective in-store sales support techniques and ideas used by the best stores to help them stand out from the crowd. There are chapters dealing with new lighting ideas, display window backings, props and accessories. This book is easy to read and appeals to merchandisers in all stages of development.

Visual Merchandising: The Business of Merchandise Presentation
By Robert Colborne
Available at Amazon.com

This helpful book by veteran merchandise expert Robert Colborne features practical insights and advice about the retail business, more than 250 photos, illustrations and charts and tables highlighting major merchandising concepts and practices. Don't miss the chapter on the use of color for maximum impact.

New Books:

Feng Shui for Retailers
By Linda Cahan
Available at Amazon.com or at www.stmediagroup.com/stbooks

If you are going to remodel your store or open a new one, read this book before you finalize your plans because the author writes about how feng shui will influence all your decisions and actions. Understanding the elements of yin and yang is vital for making sure the changes you make will be positive rather than negative. Linda Cahan explains the basics of feng shui and gives insights into a location or space for your store if you're planning a new one as well as providing a new look at your existing store. Even if you don't believe in the benefits of feng shui, reading this book will give you insights into color, walls, balance and spaces.

The Aesthetics of Merchandise Presentation
By Joseph Weishar
Available at www.stmediagroup.com/stbooks

The author has taught the aesthetics of visual merchandising to retailers for over 30 years and is an expert in the field. In this book, he describes how customer behavior is repetitive and predictable and how the best merchandise images can be created on a low budget using humor, wit and charm. The images in this book are ones that can be applied by your staff.

Sharon Leicham is the author of "Merchandising Your Way to Success" and "How to Sell to Women" and is a regular columnist for SNEWS® and GearTrends® magazines writing on merchandising and marketing topics. You can access all of her columns by going to www.snewsnet.com/merchandising, where you will find information targeted at the independent specialty retailer.

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