Irresistible Shop Windows. How do they Do That?

Source – Flickr: License – CC BY 2.0

The importance of effective visual merchandising is never underestimated in the fashion retail shop business. Window shoppers love to be captivated by shop window displays – including entertaining store -front set-ups – because of the creative genius that lies behind these creations, and of course it is a job that requires artistic skills, an eye for fashion and a passion for the job overall.

For those passionate about fashion and desirous to learn about interior decor/design, visual merchandising courses are held in London as well as in other major fashion cities around the world. In fact, professional visual merchandisers need different qualities and use different techniques. And that is exactly what these courses can teach.

Having a good sense of aesthetics and organizational layout, and knowing how to utilize store space (both inside and outside) effectively are only some of the requirements needed to become an expert visual merchandiser. The visual aspect also considers the use of effective means of communication to orientate potential customers via visual signals (advertising posters, dress mannequins, and other important tools such as the use of colour in the decor which is all important) so that they can easily find their way around the store and discover as much as possible that the retailer can provide for their tastes. In short, the strategic positioning of the displays must be pleasing to the eye and eye-catching at every location, from the store front to the interior.

Other vital techniques taught by courses focus on the merchandising aspect: these include learning the distinction between the demands of the commercial versus the luxury markets, and acquiring the experience to design diverse and demographically-targeted, distinct genres to satisfy different audiences.

Understanding the essentials of product grouping is an important point. This includes knowing where to position the products around the store in relation to the space assignment to be allotted according to sales objectives. The various levels of display, from vertical to horizontal shelves and equipment, use of walls and floor space must also be applied to the strategic use of a harmonizing element to enhance the ambient and customer experience – Feng Shui-oriented decor is a perfect example of this practice.

Furthermore, the synergistic bond between ‘offshore’ and ‘online’ store options is a primary consideration in order to make the most out of customer satisfaction and sales objectives for retailers. Customer relations are necessarily tied to customer loyalty and this means that you must know how to deal with clients first-hand. In this respect, after-sales experience is naturally another prerequisite in customer relations. Visual merchandising courses teach excellent guidelines to learn about consumer behaviour which is of course one of the main foundations that will ensure customer loyalty and enduring satisfaction that will lead to growing a solid loyal customer base. Do not forget also that a perfect balance is needed in the layout, use of space, decor, colour and product placement/grouping. Too much or too little makes all the difference, so cluttering the store may not be an advantage. Rather, leaving it simple and providing ample space for the customers to walk around will certainly prove to be a more successful methodology.


Shopping Guide: Watch Features You Should Look Out For

wrist-watch-205837_1280Although smart phones that have timers, clocks and other features that are traditionally found in watches have started to replace watches, digital & classic watches found in Tesco and other retail stores still have a place in the world. The  classic mens watches out on the market are generally fairly priced and come with exceptional features that make them good investments. This makes watches great feature rich accessories that can add a touch of class and great functionality to any ensemble.

Digital Watches

Digital watches are making a comeback. Even excluding smart watches, digital watches come packed with useful features. Timers, alarms and tracking multiple time zones are fairly standard features. Advanced features may include barometers and weather alarms, altimeter to measure how high above sea level you are and heartbeat monitors. Modern smart watches are small computers strapped to your wrist, boasting music, Bluetooth support, health monitors and so much more. Prices can range quite high, but standard functionality exists in base models as well.

Power requirements for digital watches are something to consider as well. Most take batteries, either replaceable or rechargeable. Smart watches, with their increased functionality, have higher power requirements and most models need recharging daily or more often when being used heavily. Older model digital watches can expect their battery to last for months or years with normal use.

Traditional watches

Traditional watches are a mainstay of style and as such, the aesthetics and brand name are as important as their functions. At the core, the watch must keep accurate time and these types of mechanical watches use either a mechanical spring that needs to be wound periodically, or quartz crystal that uses electronic movements. Features of these mechanical watches might include multiple faces that track time zones, built in stop watches and other meters that can be used reliably from mechanical power.

Some very key features of traditional watches are their power source. Some use a main spring that must be wound daily or sometimes weekly. The slow release of tension from this spring is what powers the watch. A variation on this power source is the automatic watch that uses the motion of the wearer to automatically wind the main spring. If the watch lays stationary then the watch will wind down. Quartz watches use an electrical system to keep time and as such can be built as solar powered, using A photovoltaic cell to power the watch. mechanical watches can also rely on battery power, similar to a digital watch. With analog watches, there are many options.

Whether looking for a functional and elegant traditional watch or a feature rich digital watch, there is something for every need and want when you go watch shopping. Timekeeping coupled with things like time zone and weather tracking powered by batteries, the sun or something as ingenious as the motion of your body are all available. Watches have come a long way since their humble beginnings and its safe to say they will continue progressing far into the future.


How to Save Time and Money at the Supermarket

SupermarketSupermarkets are experts at persuading shoppers to buy things that they don’t really need. This cycle often leads to stocked cupboards filled with food that nobody in the family will ever eat and which eventually ends up as waste. According to the BBC, the UK wastes over £12bn worth of food each year which could have been avoided if shoppers knew exactly how to save both time and money while at the supermarket.

Shop Online

You can buy almost anything online and for a great deal cheaper too. Shopping for food is a lot less time consuming if you’re organised and thanks to online shopping and fast delivery services, people no longer need to wait in long queues at the store. It is also easier to compare prices on the web to ensure that you get the best deal possible, so make sure to shop around before making any big purchases.

Plan Ahead

Before you hit the shops it may be worth sitting down for a few minutes to write out a budget and shopping list. If you have a budget set for each shopping trip then you are less likely to overspend in the store. Only withdraw the amount that you have set yourself for the week and try your best to avoid making any unnecessary purchases. Taking a look at a Food Basics Flyer can also help you to work out what you need to include into your meal plans. Planning ahead will save you a lot of time as you will go into the store knowing exactly what you need and where to find it.

Don’t Waste Food

Try your best not to waste the food that you already have in your home. Many people tend to forget about the things hidden in the back of the cupboard and end up re-buying them again. Have a look through your cupboards in the kitchen before you go out shopping. Buy only what you need and remember to never shop whilst hungry as this will end up making you buy more things that will probably just end up in the back of your cupboard. Make sure anything you buy that you won’t eat is safely frozen for use later on – if you need more fridge freezer capacity, view appliances online.

Coupons and Vouchers

If you have a look online, or through a newspaper or magazine,  you are bound to come across a coupon sooner or later. Many supermarkets release vouchers and coupons to use on selected store products. Collect as many of these as possible and use them at the till to benefit from discounts and special offers.

Cheaper Brands

Just because some brands are more expensive than others does not necessarily mean that they are any better. According to, if you can’t tell the difference between the lower brand level goods, then why pay more for it? This is a good point and it shows how dropping a brand level or two will not only save you money but you may find even better products. Try to opt for the cheaper branded goods such as a supermarket’s own labels to help you to save money on your weekly shopping costs.


How to Bag the Best Deal When Buying a New or Used Car

Buying a New or Used CarWhether you plan on buying a new or used car, there are various things you need to consider before you head out on your search. It is easy to get ripped off and you will often struggle to get a good deal unless you know exactly what to look out for. Below you’ll discover some of the best tips for bagging the best deals on both new and used vehicles.

Buying a new car – what you need to know

If you’ve made up your mind to buy a new car, you’ll likely be starting your search at a car dealership, although the best place to start is Car salesmen are notoriously known for trying to get the highest price out of their customers. They use a number of tactics, especially on women, to try and secure a good sell. This means if you want to get the best price, you need to know how to negotiate.

As featured on WhatCar, the very first thing you need to do is know the market. Do as much research as possible into your chosen model to see the kinds of prices it usually goes for. If you have a good idea of its average market value, you’ll be able to see whether you are getting offered a good deal.

To improve your chances of not being ripped off, it helps to find a reliable dealership. Look into a company’s reputation before deciding whether or not to buy from them. For example, you’ll find there are some great deals from Jennings Motor Group as well as finding parts at

Buying a used car

Used cars are generally a lot more affordable than new ones. However, they are also a lot riskier to buy. This is because a lot of private sellers often lie about the condition of the car. There is also the added risk that the car could be stolen, or that it could be the subject of a logbook loan. So when you find a car that seems to feature a really low cost, it might not be as great as it seems. You can also go to Tyre Shopper for new parts.

You need to be incredibly careful when buying a used car, which is why it is always better to opt for a dealership. However, if you do want to buy privately, there are ways to secure a good deal. Take along a mechanic if you can, to give the car a check over before you agree to buy. They will be able to tell you whether there are any faults you need to be aware of. As featured by This is Money, it definitely pays to have the bodywork checked over.

Also, don’t forget that you don’t need to buy straight away. Go away and think about it for a while – just the threat of going away without purchasing might convince the dealer to slice the costs.

Overall buying a used or new car does come with quite a few risks. The main thing you can do to avoid being ripped off is arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible. The more research you can do about both the car and the dealership/seller, the better your chances will be of getting a good deal. Follow the advice above and you’ll stand a better chance of getting the most affordable car to fit your needs.


Find a Bargain with VoucherBin

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We’re now pretty much at the halfway point of the summer holidays and I think most parents will agree that it’s been a pretty expensive month! We’ve managed to keep costs down as much as possible by using vouchers and deals, many of which we’ve found on VoucherBin.

Husband and I are pretty savvy shoppers and will always shop around before committing to buy anything. They way we see it, finding a good deal means more money in our pockets to spend on the girls, so we scour the internet for the best prices on things before we invest and VoucherBin is a great place to start looking for bargains.

There are some great offers available through their travel section, such as a voucher for a free second day at Paultons Park, which could be hugely beneficial if you plan to visit the park before the end of the holidays. There’s also a ‘pay for one, get one free’ deal for Legoland Windsor, which could really save you a lot of money as tickets for Legoland aren’t cheap.

If you’ve already got a holiday booked, you could really benefit from some of the other vouchers on VoucherBin, such as 80% off of airprot parking – a saving like that could really get your holiday off to an amazing start and will mean that you can drive yourselves and park in a safe place with no worries, rather than having to pay for transport to and from the airport.

The baby and child section is also full of deals which could make the back-to-school period a whole lot cheaper, like the deal which offers 40% off on shoes at Kids Factory Shoes – if you’ve got more than one child to clothe and shod before the start of term in September, a 40% saving could be a real bonus.

I highly recommend that you go and take a look at all of the vouchers available on the VoucherBin site. There seems to be a deal for just about anything you can think of and I’m certain that you’ll be hugely surprised by just how much money you could save for the rest of the school summer holidays and beyond. I know it’s practically illegal to mention the ‘C’ word this early in the year, but having seen some of the deals available, I’m genuinely considering starting my Christmas shopping already!

Do pop back and leave me a comment letting me know what bargains you’ve found!