Spring Homeware 2016 Visual Merchandising

A comparison between high street chains and independent retailers displays…

The sales are over and spring is in full swing. I was interested to see the different visual merchandising styles between high street retailers of Manchester compared with those of a semi-rural commuter town on the edge of the Peak District.


Known for its high quality modular furniture systems, the Danish retailer may be likened to IKEA but the difference in quality is vast and this is reflected in the price. There was a strong use of modular storage systems many of which are multifunctional and multi-purpose for any room of the home. Grey and black pieces are punctuated by pops of colour from wall canvases.


The two main colour themes were grey and pastel pinks, purples and greens. These were easily identified and presented by colour and collection throughout the store.


The wide variety of collections seem to be crammed into a very small foot print. The ethnic story of purple/pink accessories and bedding was very appealing and well laid out. However, other areas such as the pastel and floral stories were very cluttered which compromised their appearance. The core departments such as bathroom and kitchen accessories is trying to appeal to everyone mixing contemporary, traditional and ethnical styles all together in one display. These would look better grouped by style rather than function.

Farrow & Ball, Manchester

Their showroom showcased the new colours for 2016, these were- ‘Salon Drab’ (deep brown), ‘Vardo’, (teal), Peignoir’ (pink grey), ‘Shadow White’‘Drop Cloth’, ‘Worsted’ (white tones), ‘Cromarty’, (mint blue), ‘Yeabridge Green’ (pea green), Inchyra Blue’, (grey).

Farrow & Ball, Manchester

Fig & Sparrow, Manchester

A city centre based independent retailer hosting a wide variety of artisan homeware and decorative accessories in wood, ceramics and metal creatively displayed on industrial scaffolding style shelving and wooden crates.

It is a hive of inspiration and creativity. As you might expect, compared with the likes of Next or M&S there was little in comparison apart from the metal edged picture frames and boxes which proved very popular last year.

Glossop Garden Centre

Selling fairly neutral ranges with pops of colour despite being a garden centre they offer a good range of homeware and gifts.

Primrose Kitchens, Glossop

Offering more of a country cottage look, they offer a good range of kitchen, dining and bedroom furniture and accessories in neutral tones.

Company No 9, Glossop

This is a fairly new shop offering a contemporary take on traditional furniture. They also have some more industrial looking pieces.


We can see that high street chains are catering for a wide audience and are likely to offer more variety, the success of which is dependant on how it is displayed.

Elements of the high street are certainly evident in a commuter town, such as the more traditional and shabby chic ranges seen at M&S and Next. Trends are however, generally slower to catch on as they are more likely to cater for local tastes.

About Author
As a professional Visual Merchandiser Louise Broadstock transforms retail environments to maximise sales. Based in the north of England she supports businesses throughout the UK & Europe. Also available to style for Interiors & Events. For further information go to- www.revampstyling.co.uk

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