What is a visual merchandiser?

Yeray Díaz/flickr
Yeray Díaz/flickr

Visual merchandisers, known as window dressers back in the day, combine an eye for dramatic design and a step-ahead sense of style – with basic retail smarts! A visual merchandiser creates and stages dazzling set-ups to promote and sell a product or a concept, from displays in a retail store window, to booths at various conventions, to fashion shows. Think store windows at Christmas, the Home Show and Fashion Week events. As a visual merchandiser, your main goal is to draw passers-bys in to entice them to make a purchase.


  • Freelance visual merchandiser
  • Entrepreneur with event design company
  • Merchandiser position for a retailer
  • Stylist
  • Merchandise manager


“Visual merchandising is not just about making things look pretty, it’s about helping to visualize products or a lifestyle sold by that store… and making a dream come true.”
– Rob Dittmer, visual merchandiser

It is common to start your career in fashion visual merchandising by interning with a retailer or visual design company to learn hands-on skills. Next stop would be a visual merchandiser position with a retailer or design company. Many visual merchandisers are self-employed or start their own companies.


  • Artistic
  • Creative
  • Conceptual thinkers
  • Shoppers extraordinaire
  • Fashion and design devotees
  • Pop culture experts
  • Retail driven
  • Client focused
  • Detail oriented
  • Good communicators

Meet Rob Dittmer – Visual Merchandiser

Rob Dittmer
Rob Dittmer is the owner of Three Event Planning and Design Inc., a leading event design company in Toronto that has a stellar reputation in visual merchandising as well. Rob has over 15 years of retail experience with Club Monaco and Holt Renfrew.

Published on October 25, 2012
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