Silhouette sales reps learn fine art of luxury presentation

Sales representatives of Silhouette Optical Ltd. recently participated in a unique, 2-day seminar and hands-on training program called "Visual Merchandising for Luxury Brands."

Green Island, NY-Sales representatives of Silhouette Optical Ltd. recently participated in a unique, 2-day seminar and hands-on training program called "Visual Merchandising for Luxury Brands." The occasion was Silhouette's national sales meeting; the focused merchandising education was a welcome addition to the anticipated biannual product review.

The seminar and training were presented by Dimitri Vermès, partner, and Susan Weingarten, senior associate, of GRID2, a New York City-based retail design and branding agency, and Kristen McLaughlin, Daniel Swarovski crystal eyewear brand manager and an authority on luxury presentation.

One of the key learning points presented was the importance of creating and maintaining a brand's story, or "meeting a brand's promise" at point of sale. Weingarten said, "How we perceive a brand at retail is directly tied to its visual presentation. The way it looks and the information it offers send a direct message to consumers, whether they are first time buyer or a brand loyalist." Toward that end, sales representatives were instructed on consumer expectations for luxury brands and how a store's layout, environment, and displays can affect purchasing behavior and the overall retail experience.

Reviewing the overall objective of the seminar, McLaughlin stressed, "The importance of visual merchandising, especially with regard to luxury brands, cannot be overstated. Luxury consumers are seeking to confirm their expectations of unique and high-end brands at point of sale. That means that luxury goods must be presented in a distinct, exquisite environment.

"Our industry is often challenged for retail space, but there are creative ways to overcome that handicap and present luxury brands in a manner most condu-cive to successful sales," she concluded.