Charmaine began Retail Experience in 2009, after decades in retail working at senior management level leading Visual Merchandising and Store Design for national retailers such as Rebel Sport, Table Eight, One.Tel and Rockmans. As her stable retail and commercial client base expanded to include residential homeowners, there was a need to evolve her brand to broaden her appeal, and Visual Experience was born.

Charmaine is based in Sydney’s inner west but her clients are all over the eastern seaboard of Australia and New Zealand.

charmaine-cocoran

A little history

(1983 - NOW)
  • 1983
  • 1994
  • 2000
  • 2001
  • 2005
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2011
  • 2014

Barbara’s House & Garden

Homewares group in Brisbane

Responsible for front of store sales, product presentation and staff training in visual merchandising. Owner Barbara Slatyer was a visionary retailer who instilled a lot of Charmaine’s beliefs in brand consistency, simple messaging, categorising product, companion merchandising and creating a pleasant sensory environment in which the customer could shop.

Rockmans

(1999 Pretty Girl Fashion Group)

Spent 16 years, working first as a store manager, then area sales supervisor, new store opening manager, then moved interstate to Sydney to head up Visual Merchandising, then Advertising and Marketing.

One. Tel

telecommunications retail

Ensured that all above the line Marketing initiatives were executed in the retail stores. Developed a set of Retail Standards. Worked with architects, designers and shopfitters to ensure that all new stores were opened on time, on budget and to One.Tel standard.

Rebel Sport

Apparel, fitness equipment and footwear

Rebel was very masculine, product was presented by type and there was plenty of opportunity to tell stories and engage the female shopper - Led the VM team to set standards, provided training as well as tactical assistance and re-merchandised key categories such as apparel, fitness equipment and footwear by end use, rather than brand. Long apparel fixtures were broken down into smaller runs and co-ordinating product was merchandised together along with accessories to complete the story. Each merchandising change was preceded by a trial in a pilot store and sales results were measured:

Increase of 26% above the company result in a comparable week when the first stage of apparel re-merchandising was implemented in a Sydney suburban store in 2003.

Increase of 110% over the previous year in fitness accessories in the Mid City store following re-merchandising into ‘end use’ categories such as cardio, strength, boxing, health and wellness, resistance.

UTT Group

Fashion brands

Responsible for liaison with the buying and marketing teams, consistency in store VM by brand, new store design and planning for four brands, a major fixture changeover, developed a ‘kit of parts’ system of wall and floor fixtures.

Creative Activation

Clemenger group marketing agency

Trained the relevant field marketing teams prior to product and brand launches. Also supported key program partners such as Optus to launch new technology on a national basis utilising the Optus field teams.

Retail Experience

Design, merchandising and staff training for retail environments

Started a consulting business focused on producing tangible improvements in the retail environments from fashion to pharmaceuticals, government to entertainment and banking to FMCG. Was able to build the business whilst contracting for Rebel Sport and Creative Activation.

Consulting

Full-time Self employment!

In 2011, she began shopping centre consulting, with Westfield as her first client. Now expanded scope to include other shopping centre groups and private clients.

Visual Experience

From Retail to Visual

After completing a few commercial projects and gaining momentum in the residential arena, it was time to broaden our horizons and revisit the brand name. Visual Experience is the evolution of Retail Experience, which talks to a much wider audience, and more clearly explains what we do.

Testimonials

David Tsirekas – Xanthi Restaurant
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“I met Charmaine Corcoran in 2012 when I was executive chef and director of hatted Greek restaurant Xanthi. We were on level 6 of Westfield City. Prior to running Xanthi I had a smaller well known  restaurant also hatted called Perama. It was a cult classic in the suburbs which had a simple formula in marketing and promotions. Once I moved to Xanthi in the city I had to step up my efforts and increase my knowledge in these areas. I was extremely fortunate to team up with Charmaine as not only did she guide and impart valuable guidance and resources in utilizing marketing and promotional awareness in a completely different environment that I had been used to for 15 years in the suburbs.

Her knowledge in retail is vast and her ability to adapt to hospitality showed her scope of flexibility was not limited  and was adaptable. Her ongoing support and guidance  throughout the whole consultation was continuous and was available after hours considering the hours of hospitality can be very inflexible.

I highly recommend Charmaine and her organisation in assisting the growth of any business using the tools of marketing and visual aides to which Charmaine is highly intuitive in harnessing in your business and showcasing it to a broader customer base. Charmaine utilises her skills in promoting the professional and personal characteristics of your business which will give it a unique advantage over others.”

Kristian Mahony – The Retail Guy
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“I contacted Charmaine to join me on my Retail Guy podcast series because I think she has to be one of the most sought after VM experts in the country. I had the pleasure of working with Charmaine when she headed up Visual Merchandising at Rebel a few years ago, and her impact on the business was immense, because everything she recommended we introduce was absolutely customer focused. Not “pile it high and watch it fly’ but certainly not ‘its too pretty to touch’ either.”

John Joyce – Ex-Group CEO, REBEL Group
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“Our Clearance Store project involved bringing together too many different elements of clearance we had in stores into one clear communication which was both commercial and workable from the team’s perspective.

We believe the strategy that Charmaine introduced achieved this with clear POS, simple merchandising and strong signage and the sales results were testament to this.”

Megan Power – Senior Trainer, PETstock

“Charmaine recently facilitated several workshops on the art of profitable visual merchandising at our annual conference. Her knowledge and passion for the topic was impressive. Charmaine herself embodies the principles of great visual merchandising – stylish, attention grabbing, unique and with a clear, easily understood message!”

Nathan Archie – SONY GROUP
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“Charmaine orchestrated a merchandising program for the Sony Store in Store program. She produced a highly relevant and detailed Visual Merchandising Procedures manual for the program and delivered some fantastic training sessions for the retail team. Charmaine was a pleasure to work with and provided some outstanding insights and creative ideas that benefited the program and ultimately assisted in improving our sales results.

Charmaine has a very vivacious nature and positive attitude that made it extremely enjoyable working with her.”

Nick Theori – National Capability Specialist – HR, Coca Cola Amatil
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“Charmaine supported a redesign of our Onboarding program by coming up with an overall concept and creative elements for the engagement session and learning management system. Charmaine’s creative process to come up with the concept was very collaborative and a pleasure to work with. The result exactly nailed the brief with a unique concept and an outstanding visual identity.

Charmaine’s extensive experience and vibrant personality is a pleasure to work with and is highly recommended.”