A little history
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.