Retail Design - a fast and upcoming vocation for young mind


With the retail industry booming and growing awareness of retail design, this seemingly niche career is in demand with students across the country. “Five years ago, there weren’t even 10 queries about this subject. Today, I have at least 200 students inquiring about growth opportunities in retail design,” says a career counsellor.

Retail design is a combination of overall look and insight into functionality of retail space, and retailers today divert advertising and marketing budgets to

spend as much as 20-30 per cent on designing stores.
The combination of softer aspects of colour
and convenience and concepts of visual merchandising and marketing makes a career in retail design ideal for someone who wants to be in mainstream business without relegating their creative bent to the status of a hobby.

Students who take up this field today are those who would have earlier either opted for fashion design and started a boutique or taken up an MBA and pursued fine arts in their spare time. 

Educational institutes have seized the opportunity. 
National Institute of Design (NID) has introduced a course in Design for Retail Experiences - the first specialised course

tailored exclusively for retail design - at their R and D campus in Bangalore.

Students of the Masters of Fashion Technology in Design Space at Delhi’s National Institute of Fashion Technology are eyed by the industry, as are those who opt for the postgraduate programme in Visual Communication at Bangalore’s National Institute for Creative Communication.

Retail experience integrates knowledge in various fields from architecture to visual merchandising and lighting to new-age technology.


Since this knowledge is relatively poor in India, these students will be snapped up.Exotic examples can be of Valentino’s Milan showroom which has ‘changing walls’ that use cutting-edge technology. One of the reasons why food courts grab all the attention in Indian malls leaving the cash registers in shops running dry is because the vast dis-organised spaces tire out a customer.

For design firms, this surge is manna from heaven. “We hire anyone who has an interest in the subject with backgrounds varying from visual arts to design to even fashion. But there’s only so long you can pull through without any specialised training,” says one of the promoters of retail design firms.

A fresher could start in any firm or in in-house design team of retailers like Tesco or the Landmark Group with a starting annual CTC of Rs 4 lakh and scale up. Entrepreneurship is another strong option with students
who could use their business acumen to set up design firms, branch off as freelancers or even start retail chains.




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