July 12 is it just pots and pans

Today I actually got to refresh my first solo merchandise display. With not exactly exciting target: pots and pans, especially frying pans had to be refreshed after experiencing a total loss caused by the customers - here is a question: how does a customer get into 10ft without a ladder? Answer: I would like to see it on a safety camera.

Joking aside, the 4-tier shelving at the pots and pans is officially planned so, that the first two rows display repetition of the item, third row should be interesting and appealing for the customer, making the customer to notice the item, and the fourth row is again repeating the item in bulk. Under the four tiers, the fifth shelf actually only displays one unit of the merchandise with a price tag and info, being the actual sample that the customer is invited to touch. When organization is correct, the item are then sold in bins or on pallets under this sample self.

Before: one item has been sold out completely on the frying pan section during the weekend and the existing rest of the display is also mixed up. Just to be sure, the location is pointed to me by another visual merchandiser at IKEA Espoo.

Before: one item has been sold out completely on the frying pan section during the weekend and the existing rest of the display is also mixed up. Just to be sure, the location is pointed to me by another visual merchandiser at IKEA Espoo.

After: new item is displayed, this time in a combo with greese spatter lid that happened to be newly available, so I had a chance to build repetition to the pattern using that. Interest is created to the setting with red rolled placemats filled with frying tool sets. To the middle of the long shelf on the right, I regrouped and cleaned the previous display and placed grilling tongs upright between the selves just to create some visual interest, pulling the customer closer.

Admittedly, I did not accurately follow the rule of IKEA with two identical top rows as I did place the red placemats with kitchen tools already on the second shelf as well, but I have seen this sometimes in other shelves and the curiosity to add color simply won.

Posted on July 12, 2017 .

July 11 Store lighting really has a bright meaning in Visual Merchandising

This week, I have been a part of two-woman team changing the department lighting for the newly adjusted  areas in Livingroom that includes sofas, armchairs, side tables, and tv-shelving/livingroom storage areas. With changed layout and completely different racking and display systems, adjusting the store lighting accordingly plays an important part. For example, a modular shelving system with approx 30 different door colors and patterns to choose from really depends on clearly lightened samples when it comes to client's decision making. Including actual  spot lights that highlight price signs or info spots, the basic lighting that is generated with boxed led rod lights is hung from the ceiling grid system.

Second, the metal boxed rod-lights are placed up to the grid. Sometimes two people are needed in tight places for placing them right.

Second, the metal boxed rod-lights are placed up to the grid. Sometimes two people are needed in tight places for placing them right.

Firstly, a designer has created lighting plan according to layout changes and new/additional displays.

Firstly, a designer has created lighting plan according to layout changes and new/additional displays.

Third, the jungle of cords, plugs, and outlets is being hidden and connected as clean and safe as possible.

Third, the jungle of cords, plugs, and outlets is being hidden and connected as clean and safe as possible.

Fourth, you just continue to climb up and down according to the layout, which in this case took three days.

Fourth, you just continue to climb up and down according to the layout, which in this case took three days.

Posted on July 11, 2017 .

What does the ComIn internship include

I am fortunate to intern within the department of ComIn, that includes Visual merchandising, Communications, and actual Interior design units. This means, helping as a filler for anything urgent needed is pretty much what my internship witholds.

I am interning within ComIn that includes Communications, Interior design, and Visual merchandising teams.

I am interning within ComIn that includes Communications, Interior design, and Visual merchandising teams.

Communications covers all visual communications: signage; walkways, pricing, shelf info, walkway guidance, sales promotional printing materials, you name it. While the Interior design department naturally builds all displayed room settings, it also takes care of the interior-related functions in spaces for the customers (restaurant, bistro, first-aid rooms, bathrooms), for example lighting, seasonal vignettes, seating, etc. Third part of the department, Visual merchandising, takes care of all short-term and seasonal subjects, starting from displaying basically all items for sale to decorating seasonal podiums, and physically building the racking, sales spot locations prior displaying the items.

Due to seasonal weight of IKEA sales highlighting to the end of the summer as the yearly catalog comes out in the end of August, all refreshed and new podiums and displays have to be finished prior the publication of the catalog. Thus, my internship was already projected to concentrate heavily on helping the Visual merchandising team with building the completely new display sites that are deadlined to finish by the first week of August. This is also what the first four weeks indeed included in June. 

Posted on July 7, 2017 .

Interning at IKEA Espoo, Finland

Internship at IKEA Espoo, Finland's oldest IKEA during June 5 - July 27, 2017 is what this blog is about. This internship is something that pretty much describes some of my dreams coming through: not exactly working at IKEA, but at least interning there is a start for hopefully something that develops into an actual job in the future.

IKEA Espoo was established 1996 and just celebrated its 20th birthday. Espoo is by its layout smallest, but still the most succesful IKEA in Finland.

IKEA Espoo was established 1996 and just celebrated its 20th birthday. Espoo is by its layout smallest, but still the most succesful IKEA in Finland.

Ikea has a policy for unpaid internships. First I thought it is a shame, but already after the first week of interning, I realized that the gained knowledge of the successful home furnishing and interior design store's functions is something that you can't learn from books, really. Additionally to the information that accumulates during the internship, food is provided during the internship from the excellent staff restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and of course, the very important Finnish coffee breaks.

I agreed to work 30 hours/week, Monday-Thursday from 7am to 3pm daily during 8 weeks, totaling to 240 hours.

Posted on July 7, 2017 .