2017 Best Visual Merchandising Programs

By Robin Enright Salcido

Stopping us in our tracks with a sophisticated “wow” factor, Saks Fifth Avenue reminds us of the details that make visual merchandising an art form.

The ability to not only powerfully relay a visual story, but to also connect with one’s unique target audience requires a solid appreciation of the brand and the people who love to connect with it—not to mention skillful execution and attention to detail. These are all factors that have led to Saks Fifth Avenue being selected by the readers of design:retail as the Best Visual Merchandising Program for 2017.

The brand’s understated elegance is showcased especially well at its Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York, where a muted palette and chic finishes carry customers through a dramatic experience reminiscent of a cocktail party or an elegant soirée at a trendy local spot.

The visual merchandising strategy is directly reflective of the way Saks believes their customers want to shop, with the store environment designed as a lifestyle shopping destination. Decorative screens designed in collaboration with local artists lend a sense of discovery and the feminine finishes, rugs and upholstery are juxtaposed by feature walls with iconic Saks wood flooring. The hand-selected wallcoverings architecturally form free-floating dressing rooms. Ample seating encourages women to enjoy the space with friends and family, creating a social shopping experience. And mannequins show off the latest fashions, inspiring shoppers with fresh looks.

Saks’ visual merchandising prowess doesn’t stop inside its doors. The retailer continues to make artistic brand statements in its windows, highlighting new product, campaigns and the seasons with creative vigor that takes window shopping to new heights while keeping everything on-brand. Bravo, Saks.


Scroll through the gallery above to see other honorees for Visual Merchandising.


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