Pedagogy and Professional Development

Adopt-A-Store: An Innovative & Immersive Experiential Pedagogy for Visual Merchandising Design

  • Victoria Brown (High Point University)
  • Cathy Nowicki (High Point University)


An experiential learning approach for an Introductory Visual Merchandising studio project was considered ideal for its flexibility in allowing the learner to gain practical experience while also facilitating critical thinking, decision making, and problem-solving skills. Students were asked to obtain permission from a local retailer in order to conduct store audits and create conceptual design solutions. Students focused on all interior aspects of merchandising, from lighting to point-of-purchase displays. This project provided visual merchandising design and fashion merchandising students a unique opportunity to partner with existing retailers and learn about daily retail operational planning, observe the impact of design and managerial decisions on customer behaviors, and design a custom display fixture reflecting the design and purpose of the store. Student feedback and quality of work suggest that this project provides a unique and valuable experience for students to study store design and retailing decision making as conducted in the real world. 

Keywords: experiential, design

How to Cite:

Brown, V. & Nowicki, C., (2019) “Adopt-A-Store: An Innovative & Immersive Experiential Pedagogy for Visual Merchandising Design”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 76(1). doi:

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Published on
15 Dec 2019