A community partnership between Eastland Shopping Centre and Box Hill Institute has enabled a unique opportunity for students of the creative arts to exhibit their work in two store windows, supporting retailers and providing students with real world experience.
Box Hill Institute’s Head of Design, Odile Higgins said, “The partnership with Eastland provides students with real projects that test their skills in a meaningful way so that they meet industry standards. This is the way of the future and we are thrilled to share this vision with Eastland, which has gone out of its way to support our students with this unique opportunity.”
General Manager of Eastland, Greg Balmforth said, “We strive to become a part of a larger community that cares about that same cause and with this strong community drives, loyalty, support and meaningful and authentic connections.
“The partnership with Box Hill Institute is something we have been working collectively on for some time and seeing this come to life was truly incredible. We are excited to view more in-centre activations and see this partnership flourish,” he said.
Visual merchandising students have used this opportunity to move beyond the classroom for a real, hands on, practical project, installing two window displays and demonstrating the high level skills they have acquired during their studies.
Box Hill Institute is a key player in visual merchandising training and the two store windows highlight the broad range of skills required to produce a display, including the building of props, vinyl decal signage design and application, display techniques to engage customers, and brand presence.
The Diploma of Visual Marketing also teaches CAD and digital design skills as well as theming and 3D prop creation for live industry events.
Box Hill Institute’s fashion students’ work is displayed and uses deconstructed and constructed “dead stock” school uniforms, donated by Dobsons School Uniform Supplier, to create a cohesive 80s themed collection, inspired by the National Gallery of Victoria’s Comme des Garçons exhibition.
Now more than ever, with overseas competition entering Australian retail space and social media now playing a key role in attracting customers, local retail businesses need to ensure that their brand is promoted visually to keep their existing customers engaged and to new customers.
An impactful visual merchandising presence needs to be achieved from the shop front through to internal customer experience. Competition is tough and businesses need to make visual merchandising key to their brand’s success.
Eastland Shopping Centre is located in the outer eastern suburb of Ringwood. Its major Australian retailers include Myer and David Jones, and it houses brands like H&M and UNIQLO. Eastland also offers innovative public and civic spaces.