Once again the VM Challenge this year, an exciting prelude to the 2014 VM&RD Awards night, saw thirty talented visual merchandisers in six groups ‘displaying it out’ for the top spots in a national live window display contest.
The 2014 VM Challenge contest was Organised on 30th January 2014 at The Westin Hotel, Mumbai on the eve of the VM&RD Retail Design Awards 2014,. This was the third edition of this one-of-a-kind national level window display contest that provided a prominent platform for the talented VM fraternity to demonstrate their creativity and innovative thinking in creating display solutions for business scenarios. The event was anchored once again by Surender Gnanaolivu, Mahindra Retail and supported by Anuraag S, Madura Garments. The contest comprised of six teams led by specially invited leading senior visual merchandisers from leading retail brands supports by five talented members each who were selected from a pool of registered contestants on a first come basis.
The six teams were :
Team Jade – Leader: Arden J D’souza, Shoppers Stop
Team Opal– Leader: Parag Dalwadi , Celio
Team Topaz – Leader: Pawan Nagarwal , Central Team Sapphire – Leader: Gajpal Rathore, Gant & Nautica
Team Amber – Leader: Amit Shanklya, Chemistry
Team Ruby – Leader: Nida Kagzi , Gitanjali Group The teams were gathered to be briefed by Surender Gnanaolivu at the start of the event. The brief was based on a thought provoking Business scenario of a Company called Good’e’Green which was started by two exemployees of a leather export company’s waste disposal management department. Their brand ‘Unlike Others’ offered re-purposed hand crafted Bags, Belts, Footwear, watches and Scarves. Customers were acquired when they ‘Like’ the brand page where they were informed of Product deals and the latest location of their pop-up store location that changed every 3 months, through FB posts. The Store window strategy was to set up Mobile / Pop-up windows at hired locations at the TG’s watering holes. The challenge was to plan and execute a ‘window on wheels ‘ that promoted a new range of accessories for Valentine’s day called ‘Love On Line’ collection in an IT park Food-court where only 40 minutes is given for setting up the window. Each team was provided with a glass cage window with LED accent lighting (sponsored by Plus Lighting), Mannequins (sponsored by 3S Mannequins), a collection of fashion accessories (Sponsored by Central department store) and a VM Tool Kit. The teams went into a great start after a quick huddle, thinking up a display strategy, drawing a plan and lightning fast execution. It was a real treat for the spectators to watch top visual merchandisers in live action putting together great window display concepts and installations right before their eyes. What looked chaotic initially unfolded into fabulous displays that were innovative installation that helped provide a solution for the business challenge.
Anchored by : Surender Gnanaolivu
The special jury had to do some serious study and pondering over the entries before selecting the winner. Team Opal led by Parag Dalwadi was declared the clear winner of the VM Challenge while Team Jade led by Arden J. D’souza was given the Runner-Up Award. Team Amber lead by Amit Shanklya and Yogesh Joshi got a special mention for their very close scores to the runner-up spot