7 trends in Visual Merchandising for 2018

Interview with Deirdre Achterberg and Caroline Haaker from Designing Haaker.

In December, Designing Haaker won two prizes in the annual AD.nl Christmas window contest. The shop window of Bins women’s fashion in Wassenaar, which they had designed, won 5 stars and they received 4 stars for their shop window for She’s different women’s fashion in Rijssen.

Shop windows with stopping power

As jury member Inge Wiersema, managing director of the Netherlands’ largest decoration company Beekwilder, described it on AD.nl: “The most important feature of a good shop window is the stopping power, which means the ability to draw the attention of the passerby.


Convincing them to put down the heavy shopping bag to look closer and then decide to go inside and buy something. Drawing that much attention is becoming more and more complicated. A great threat is that everyone is constantly bent over to their smartphone and therefore hardly see what is around them.


Those eyes need to move away from that smartphone. That is something that can be accomplished with movement, striking light, use of color and maybe even sound. Then the art of holding that interest and making sure that the impression that your shop window makes, suits the atmosphere of your store and your brand.”


According to the appreciation for the work of Designing Haaker, they understand better than anyone what it is to make shop windows with stopping power. So, it is about time to interview this partner of Invisua Lighting about the trends in visual merchandising for 2018. These are 7 trends according to Deirdre Achterberg and Caroline Haaker.

1.    Create a total experience

The total experience of the store is going to be of more importance than ever. It is important for retailers to determine the DNA of their brand or store. What makes your store or brand special? What impression do you want to make? And then consciously choose how to express the DNA. How do you show your DNA to the customer? The entire shopping experience has a vital part in this.


The shop window is and remains the business card of the store. That is the starting point of the customer experience. The shop window must have real stopping power, surprise the customer and stimulate them to enter the store. With a strong total shopping experience, you retain the feeling of the shop window instore. With this you distinguish yourself as a store with a unique identity. And as a store you have a big advantage over webshops.

2.    Storytelling

The best and most beautiful shop windows in the world have one thing in common; they tell a story that fascinates and captivates. Particularly large department stores in New York are very good at this. Take for example the shop windows from Bergdorf Goodman.


They are always beautifully executed with very nice detailing. These storytelling shop windows have a huge stopping power. Shoppers acutely stand still for these shop windows thanks to the story they tell.

Bergdorf Goodman New York

3. New application of everyday materials

The use of everyday materials in shop windows is also a good way to give shop windows outstanding value. The display windows of Anthropologie are a good example of this. They use various materials such as clothes hangers, paint cans, tubes and books. And convert it into a great display that has little to do with the materials used. The use of everyday materials results in something entirely new. We expect that this fine example will be followed in 2018.

4. Translation of the most important fashion themes

Every year the trends and colors within fashion are being used in visual merchandise. This spring / summer we identify four important trends that we base our decors on. First of all, we predict the use of airy and shiny fabrics with slightly botanical designs. We also expect that there will be shop windows where the mix of diverse prints stand central in a surprising way.

Explicit color blocking is also expected to be reflected in shop windows. A cheerful and daring trend in which different intense and bright colors are used side by side to create contrast. Finally, we expect that robust materials will be combined with new and more refined materials in shop windows. Shop windows where not the combination of colors, but the combination of materials creates the contrast.

5. Dynamic lighting

Lighting brings a shop window to life and gives the shop window something magical. A shop window can be beautiful, but without lighting it does not stand out. We see the use of an obvious shadow play coming back more and more. We work with dynamic light and the decor to create the shadow play.

We also see that colored light is used to further enhance the feeling of the shop window. Light has a big impact on the emotional charge. You can make a beautiful image many times more powerful with the right light.

6. Custom-made furniture

We expect stores to increasingly choose for custom-made furniture over standard shop furniture for the presentation of their goods. To create a truly individual identity, it is important that you also distinguish yourself in this. This also applies to the first trend; creating a total shop experience.

 7. Search for interaction

In recent years we have seen the introduction of interactive shop windows. New techniques are constantly being developed. We therefore expect this to be a continuing trend.


Many retailers underestimate the added value of a shop window. On the basis of these trends for 2018, we hope to show the importance of the display window and the total shopping experience. And sincerely hope that retailers feel the space to invest in them, to make the customer always feels welcome.