Ghost Town

We no longer need to imagine how empty Towns and cities would look without shops and businesses open for trade welcoming in locals and tourists alike. Hustle and bustle, so often overwhelming in our beautiful city of York is sadly missed. York’s beautiful display of daffodils along the city walls this year had no audience.  York of course is not alone.  How we miss our freedom, businesses open for trade, colour, cafés, theatres, buzz – where you can see, touch and FEEL the merchandise before buying, and share the experience with friends.

For those who know me, my fight against online and technology has been ongoing for many years. Give me a real shop, with a vibrant window display and exciting interior displays with creative merchandising any day – these exciting shops lure visitors to stop, park up and explore. Not only that, spend and come back again! However, many of these small businesses have had to embrace technology, sell online, and offer deliveries too just to help us all at home but also to help save their businesses too.  A steep learning curve for many but a reward for those who embrace change.  Yet many years ago deliveries of food were commonplace!

Slowly the high street is re-emerging, business by business, but during this time have you been in touch with your customers letting them know what you’re doing? Even a simple sign or display in your window to engage interest to keep in touch…or a note on your website.  Have you been planning for when you re-open? Is there a new service you can offer, or something you’d like to change over and above the social distancing regulations?  My colleague John Abbate has written an article with checklists and suggestions, hints and tips so do please read his piece about merchandising during and after lockdown.

So, change is happening – it’s an exciting time – and technology is here to help us rather than hinder.

I confess I’m not finding it easy, but I’m embracing technology too by writing an online course covering the basic guidelines and principles of display, visual merchandising and styling so that when people start emerging once again and expect to see changes – how are you looking?!  My course encourages you to look at your business, retail, service, hospitality or otherwise, with fresh eyes and see it through your customers’ perspective.  You know what you do – but do they? What are your first impressions? Do you really stand out and shine?  And as my course is online it’s convenient to you whenever you want, and wherever you are!

To register your interest please sign up for our newsletter and keep an eye on social media so I can let you know first.  We’d love to help. Visual Styling is our business and we aim to Make You Look!


A big thankyou to SkyFilming who have given me permission to use their video of York under lockdown.