Co-design visual merchandising in 3d virtual stores: A facet theory approach

Juanjuan Wu, Angella Kim, Jayoung Koo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Purpose  – The purpose of this paper is to discover user–generated visual merchandising (VM) directives that could guide VM in physical stores as well as shed light on future development of customizable virtual stores for online retailing. Design/methodology/approach – Applying a facet theory approach, our research involved consumers (n¼145) in co–designing VM directives in a 3D virtual store in collaboration with target corporation. In total, 67 virtual shops in three product categories, i.e., women’s ready–to–wear, boy’s Cherokee, and men’s swim wear, were content analysed, along with written reports. Findings  – The research findings focused on the three facets of VM: merchandising presentation (fixturing, product density, manner of presentation, and product adjacency), in–store environment (layout and interior), and in–store promotion (signage). The research revealed the elements that these facets contain and the relationships between the elements. The findings suggest that retailers should design an ecological instead of a merely utilitarian environment; clear section identity helps shoppers find a sense of ownership and boundaries; and stores should also present a lifestyle solution instead of a merchandise selection. Originality/value – The research contributes both original creations of VM directives and a methodical framework that moves the subject of VM from the physical to the virtual environment and shifts the traditional in–house function of VM to an open innovation in which consumers participate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-560
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Retail and Distribution Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 8 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©Emerald Group Publishing Limited0959-0552


  • Co-design
  • Facet theory
  • Virtual store
  • Visual merchandising


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