An innovative solution that enables retailers to visualise the product ranges they are planning to send to stores and fine tune product presentations before the start of each new season has been developed by Compass Software in collaboration with a leading UK retailer.

SmartVMTM helps maximise the effectiveness of the product range according to the available space within the stores. It does this by bringing together information from numerical and financial plans and combining it with digital images of selected products and digital representations of fixtures and floor layouts.

Emma Tilley from Compass Software comments: "Consumers' purchasing decisions are based largely on visual influences. Getting the messages and merchandising right the first time is essential to a store's success. SmartVM is dedicated to doing just this by bridging the gap between the art and science in retail merchandising."

The solution supports the visual merchandising process by separating activities into three key stages; store planning, visual merchandising and reporting and analysis.

Retailers can also evaluate a number of different layout options and see the financial impact on the overall fixture or department performance at a level of detail that is appropriate for their business. And new stores can be modelled electronically to identify the ideal layout configuration, as well as modelling how products should be merchandised on new fixtures.