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Chuck NorrisTips By Merchandising Guru Ali Levy,

The Classics:

  • Why We Buy:  The Science of Shopping and What Women Want:  The Science of the Female Shopper, both by Paco Underhill.  I have mentioned these before but they are industry classics that belong in your collection.  Why We Buy includes an updated version that includes the internet and global consumerism.

The Hardcore:

  • Silent Selling:  Best Practices and Effective Strategies in Visual Merchandising, by Judy Bell.  I saw this woman speak once at Global Shop, and she is incredible.  As the Group Manager of Creative Merchandising Solutions for Target, this is an in-depth exercise on practices and theories.

The Bob Vila on a budget:

  • The Budget Guide to Retail Store Planning and Design, by Jeff Grant.  This book focuses on those who are planning to open a store or thinking of a remodel.  This offers practical advice on how to properly plan and do it yourself, on a budget.

Mysteries of the Big Box:

  • Retail Superstars:  Inside the 25 Best Independent Stores in America, by George Whalin.  This is an interesting look inside some highly successful non big box stores and what they have learned to do and not to do in an age of keeping the mom and pop’s afloat.

Best Overall How to get it done:

  • Visual Merchandising:  Windows and In-Store Display for Retail by Tony Morgan.  This along with books from Paco Underhill might be what you need to complete your VM library.   This is an easy to follow guide on all aspects of retail space planning and displays.  Bonus comprehensive resource guide in the back.

Don’t Kill the Messenger:

  • How to Say it at Work by Jack Griffin is a favorite as it helps you to sell your ideas to other staff members without offending or insulting the person who spent hours completing a display you simply hate.

Finally, the Jackie Collins trash novel of merchandising:

  • Confessions of a Window Dresser by Simon Doonan.   The Creative Director at Barneys, NY is highly regarded by some and loathed by others for his often provocative and controversial window displays.  This book is mostly about his career and contains juicy tidbits about difficult buyers and store managers.  It does inspire though with pictures of some of his iconic creations.

First, check your local bookstore for these books or you can find them on Happy Reading!

View past merchandising articles our Merchandising Mondays quicktips at

Ali LevySIA is working with visual merchandising consultant Ali Levy, to provide Members with some fresh merchandising ideas for increasing sales and interest from buyers. Levy’s impressive resume includes managing retail, buying and trade show/retail merchandising efforts for some of the industry’s biggest names including The North Face, SmartWool, Cloudveil and Marmot. For more information about her company, contact Ali at or visit her website,