Introduction: The retailing sector, an important agribusiness option, is witnessing a paradigm shift having long-term implications on the way food retailing will evolve in the emerging economies like India. The organized food retail industry in India is still at the infancy stage with a share of less than one per cent in the total food retail market, in spite of the fact that food is the largest component in the consumer's spending basket. Retailers are trying to capture a larger share of consumer's spending by expanding their product portfolio. The share of private labels in the basket of key food retailers is also increasing, with in-house brands competing fiercely with well-established brands. Further, with the opening of supermarkets and international corporate groups are quickly grabbing investment opportunities in the Indian retail sector and the quantum of investments is likely to skyrocket. Amidst this competition where products and quality will be almost similar, the only point of differentiation will be the 'experience' that the consumers will get while shopping. The biggest role of providing the shoppers with an unforgettable experience will be that of visual merchandising. In the present competition the retailers are leaving no stone unturned to gain the loyalty of the consumer. One bad experience, the loyal consumer is gone for good. This not only imply assuring good shopping experience every time a consumer enters a store, but also to retain them by ensuring an impressive visual treat. We get one chance to create the first everlasting impression. This would either create a loyal consumer or would eliminate their chance of ever stepping into the store again. A store that projects a different image and branding definitely gains in the long term. With this competition in the retailing, only merchandise and the brand name of the retailer would not help eliminate the competitors. Instead, more attention and fine detailing needs to be done in terms of designing the store, visual merchandising in the store, competitiveness in pricing, availability of products, etc. In this information laden consumer world, shoppers are increasingly asking for better and newer products. Most of the times, the consumer is more knowledgeable than the store employees. With the above facts a successful retailing business requires that a distinct and consistent image be created in the customer's mind that permeates all product and service offerings. Visual merchandising is the answer for raising the bar of what retailers and the store employee should know. Visual merchandising can take the retail experience to a different level. Visual merchandising can help create that positive customer image that leads to successful sales. It not only communicates the store's image, but also reinforces the stores advertising efforts and encourages impulse buying by the customer. Visual merchandising is a major factor often overlooked in the success or failure of a retail store. It is second only to effective customer relations. What is Visual Merchandising? Visual merchandising can be defined as everything the customer sees, both exterior and interior, that creates a positive image of a business and results in attention, interest, desire and action on the part of the consumer. A story can be told that communicates to the prospective customer what the store is all about. It includes the dramatic presentation of merchandise as well as other important, subtle features that create the store's overall atmosphere. Visual merchandising is the art of implementing effective design ideas to increase store traffic and sales volume. VM is an art and science of displaying merchandise to enable maximum sale. VM is a tool to achieve sales and targets, a tool to enhance merchandise on the floor, and a mechanism to communicate to a customer and influence his decision to buy. VM uses season based displays to introduce new arrivals to customers, and thus increase conversions through a planned and systematic approach by displaying stocks available. Visual merchandising is the activity of promoting the sale of goods, especially by their presentation in retail outlets (New Oxford Dictionary of English, 1999, Oxford University Press). This includes combining products, environments, and spaces into a stimulating and engaging display to encourage the sale of a product or service. Visual merchandising is not a mere arrangement of products but goes deeper and wider into the essence of physicality of the store (Davies and Ward, 2005). It has become such an important element in retailing that a team effort involving the senior management, architects, merchandising managers, buyers, the visual merchandising director, designers, and staff is needed. Eighty percent of our impressions are created by sight; that is why one picture is worth a thousand words (Bastow-Shoop et al., 1991). Each customer has a mental image of a store and its merchandise. A store should have an inviting appearance that makes the customer feel comfortable and yet eager to buy. Visual merchandising starts with the store building itself. The management decides on the store design to reflect the products the store is going to sell and how to create a warm, friendly, and approachable atmosphere for its potential customers. Many elements can be used by visual merchandisers in creating displays including color, lighting, space, product information, sensory inputs (such as smell, touch, and sound), as well as technologies such as digital displays and interactive installations. It is more like an art in the sense that there are implicit rules but they may be broken for striking effects. The main principle of visual merchandising is that it is intended to increase sales, which is not the case with a "real" art. Visual merchandising is one of the final stages in trying to set out a store in a way that customers will find attractive and appealing and it should follow and reflect the principles that underpin the store's image. Visual merchandising is the way one displays 'goods for sale' in the most attractive manner with the end purpose of making a sale. "If it does not sell, it is not visual merchandising." Recently visual merchandising has gained in importance as a quick and cost effective way to revamp retail stores. Traditional levers of competition, such as assortment, service and customer and market segmentation are no longer the buzzword. More people are placing extra emphasis on interior design which has progressed from the shop fitting to entertaining and inspiring the consumers, and hence providing added value to the store. Consumers respond both consciously and unconsciously to visual clues when they visit a store. Visual merchandising is an artistic method to ensure that merchandise sells faster. It's a tool to appeal to the visual senses of the customer. It is gaining popularity with the introduction of self service in retail services. There is increased emphasis on store layout, building, fixtures, equipment, colour displays, silent communication tools and window display. In store displays have taken the art of retailing to a higher level. The basic objective for visual merchandising is a desire to attract customers to a place of business in order to sell the merchandise. Visual merchandising is offered to the customer through exterior and interior presentation. Each should be coordinated with the other using the store's overall theme. Creating and maintaining a store's visual merchandising plan, however, is not a simple task. It is necessary to continually determine what the customer sees. The VM from the customer's perspective should start on the exterior and work completely through the interior of the store. The top five tips for visual merchandising are entice, impact, inspire, identify and add on . Visual Merchandising helps in * Educating the customers about the product/service in an effective and creative way. * Establishing a creative medium to present merchandise in 3D environment, thereby enabling long lasting impact and recall value. * Setting the company apart in an exclusive position. * Establishing linkage between product, product design and marketing by keeping the product in prime focus. * Combining the creative, technical and operational aspects of a product and the business. * Making it easier for the shopper to locate the desired category and merchandise. * Making it easier for the shopper to self-select. * Making it possible for the shopper to co-ordinate & accessorize. * Informing about the latest trends or offers by highlighting them at strategic locations. * Publicises the business. * Publicises the product. * Lays a foundation for the future sales. * Builds prestige. * Supports popular trends. * Establish, promote, and enhance the store's visual image * Harmonises pure business interest with aesthetics. * Arouses Interest. * Creates Desire. * Causes decision to buy. * Takes Advantage of highest profile location. * Directs and redirects common customer traffic patterns. * Introduce and explain new products. * Encourage the shopper to enter the store. * Entertain customers and enhance their shopping experience.