National Skills Academy for Retail uses Mockshop to deliver 21st century education
The National Skills Academy for Retail intends to enhance its retail education programmes by introducing Mockshop visual merchandising software across its network of skills shops.
Students at all 28 skills shopswill be given access to Mockshop’s 3D virtual reality visual merchandising tools, worth over £300,000. The software has been given free-of-charge by Mockshop’s author vrSoftware. This forms part of the company’s ongoing commitment to provide free access to Mockshop software for any education establishment teaching visual merchandising.
Discussing the decision to implement the software across all skills shops, the National Skills Academy for Retail’s Membership and Operations Manager, John Browning,revealed that Mockshop will enable students to study the art of visual merchandising at a far more detailed level:
‘The opportunities for students to experience the visual merchandising challenges of a large retail store are extremely limited. They rarely get the chance to try out ideas of their own during their work experience, so using Mockshop on a day-to-day basis will give them real insight into the profession. The software brings visual merchandising education into the 21st century and will enable students to plan, build and visualise an entire 3D store, then work and learn within a fully interactive virtual reality environment.’
Students currently study within the confinements of onsite mock shops, located within each skills shop. These ‘rooms’ can have a limited number of fixtures, a small stock of donated garments, and no real point-of-sale materials.
Before they begin to arrange a store, students often have to iron stock, dismantle and remove previous displays and arrange fixtures themselves. It’s all very time consuming and labour intensive, reducing the actual time they can spend experimenting with layout, trying out new ideas and being visually creative.
‘Mockshop will liberate our students’ creativity and broaden their knowledge of visual merchandising,’ Browningpoints out. ‘The 3D tools will enable students to build departments and stores of any shape and size and help them understand how retail space can be used and maximised. Stock can be photographed or borrowed straight from the web, and Mockshop’s library of point-of-sale materials and fixtures will give students visual options they’ve never had before. Each student will now have a much larger canvas to work with and I’m excited to see what they will produce using Mockshop.’
Len Horridge, Training and Education Manager at vrSoftware, is also eager to see how Mockshop will be used: ‘We’re very happy to provide our software to the students, who I’m sure will use it to speed up their own learning and quickly grasp the full capabilities of what the software can do. I've got a sneaking suspicion that once they begin using Mockshop, they’ll spot new opportunities and push us to do even more with the software. We’re actively looking for their feedback on how they use it and perhaps more importantly, what they'd like to use it for in the future. This is a very significant partnership for us.’
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