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Team Leader Regional VM/Marketing & Luxury at Douglas.

“After my training as a visual marketing designer, I worked in expansion at Peek & Cloppenburg in the visual marketing department, and then in this position I was jointly responsible for new openings and conversions throughout Europe,” Julian Eßler describes the first steps of his career in visual merchandising.

“Afterwards, I was a project manager at Media Saturn, where I was responsible for new openings and optimisations of MediaMarkt. I then started in German marketing at Douglas as a project manager and now have my own team with which we are responsible for the development of all stationary marketing main campaigns, among other things.”

Team Leader Regional VM at Douglas

As Team Leader Regional VM/Marketing & Luxury at Douglas, Julian Eßler now takes care of the creation of all marketing materials for the PoS together with his team. “With Germany, we look after the largest market with about 350 shops,” he explains and adds: “Our area of responsibility includes the main seasonal campaigns such as Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter, but also many individual store concepts. Every year we set ourselves the goal of optimising the implementations and launching ever more successful concepts.” In doing so, Julian Eßler says he relies on a “young team that wants to bring its own signature to the store concepts with creative suggestions.

The Douglas x Mary Lennox Project

The VM expert describes the current project “Douglas x Mary Lennox” as his biggest challenge to date, as there has never been such a collaboration and such a concept in the VM sector before. “From the first idea scribbles to countless presentations, adjustments and optimisations of the concept, to the formulation of the contract, sampling and implementation, this project was extremely intensive in every respect,” summarises the trained designer for visual marketing before he sums up with satisfaction: “But the whole effort was more than worth it.” (we already reported on RBN on 18.1.22).

The Corona Pandemic

As far as the Corona pandemic and its effects are concerned, Julian Eßler sees himself “in a very privileged situation”, even though the past two years were a great challenge for him, for his team and of course for the Douglas company, and there were many new issues to deal with: “During the lockdown, we often didn’t know whether the campaigns we created would even be able to be played stationary afterwards. In addition, there were completely new requirements, such as the development of a ‘reopening campaign’ or the development of a solution for the attractive communication of the Corona measures. At the same time, we naturally tried to push the digital services and our online shop.”

A credo on stationary retail

Despite the current difficulties, the experienced creative does not doubt the future viability of stationary trade: “I am convinced that stationary trade will always exist. How successful the respective retailer is in the end will strongly depend on the current course set. That’s why it’s exciting to ask ourselves now what a kind of ‘store of the future’ might look like in five to ten years. We are working hard to create worlds of experience instead of just shopping shops.”

When asked about his personal plans for the future, Julian Eßler explains that his goal is to continue to develop concepts that have not existed before. “It is extremely challenging to develop new ideas that you yourself judge to be better and more desirable than the previous ones. When you have found such an idea and it takes more and more shape in the development process, this is the greatest motivation. I look forward to working on many more such ideas and projects in my career.”

Future design trends

As far as future design trends are concerned, the VM/Marketing & Luxury team leader reveals himself to be a fan of analogue designs and concepts. “Of course, I think that in the future, an exciting combination of analogue and digital elements can be very interesting. Nevertheless, I hope that brands will continue to strive to develop impressive analogue concepts. In-store concepts should be elaborate and unique to make a visit to the stores an experience that is simply not possible online with the same emotionalisation.”

Training at Douglas

In order to provide a solid basis and competent new talent in the field of visual merchandising, Douglas is also training visual marketing designers. Already in the next few weeks, the company will advertise the positions for the start of training in 2022. In conclusion, Julian Eßler is already stirring the advertising drum for this: “The training with us is really extremely interesting, because the trainees are not only involved in the practical implementation in the store, but also in the conceptual development with a lot of personal responsibility.”

Photo: Douglas