Retail Merchandising

C Abbott retouch 710px web

A talented Windsor College student has been crowned one of the world’s top young visual merchandisers. Catherine Abbott, who recently completed a retail and merchandising display course at Windsor College and now works for Topshop, won the silver medal for visual merchandising at WorldSkills 2017 – the world’s largest international skills competition for young people.

Catherine (aged 21, from Reading) showcased her skills by designing, planning and creating a stunning window display as part of the four-day competition in Abu Dhabi. Beating contenders from across the globe, Catherine was presented with her medal at a prestigious Olympics-style closing ceremony on 19th October.

Catherine said: “I was in absolute shock when they called my name. This means so much within my industry, I’m sure this will lead to a bright future for me. Big sacrifices were made to get to this point, but it’s been worth all the hard work and effort.”

Catherine took part and triumphed in regional heats, a national final, a Team UK selection process and months of intensive training, to represent the UK in visual merchandising at the 44th WorldSkills Finals.

More than 1,200 young people, from over 50 nations, who are specialist in 51 different disciplines from hairdressing to aircraft maintenance plumbing to 3D Games design, competed for gold, silver and bronze medals. Picking up 20 medals, Team UK finished 10th in the medals table ahead of Germany and was the smallest team to make the global top 10.

Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, Anne Milton MP, who visited the competition to support WorldSkills UK and the team, said:

“I have been blown away by Team UK. They have done fantastically well – this is the UK competing on the World stage for skills and achieving great things.

 “There is a message here for parents – university is not the only option – the opportunities are boundless if they overcome any bias that they might have. We must ensure that the young apprentices here become an inspiration to others.

 “WorldSkills UK is doing a fantastic job supporting these young people – with thousands of hours of input. We need to put all that they are doing - the ethos of this competition, the spirit of these apprentices- into a bottle and sprinkle it across the UK.”

 The Retail and Merchandising Display Department at Windsor College is a centre of excellence for visual merchandising and display design. The courses are highly respected within the industry and former students have gone onto successful careers with leading retailers such as Harrods, John Lewis and Debenhams.

 Sue Leadbeater, lecturer at Windsor College, enthuses: “We are absolutely delighted for Catherine and we are all very proud of her. It has been great to see her develop her skills and grow in confidence. She is a talented individual with a bright future ahead of her.”

 Catherine follows in the footsteps of fellow Windsor College student Kirsty Hoadley, who won the gold medal in visual merchandising at WorldSkills London 2011.

 Windsor College is part of the Windsor Forest Colleges Group, which was formed in 2017 following a merger between East Berkshire College and Strode’s College in Egham. For further information on Windsor College and its wide range of creative courses, please click here or call 01753 793000.

EBC 9430 web 710px

Talented visual merchandising students from Windsor College have created an inspirational piece of interactive art for Windsor Baptist Church in Victoria Street. The vibrant tree-themed artwork, which has been sensitively designed to reflect the values and diversity of the church, was officially unveiled on Tuesday (13th June 2017).

The three students, Frankie Di Gangi, Manisha Kumar and Diya Seepaul, who are all studying a level three course at the College in St Leonard's Road, designed and constructed two six foot trees to adorn the quiet balcony area of the church. As well as providing a beautiful back drop for the space, the colourful trees have been specially devised, so those visiting the church can write a thought, feeling or prayer on a leaf and hang it on one of the trees as a way to express themselves or connect with the church.

Student Frankie Di Gangi (aged 19), said: “We are really proud we have created something for the community for local people to enjoy. We’ve never done anything quite like this before and the experience has taught us a lot about teamwork and working to a client brief.”

Kate Saunders, Community Pastoral Manager at Windsor Baptist Church, explains: “We had an idea about creating some artwork for the Church and approached the College after seeing the beautiful window displays created by their students. The students visited us to understand how the space is used by the community and what we were looking to achieve.”

“The ideas the girls came up with were so good. We’ve had a very positive response from people who have seen it, with many commenting on how it joins the different areas of the building together. It is something that is going to be used and loved by the community for years to come.”

Windsor Baptist Church is truly a space for the community, being used by a wide range of different groups including the Windsor Homeless Project, Street Angels, UP Depression and Anxiety Group, Blossoms Ballet, Rattle ‘n’ Roll Drama Group and a local rock choir. The Church also includes the popular Treehouse Café, which is open six days a week. For more details, click here.

Windsor College, part of East Berkshire College, has an extensive art department that includes facilities for fine art, graphics, 3D design, photography, media production, fashion, interior design and visual merchandising. The College also offers a wide range of A Levels as well as specialist courses in performing arts, science, accountancy and business.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of over 800 courses available, click here or call 01753 793000.

kirsty Hoadley_news_01_400pxA talented East Berkshire College student has been crowned the world's top young visual merchandiser. Kirsty Hoadley, who recently completed a retail and merchandising display course at the Windsor Campus, won the gold medal for visual merchandising at WorldSkills London 2011 - the world's largest international skills competition for young people.

Kirsty (20, from Slough) showcased her skills by designing, planning and creating two stunning window displays as part of the four-day competition at ExCel London. Beating contenders from across the globe, Kirsty was presented with her medal at a prestigious Olympics-style closing ceremony at The O2 Arena on Sunday (9 October).

Overwhelmed by the win, Kirsty said: "I am over the moon with the result. It's great to see all the hard work and training has paid off. The entire experience has been fantastic. I've met some amazing people, made lots of industry contacts and learnt so much."

"I owe a lot to my lecturers at East Berkshire College. It is because of them that I got involved in this competition and they have supported me throughout. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do when I started College, but they believed in me and taught me how to channel my creativity. Going to college really has changed my life."

As part of her preparation for WorldSkills, Kirsty was given the opportunity to work with visual merchandising teams for Debenhams, Selfridges and Harrods.

"This competition has opened so many doors for me" explains Kirsty. "A lot of companies have approached me about my work and possible projects. I've also been accepted on a visual merchandising course at the London College of Fashion. Winning WorldSkills is such an achievement and I hope it will help raise the profile of visual merchandising as a career."

More than 1,000 young people from 52 countries took part in the event, competing in 46 skill areas from bricklaying to web design. Over 200,000 visitors, which included the Prime Minister David Cameron and Skills Minister John Hayes, watched the competitors battle it out.

Praising the achievements of Kirsty and the other 12 medal winners, Skills Minister John Hayes said: "Kirsty is a great example of UK talent. People like Kirsty reinforce my strong belief that practical skill is no less worthy of recognition than academic achievement. They have laid the foundations for happy, productive lives for themselves and shown their peers how much talent, hard work and ambition can achieve."

kirsty Hoadley_news_02_400pxSue Leadbeater, lecturer at East Berkshire College, enthuses: "We are all very proud of Kirsty. It has been great to see her progress and grow over her time at the college. Her gold medal win is deserved recognition for her skills, professionalism and dedication. She is a very talented individual with a bright future ahead of her."

The College's Retail and Merchandising Display Department, which is based at the Windsor Campus, is a centre of excellence for display design. The courses are highly respected within the industry, having received several awards from the British Display Society. Former students have gone onto successful careers with leading retailers such as Harrods, John Lewis and Debenhams.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its retail and merchandising display courses call 0845 373 2500.

East Berkshire College uses Cookies. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume you are happy to receive cookies from this website

Browse courses

Select from any of the menus below below to find a course:

Search courses

Enter a course title or code

×
  1. Profile

    Your own personal space on our website. Add your picture, save your details for faster applications, and more.

  2. my Courses

    Any courses you click 'like' on are saved here for browsing later. You can also check the progress of courses you have already applied for.

  3. my Prospectus

    Create a personalised digital prospectus from the courses you have clicked ‘like’ on throughout the site.

  4. Help & Advice

    Questions? Visit our help centre for tips and information on how to get the most out of myEBC.

×