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From the Editor

Centenarian Celebration

On its 125th anniversary, VMSD traces its origins and looks to the future




THE SETTING IS November 1897 in Chicago. L Frank Baum (who would go on to author “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” just a few years later) was editing the first edition of The Show Window, a trade publication dedicated to the art of window dressing, store design and visual merchandising.

After Baum departed the publication in the early 1900s, the magazine would go on to become the main competitor of Display World, another VM-focused trade pub, which it later merged with in 1938. From that point on, there would be many name changes: The Merchants Record & Show Window; Visual Merchandising; VM&SD; VM+SD and, finally, VMSD – sans the plus sign. Despite the name changes, the magazine’s mission has remained consistent during the past 125 years: to deliver timely, important content to the retail industry at large.

This special anniversary issue features a comprehensive timeline (pg. 42) authored by our New York Editor, Eric Feigenbaum – also perhaps our unofficial VMSD historian! We’ve also included some of your favorite retail memories (gathered through our BrainSquad) as well as pictures from a plethora of past issues. Also, be sure to meet our staff and regular contributors on pg. 52.

We’d be remiss if we failed to mention the other exciting content in this issue, including an in-depth case study on Wilson Sporting Goods’ physical concepts; the “Bombshell” Victoria’s Secret High Line pop-up; and a Two-Minute Tour on New York’s SoHo – November/December is historically our “New York” edition after all! This issue also features our Top Stories of the Year (pg. 36), penned annually by VMSD’s former editor and longtime contributing writer Steve Kaufman, illustrated by our Art Director Danielle Sy.

So now that we have 125 years under our belt, what does the future hold for VMSD? In 2023, you can look forward to thicker issues, more trends pieces and in-depth web exclusives to be featured on between print editions. In the coming months, we’ll be announcing our location for the 2023 International Retail Design Conference (read about 2022’s event in our recap on pg. 30). And per usual, our January/February “Look Book” issue will offer up some inspiration in the form of the latest and greatest retail products – it also includes our 2023 retail forecast and coveted holiday windows recap.

In short, there’s a lot to look forward to in the coming year, and you’re all a part of that. Whether you’re discovering VMSD for the first time or have read this publication for many, many years, we thank you for being such an important part of our story.

Here’s to another 125!

Centenarian Celebration




MasterClass: ‘Re-Sparkling’ Retail: Using Store Design to Build Trust, Faith and Brand Loyalty

HOW CAN WE EMPOWER and inspire senior leaders to see design as an investment for future retail growth? This session, led by retail design expert Ian Johnston from Quinine Design, explores how physical stores remain unmatched in the ability to build trust, faith, and loyalty with your customers, ultimately driving shareholder value.

Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

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