I did visual merchandising work experience when I was about 16 in Habitat - a British furniture store. My teacher told me visual merchandising was just a fancy name for stacking shelves and making things look nice. But when you see what department stores do in their window displays these days, I think the term 'visual merchandising' should be elevated to 'display art director' or something. Selfridges in London's new spring display revolves around using common phrases and interpreting them using their merchandise - phrases like 'done a runner', 'legs turned to jelly' etc. (Some are particular only to Britain).
Done a Runner // A Lot On Your Plate