For one day each week for the past month and a half, I was a certified mall rat–but for good reason.  This was my first time being a judge at the Ayala Malls Visual Merchandising & Christmas Decor Awards and it entailed visiting all the Ayala malls to do some window shopping (real shopping was allowed too ;-)), a LOT of eating (for all that strolling around & lifting of shopping bags), a bit of discovering (for little-known stores), and a fair amount of getting to know some really wonderful people (fellow judges Anton, Paolo & Kitkat, and of course our very patient guide, Crispy…I mean, Crissy).  It was a tough job, but hey, someone had to do it.

Between the scrumptious lunches, hilarious conversations, and sugar-high meriendas, we actually did serious work discussing the visual design merits of the stores we visited.  From a shop’s window display, to its layout, to its dressing rooms, to the way its merchandise is presented, and even the shopping bags & salespeople’s uniforms, everything was taken into consideration.  The stores we visited included those in Alabang Town Center, Glorietta, Greenbelt, Market! Market!, Serendra, Bonifacio High Street, Trinoma, Marquee mall (in Pampanga), and culminated yesterday with our final visit to Ayala mall in Cebu.

It was a pleasant surprise for most of us to discover the design-savvy & creativity that many of the smaller, local stores had in their visual merchandising.  Which just goes to show that with a little creativity and imagination, a display can go a looooong way!

Attention to details like these funky wire hangers wrapped in fabric created visual interest

Unusual Christmas displays included quilted words, red wire and bare bulbs

Retro visuals created a nostalgic collage

Piled up red furniture and red balls made a quirky allusion to a Christmas display


…graffiti-like visuals made this store’s window displays pop!

Pretty touches included this customized display stand

Putting their stocks on show made a functional, colorful and simple display

In Marquee mall, we were enticed to sit on this “rope” stool (& shop for a few pairs of shoes!)

The props and uniforms of these salesgirls continued the store’s theme

The other judges convinced me to play the crazy customer!  Thanks for the pic, Kit 🙂

After judging, the girls indulged in a little accessory shopping in Cebu

On board our flight with fellow judges Paolo Reyes, Anton Mendoza & Kitkat Zobel and Ayala’s Crissy Miguel

Happy to be in Cebu (even just for a day) for our culminating mall visit to Ayala Center Cebu 🙂

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