Client Story – S.Walton Eyecare

Services provided: Visual Merchandising 

The proof of the pudding is in the takings, which are currently 25% up on this time last year!…”

S. Walton Logo

Independent Retailer & Community Optical Practice

S.Walton Eyecare is an independent retailer and community optical practice with a rich heritage of over 90 years delivering outstanding customer service and affordable eye care solutions. The premises on Stanhope Road, South Shields, opened in 1926 originally as Sidney Walton Opticians. It has been under the current ownership of optometrist, Kaye Winship, since 2007.

Having received recommendations via The Inspire Network, Kaye contacted Ann originally with a request for a ‘window dressing course.’ Following discussions about Kaye’s vision to grow the business, Ann delivered a bespoke training day on how they could utilise Visual Merchandising (VM) as a silent sales technique to attract more customers and increase sales.

The award winning practice is recognised by local people as a caring independent opticians and affordable alternative to the high street optical retail chains, but it has to compete with them for business without their huge marketing budgets.

Well equipped with the latest technology S.Walton offers optician services, eyesight testing, contact lens consultations and sells a range of spectacle frames, lenses, sunglasses and specialist eyewear including designer brands.

The Art of Visual Merchandising Masterclass began with a presentation on the theory of VM and display using real life case study examples to demonstrate the principles. We then focused on how S.Walton were currently presenting their brand, products and services. Using ‘before’ photos as reference points we observed the customer journey and discuss where improvements could be made.

Putting into practice the knowledge gained the team created an interactive Seasonal Calendar Wall using post-it notes to generate ideas for marketing promotions and window displays themes for the year.

This was followed by a fun hands-on activity where the team were invited to create a 30-minute display using existing props and stock. They enjoyed being creative and came up with some excellent ideas, resulting in them all being awarded course certificates.

Just two months after the course it was brilliant to hear from Kaye that sales had increased by 25% from the same time last year, which is proof of the power of Visual Merchandising!

You can see the transformation at S.Walton Eyecare in these ‘Before’ and ‘After’ photos…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


What started as a request for a ‘window dressing course’ has turned into a full business Visual Merchandising overhaul inside and out!

S.Walton - VM Course Certificate Presentation

Presenting Kaye Winship with her Visual Merchandising Masterclass Certificate

Since our Visual Merchandising Masterclass I feel our window displays are professional and appealing. It hardly cost us any money as Ann showed us how to use the material we already have, using old equipment as props and getting free merchandising material from our suppliers.

I really feel that Ann has coaxed the creative juices out of the team and showed us the way forward. The masterclass was creative, inspiring and pulled together the data/strategy side of marketing with the all-important visual presentation side.

I loved the seasonal calendar wall exercise because it got the staff not only thinking of the window display but also of the value based offers, ideas and strategy that tie in with everything else.

I’m pleased to say I’m proud of the appearance of my opticians practice and its window displays now, whereas everything was looking a bit jaded. People simply hadn’t noticed from the outside that we were there (and had been since 1926!)

The proof of the pudding is in the takings, which are currently 25% up on this time last year!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your help Ann, I would not hesitate in recommending you to anyone.”

Kaye Winship, Director and Optometrist – S.Walton Eyecare


Intrigued? – Find out how I can help you to attract customers and increase sales with The Art of Visual Merchandising masterclasses, courses and workshops.

Book a free 30mins Discovery Call >

Ann Sig Handwritten

Leave a Reply