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Retail giants team up with Weston-super-Mare school

STUDENTS from Weston-super-Mare got hands-on visual merchandising experience as part of their business studies course.

North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College (NSETC) teamed up with Cabot Circus and House of Fraser in Bristol to deliver the school’s Level 3 Business Studies visual merchandising unit.

Cabot Circus’ manager Jason Strange gave students an overview of what goes into running a large retail complex like Cabot Circus and the school students were also given a talk from House of Fraser’s visual merchandising team.

Staff from House of Fraser then put together a brief to students and they had to design their own window display.

NSETC’s Business Development Manager Emma Cox said: “One team had a holiday checklist theme, with all the clothes you would need in your suitcase. They chose the 1950s trend, as this style of fashion is set to boom in the summer. Our second group surrounded their design around a set of car keys and the bomber jacket.

“The judging panel from House of Fraser felt the first team were more creative, but the second were more business-minded – putting high-value items on display such as sunglasses and watches.”

Harley Kent was one of the students who took part, and said: “It was eye opening to see how much work can go into the creation of an in-store display.”

Another student on the course, Melissa Sturman, added: “It was great to get the opportunity to work outside of the classroom and see how what we’ve learned actually works in real life.”

The students were assessed during their pitches as part of the course. Mrs Cox said: “This is a great example of a company investing time in our students. It was part of their BTEC assessment and now they are all going back to do work experience either at Cabot Circus or at House of Fraser.”