Visual Retailing (VR) is a visual merchandising design and database tool created specifically for the retail fashion industry. Merchandising students within the apparel, events, and hospitality management (AESHM) department use the Visual Retailing Software in a variety of courses, ranging from the introductory merchandising courses through senior-level courses.
The VR software provides students with the ability to virtually re-create store spaces, populate them with 3D digital images of the product, and produce merchandising directives that are easy to read and execute. It is used by a number of major retailers, including Target, Macy’s, and Dillard’s; hence, students are gaining exposure to up-to-date technology that is used within the industry.
The software was donated to Iowa State University for educational purposes in 2008. Iowa State University was within one of the first ten universities in the United States to attain the software for student use, thanks to the partnership between the VR Software developers and CGI Technologies and Solutions, Inc.