Job description of a Merchandiser. Learn how to become a Merchandiser in this post.
Merchandising is competitive so many options to take a degree in retail, marketing or business. Alternatively, there are college courses available in these areas of study.
Any experience you can get in various departments in retail will stand you in good stead because as a Merchandiser you will be working with many different departments. The knowledge you will gain from this experience will give you a head start in starting a career in merchandising.
A Merchandiser is responsible for deciding which products to display in a retail store and how to display them. To decide this, a Merchandiser will need to analyse data and keep a data library to see which products are making a profit and what’s new on the market. As a Merchandiser, you will be talking to other departments to see what customers like, and you will also be helping with advertising campaigns and promotions.
You will be visiting suppliers and manufacturers, and negotiating on prices. Working with the buying team will also be crucial so that you can forecast trends, plan stock levels and monitor stock performance. As the Merchandiser, you will decide on the quantities of stock to order and where money should be allocated. You will set prices to maximise profits.
In terms of store layout, you will decide this and work closely with the visual display team. You will monitor products that are slow to sell, and act accordingly with regards to the pricing of the products.
The working hours will typically be a minimum of 35 hours per week Monday to Friday, with occasional overtime if you are working to a deadline for a big event or promotion.
Skills and Training Development
A good Merchandiser has creative flair and imagination as well as the ability to analyse data to produce displays that will draw customers in. You will also need excellent communication skills because you will not only be negotiating with suppliers but working with other teams within the company.
As a Merchandiser, you will be learning lots of transferable skills such as communication, commercial skills and business skills in general. This will be useful if you want to progress within the company, either with the Marketing department or elsewhere, and get promoted. You could also transfer these skills to another industry outside of retail, so there are plenty of possibilities to progress your career.
In terms of management progression, you will be responsible for managing and training junior staff which will also give you good team leadership skills.
A new Merchandiser can expect to earn between £19,000 and £25,000. This will rise to around £30,000 per year with experience.