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Retail merchandiser: job description

Retail merchandiser: job description

Retail merchandisers work closely with company buyers to maximise profitability by predicting and monitoring sales trends and accurately controlling stock levels.
Merchandisers play a key role within a company as profitability can be affected by how successfully they undertake their work

What does a retail merchandiser do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Retail merchandisers are responsible for ensuring that the right amount of goods are available in store being sold at the right price. Merchandisers play a key role within a company as profitability can be affected by how successfully they undertake their work: through shrewd planning, careful purchasing and sensible promotions profits can be enhanced.

Typical responsibilities of the job include:

  • working closely with buyers and other merchandisers to plan product ranges
  • meeting suppliers, distributors and analysts
  • managing budgets
  • predicting sales and profits
  • using specialist computer software including databases
  • visiting manufacturers, stores and suppliers
  • negotiating prices, quantities and delivery time-scales
  • supervising and training junior staff
  • managing levels and distribution of stock
  • handling supply/production problems as they arise
  • setting stock promotions/price reductions as appropriate
  • promoting best selling items in order to maximise profits
  • making financial presentations to senior managers
  • assessing sales performance of ranges

Merchandisers play a key role within a company as profitability can be affected by how successfully they undertake their work: through shrewd planning, careful purchasing and sensible promotions profits can be enhanced.

Typical employers of retail merchandisers

Retail merchandisers will usually work for the fashion industry and in national and independent stores.

Vacancies are advertised by TARGETjobs, careers services, specialist recruitment agencies, online, in national newspapers and publications such as Retail Careers, Retail Week, Draper's Record (for fashion buying vacancies), Retail Moves and The Appointment and their online equivalents. Speculative applications should be sent to the merchandising department of major employers.

Qualifications and training required

A qualification in a relevant subject such as business, marketing, mathematics, statistics, accountancy, economics, operational research, IT, computer studies or management can be advantageous.

Relevant retail or office work experience is often necessary. This can be gained via vacation placements, sales assistant jobs or general graduate store management training programmes.

Key skills for merchandisers

  • Commercial awareness
  • Confidence
  • Able to cope with pressure
  • Good teamworking skills
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Numerical skills
  • IT skills
  • Decision making skills
  • Organisational skills
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