Merchandising is often seen as the more glamorous side of retail, be it in supermarkets, fashion stores or a small outlet because you are the person responsible for deciding which products to buy and how they are displayed.
A merchandiser works in a retail setting to assure that a company's products are properly presented to customers to maximize product sales. A merchandiser needs to know “what’s new on the market, what the customers will like and which products will make a profit.”
It's not all glamour and shopping as a merchandiser and no two days are ever the same. Your typical daily tasks are likely to include:
- Visiting suppliers and manufacturers
- Analysing sales information
- Ordering goods
- Talking to other departments
- Helping with promotions and advertising campaigns
- Producing sales projections
- working closely with buyers and other merchandisers to plan product ranges
- 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.
The working hours may or may not be a fixed number of hours. There will be times when you need to put in overtime and although this job is office based, you may need to travel to meet suppliers or sort out problems with manufacturers, which adds to your expenses, which may be paid or may not be.
To do this job you’ll need marketing expertise, an insight into Market Trends, Product Knowledge, Quality Focus, Customer Focus, Organization, Client Relationships, Promotions, Reporting Skills, Attention to Detail, Territory Management, Competitive Analysis, Job Knowledge and a good understanding of Consumers Buying Habits to be successful. Other attributes that help are:
- Business sense and negotiation skills
- The ability to work well in a team
- Good written and spoken communication skills
- Creative flair
Merchandis's speak : “This is a demanding role working to very tight deadlines. The greatest satisfaction comes with achieving these tight deadlines, negotiating great prices and seeing a happy client as the end result!" Further adding, “Working to extremely tight deadlines and coordinating manufacturers, printers and so on. It can be very demanding."