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Retail Merchandisers

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Retail merchandisers work closely with company buyers to maximise profitability by predicting and monitoring sales trends and accurately controlling stock levels.

Retail merchandisers are responsible for ensuring that the right amount of goods are available in store and are being sold at the right price. Through shrewd planning, careful purchasing and sensible promotions profits can be enhanced. Merchandisers also assess the needs of individual stores and how they might differ based on factors such as store size and their target demographics.

Typical responsibilities of the job include:

  • working closely with buyers and other merchandisers to plan product ranges

  • meeting with suppliers, distributors and analysts

  • managing budgets

  • predicting sales and profits

  • negotiating 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

  • making financial presentations to senior managers

  • assessing sales performance of different ranges

 

Qualifications and training required

 

There are routes into a retail merchandising career for both university graduates and school leavers, although there are generally fewer opportunities available for school leavers. Graduates can enter the profession with a degree in any discipline, though a qualification in a related subject such as business, marketing, accountancy or management can be advantageous.

 

Key skills for merchandisers

 

  • Commercial awareness

  • Confidence

  • Able to cope with pressure

  • Teamworking skills

  • Communication skills

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Leadership skills

  • Strong numerical and analytical skills

  • IT skills

  • Decision-making skills

  • Organisational skills

 

Typical employers of retail merchandisers

 

Retail merchandisers will usually work for the fashion industry, in national and independent stores and, with the continued rise of online shopping, internet shopping providers.

 



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