How To Built A Career In Retail Merchandising


The role of a merchandiser is very important in today’s world. These persons are responsible for making sure that the right product reaches its intended store and the correct time and in optimum quantity. If it was not for the merchandisers then it will very difficult to get the products on right time. Further, merchandisers should be able to predict the market trends well before in hand for planning stock levels and sale performance. If not, then there are chances of getting fewer sales or out of stock situations at peak sale time. Other responsibilities of a merchandiser include deciding upon the expenses and money management in addition to inventory management. The role of a merchandiser is very important one as it can affect the profitability of the organization. It is their job to decide what prices are the best for selling products and maximising profit. It involves studying previous market statistics and doing an in depth analysis of competition so that the performance of a product or a range of product is best in class. What more, they have also the task of ensuring that the stock is reached to its destination within a well stipulated time limit and in the same condition as it was dispatched from the warehouse of the company.

As the career path surges ahead the role of merchandiser increases to planning and management. The groundwork knowledge plays an important part at that time in giving shapes to trading strategies. There are different types of merchandising like Retail Merchandising, Fashion Merchandising, and Visual Merchandising etc. The basic function remains same while broader role changes as per the demand of work and field. In retail merchandising there are mainly two important roles to be played which are:

Merchandising Specialist

He is a representative of the company in retail stores. The role of a Merchandising Specialist is to make sure that the store which is receiving the stock is located in a visible location. This is also known as product placement. He also has to make sure that product is offered in the store in a presentable manner, an aesthetically appealing way. He has to have good interpersonal skills, diplomatic ways of doing things and negotiating skills along with an eye for detail.


The function of merchandiser is more like visual part of the job. He/she works in coordination with design team to properly place the product so that it catches the fancy of the buyer. Developing colors and specifications, performing market research for finding out novel ways of selling the products is another responsibility of a merchandiser. Along with good communication skills he/she also needs to have better visual and analytical abilities than usual. A creative bent of mind will be an added advantage.

How to become a retail merchandiser?

To pursue a professional career in retail merchandising one should go for a degree course or diploma in merchandising management. The Indian Retail School is one of the premiere institutes that conduct courses in retail management with optimum exposure to merchandising. Among the qualities needed to become a successful retail merchandiser being organized is the most important. It also helps to have good numerical abilities which are required in forecasting and sales analysis.

What is the work like?

A retail merchandiser has lots of work responsibilities up his hands. Although it depends on the company and the different retail sectors, here is a typical list of work activities:

  • Maintaining a record of the inventory data, planning product ranges and preparing reports of sales and stock
  • Coordinating with suppliers and distributors
  • Working in close coordination with designing staff and making decisions on product placements in order to maximize consumer interest and sales
  • Preparing forecast reports, doing study of the market trends and predicting the profits and sales
  • Working to increase sale volume and profitability margin of the product line
  • Creating presentations and heading meetings to assess the sales figures and market dynamics, setting targets for new product line
  • Using software to develop reports and making calculations regarding sales statistics, sales projections and spreadsheets and graphs
  • Monitoring performance of stores and taking action as and when required to optimise sales
  • Taking feedback of customers and incorporating any improvements if required
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