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1 Week - 1 Job: Merchandiser

1 Week - 1 Job: Merchandiser

2 months ago

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People in the fashion industry perform a large variety of tasks.
In order to help you to better understand this industry, welcome to our new TRP Recruitment saga:  1 week - 1 job

Today's job is Merchandiser. 
What is a merchandiser, what do they do on a daily basis, what kind of skills are required, and how do they end up in this position? Here are the questions we will answer throughout this article.  

 

What is the job of Merchandiser?

Merchandising is about preparation and developing a strategy to permit a company to sell products in order to hit sales and profit targets. A Merchandiser will work closely with different services to ensure products bought will enable them to achieve the sales plan.

This position is often described as a logistic position. It refers to getting the right merchandise, in the right place, at the right time, in the right quantities at the right price. 

Right Merchandise: What kind of product, which styles, which brands, colours, sizes?
Right Place: Where, in which store?
Right Time: When do the products need to be in stores to match the seasonal trend?
Right Quantities: How much? Enough for the stores to make sales but not too much to not have to markdown stock at the end of the season.
The Right Price - Prices need to attract customers, based on the market and competition and still generate a reasonable return on investment for the retailer.

However, it would be misunderstanding the difference between Wholesale Merchandiser and Retail Merchandiser.

Wholesale Merchandisers are overseeing every stage of production from research, development of the original concept to ensuring that the product arrives at the appropriate outlet on time and in sufficient quantity. 
In a way, a wholesale merchandiser position is similar to a supply chain manager. 

On the other hand, Retail Merchandisers are working with buyers, planning and setting up a strategy to then getting the stock into stores at the appropriate time and in the correct quantities.

The merchandiser position could be summed up in finding the balance between the expectations of the customer and the purposes of the company's financial strategy.


What do they do on a daily basis? 

  • Analysing past data and trends to anticipate future needs.
  • Creating a merchandise plan using collected data.
  • Discussing the merchandise plan with the buyer to decide on what products, styles, colours etc to purchase and from which suppliers, at what price for Retail Merchandiser.
  • Putting together a contract for the suppliers including quality control, accuracy and flexibility for Wholesale Merchandiser.
  • Allocating stock to stores.
  • Chasing suppliers for on-time delivery of stock to the right place.
  • Monitoring stock movement.
  • Planning and organising sales, transfers, promotions and clear outs.

The Merchandiser is effective in all commercial decisions such as financials and products decisions. Merchandisers decide of how much money can be spent, on what kind of products and on which quantity. They then decide when the purchased stocks should be delivered into the business.

It is also important to understand that such responsibilities are coupled up with the management of up to million pounds turnover across hundreds of shops. 

"Each mistake or miscalculation has a "multiplier effect" resulting in potentially massive losses. A Merchandiser is effectively running an area of the business and will be responsible for a higher turnover than many Managing Directors of small public companies."

 

How to start?

If you are aiming at a Retail Merchandiser position, an entry level position would be an Allocator or Merchandise (Admin) Assistant position where you learn the basics of the business and how the industry works. 
Working in as Wholesale Administrator would be the first step for a Wholesale Merchandiser position. 

 

Is Merchandiser a position for you? Apply Now