what is a merchandiser?

Retail merchandising is a very important job in the world of retail sales. A merchandiser works closely with buyers and makes many financial decisions regarding purchasing. As a merchandiser, you have the fast-paced job of projecting demands for certain products, working with buyers to purchase them, and even deciding on a budget for different products. You work with analysts, suppliers, distributors, and more on a regular basis, deciding how much to pay for different products and how many different lines of a product to buy. You will oversee merchandise deliveries and stock levels and work through any issues that arise with them. The most important tasks vary daily, as a big part of the job is ensuring popular stock stays on the shelf each day rather than getting sold out. This means one of your skill sets will be selecting the right amount of products at the right times.

merchandiser jobs

average salary of a merchandiser

The average salary for Merchandiser is £35,349 per year in the London Area, according to glassdoor.

Level of education, additional certifications, and the number of years working in this profession will impact your actual annual salary. Some businesses require at least a bachelor's degree and two to four years of experience in the field in order for them to hire you. Continuing education and working to gain more experience will lead to increased pay. This also gives you a competitive advantage.


types of merchandisers

Your work options as a merchandiser include the following:

  • Retail merchandising
  • Visual merchandising
  • Product merchandising
  • Digital merchandising
  • A combination of the above

All of these positions still include the process of predicting what products will sell the best. You also are in charge of positioning them in brick and mortar and retail storefronts in an attractive way, and you help decide on different promotions to run or how to market them in order to bring the products the most attention. Depending on the type of business, there is sometimes a need for several different types of merchandisers at one company. Alternatively, companies will need you to fulfil one or more of these roles.


working as a merchandiser

As a merchandiser, you have a variety of demanding responsibilities. You will work with many different people in order to study past sales and marketing history and learn what has worked well and what hasn't. As a merchandiser, you collaborate with buyers in stores as well as producers and suppliers of many products. You will even work with marketing teams, shift managers and store managers. This takes you into several different work environments and will include a mix of desk work and work that will have you on your feet. The work schedule is not typically flexible, so expect full-time hours each week. The career field of merchandising will remain a necessary part of the retail industry, so if this is a job you would enjoy and excel at, there is plenty of room for career longevity and even growth.

merchandiser job description

A merchandiser's primary responsibility is to study, analyse, and forecast market trends in order to make the best choices for retail products. Here are other duties you must carry out.


work environment

The work environment of a merchandiser is not the same day after day. Some of your work will take place in an office setting. Part of your responsibilities will require that you make phone calls and send and receive emails as you communicate with buyers, suppliers, and other people you collaborate with. This job also involves some traveling. You will visit suppliers to discuss production with them and work out the best pricing for your store or client. You will also visit stores in order to assess their store layouts and how their customers are responding to it. This will help in your decision making about the most attractive way to advertise products and promotions on them.

work schedule

As a merchandiser, you will work a typical full-time work week. Normally, you will work a regular nine-to-five schedule, Monday through Friday. Since the job will sometimes require that you travel, though, you will occasionally have an irregular day. It's also possible that some weeks will be busier than others. Busier days will often require overtime hours. This is mostly if there are issues with suppliers that you have to facilitate finding solutions to and during the busy holiday shopping seasons when stores are offering more sales and promotions.

job outlook

According to prospects "It's possible to start at the bottom and work your way up without a degree, although progression will be slower. Within buying you’ll typically start as a buyer's admin assistant or trainee assistant buyer before progressing to assistant buyer and then on to a buyer job.

It's a similar story for merchandisers - you could start as a merchandising admin assistant and progress to assistant merchandiser before applying for merchandiser jobs.

With significant experience it's possible to climb the ladder to become a buying controller or merchandising director."


education & qualifications

According to prospects "Roles are open to graduates of all disciplines but business, fashion, finance and retail-related subjects are particularly relevant.

For example, for the BSc Fashion Buying and Merchandising course at The University of Manchester you'll need to achieve AAB at A-level for entry. The programme takes three years to complete, four with an industrial placement. Core course modules include 'Raw Materials for Fashion', 'Management and the Apparel Pipeline', 'Fashion Buying and Merchandising', 'Fashion Business and Analysis' and 'Buying Strategy'.

To expand on the knowledge and skills gained in your undergraduate study, or if your previous degree was in an unrelated area, you may consider a Masters degree. Postgraduate study is not essential but it may give you an edge.

For entry on to most courses you'll need a good first degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent. However, some institutions may accept those with a 2:2."

A degree in any of the following will increase your chances of getting hired:

  • Business
  • Marketing
  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Computer science
  • Statistics
  • Retail management

A degree will also give you a great skill set to propel your career, especially with the knowledge you gain in any of those subject areas. This knowledge will help you excel in your career as a merchandiser.

skills & competencies

To be a merchandiser, you will need experience in marketing. Your training will need to have included learning about marketing trends and consumer-buying habits. Experience working in the field will also lend to that knowledge, which will help give you the ability to forecast expected trends in the market. This knowledge will help you choose products wisely. As the market trends are always changing, though, you will also need to work well under pressure. This may require you to study, understand, and cater to these changing trends.



Here are the most asked questions about working as a merchandiser.


working with randstand as a merchandiser

If you have ever walked into a store and admired the setup and you were curious about the process that went into the display — the products and the prices — then merchandising is a good career field for you. As a merchandiser, you will be able to work with other people to influence the process of putting specific products on particular shelves at just the right price and time. You will be able to step back and admire your work and how the consumer responds to it.


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