In its simplest form, merchandising is getting the right stock in the right place at the right time. A merchandiser is responsible for timing, quantity and the general availability of a company’s products, online and in-store. They work closely with the buying teams to predict trends and plan stock levels.
This is a highly analytical role, and involves working with specific technical programs including WSSI (Weekly Sales and Stock Intake sheet) MS Excel and OTB or Open-to-Buy programmes, which involves benchmarking, stock planning and allocating.
“Creative flair, an eye for fashion, strong commercial awareness and an understanding of the high street are essential to this role. With a responsibility for all aspects of retail design including window and in-store design and display, merchandising of product and promotions, graphic design, store design and the implementation of in-store product displays and mannequins, there’s no doubt this job is demanding but with its ability to inspire and influence our customers, it’s hugely fulfilling too.” Arcadia Group
Merchandising is different to visual merchandising, which is more of a creative role. Working with displays in store. If you are looking for visual merchandising jobs click here.
Jobs in merchandising may also be advertised under the following job titles:
Merchandise administrative assistant (MAA)
Head of merchandising
Director of merchandising/merchandising director
Planning product ranges
Controlling stock levels
Meeting with suppliers
When you apply for your next merchandiser role, you will likely be tested on your ability to do the job, including numerical tests, job-specific tasks and more. Learn about what to expect from psychometric tests here.
Good knowledge of the supply chain
Forecasting and planning
From £15,000 to £18,000 a year, rising to £20,000 with experience.
Typically between £28,000 and £36,000.
From £45,000 to £65,000, plus a benefits package.
Head of merchandising/merchandising director
At the top of the profession, a head or director of merchandising in a large company can earn in excess of £85,000, plus benefits.
(Salaries vary with location, employer size, turnover and product type.)
There are many different roles you can apply for as an experienced merchandiser. From branch merchandising, ecommerce merchandising and international merchandising. Your role will differ slightly depending on what product type you are working on. Bear in mind that it is easier for a merchandiser to more into different product areas than it would be for buyers for example, so don’t be afraid to apply for roles that seem outside your current expertise.
Glenn Pollard, head of merchandising for jewellery and cosmetics at Claire's