Merchandisers make sure that the products they handle are in the store when needed and in the required quantities.
They coordinate with the team in charge of buying merchandise, and use the information to forecast trends and plan strategies for maintaining the amount of stock needed, and oversee performance. They make the decision on expenditures, the merchandise and the quantity of the merchandise to be bought.
Nature of Work
Merchandisers are in charge of determining which merchandise to stock in certain stores and the manner in which they should be exhibited. In large retail stores, they may deal with only one line of products. In smaller stores, they may act as both the buyer and the merchandiser. Merchandisers are responsible for predicting trends, planning which range of products to stock and making decisions as to which items will appeal most to buyers. They study sales information, analyzing them, working out sales targets and planning strategies on how to raise profits. They use computers when working with sales statistics, producing sales projections, presenting them with graphs and spreadsheets to management. They make visits to distributors, suppliers or manufacturers where they can select products, and do the negotiating for prices, ordering merchandise, and agreeing on the time and date of delivery. Merchandisers also prepare all the necessary documents, and maintain contact with suppliers and manufacturers to make sure that the ordered products are delivered on time. Inside the store, merchandisers work closely with department managers and personnel in charge of visual display to determine how merchandise are to be exhibited so they attract the attention of the most number of customers. Together, they plan and create advertising promotions and sales campaigns. Merchandisers analyze price points, colors or styles to determine which have the potentials of being bestsellers and make sure they reach this level, while at the same time monitor slow selling items, and take steps to promote their sales or reduce prices as necessary. In some instances, merchandisers may be required to travel to other stores and monitor sales. There, they may have to decide whether to increase, withdraw or transfer goods to another branch or store.
Most employers look for candidates with college degree in marketing or business, although a high school diploma or GED is sufficient. Merchandisers need to have adequate mathematical ability because they need to deal with budgets and must understand sales figures. They should be able to work in a team, and have high level of negotiation skills. They should have good written and verbal communication skills, as well as be creative and organized.