Career Development

What Does an Assistant Merchandiser Do?

Find out what an assistant merchandiser does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an assistant merchandiser.

Retail merchandisers are the people who make sure that products are displayed and organized in a way that makes them most appealing to customers. They work closely with store managers, buyers, and other employees to ensure that everything looks great on the shelves.

As an assistant merchandiser, you may not be responsible for creating displays or organizing merchandise by yourself. However, your job is still important because you help support the efforts of full-time merchandisers. You might assist with inventory management, organize product shipments, or perform other tasks that keep the department running smoothly.

Assistant Merchandiser Job Duties

Assistant merchandisers typically have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Evaluating the store layout and merchandising to ensure that all products are displayed in an attractive manner
  • Communicating with vendors regarding new product launches and sales promotions
  • Coordinating product delivery with vendors to ensure that items are delivered on time
  • Planning and executing seasonal sales events such as Labor Day weekend or Black Friday week
  • Inspecting products for quality issues before accepting them for sale in the store
  • Explaining company policies to new hires and training them on how to use equipment such as cash registers
  • Maintaining inventory levels by ordering new stock as needed
  • Monitoring stock levels to ensure that items are always available for sale
  • Ensuring that merchandise is priced correctly according to the store’s pricing policy

Assistant Merchandiser Salary & Outlook

Assistant merchandisers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $39,500 ($18.99/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)

The employment of assistant merchandisers is expected to decline over the next decade.

The growth of e-commerce has led to more online shopping, which will limit the need for these workers in traditional retail stores. As a result, some assistant merchandisers may lose their jobs or be reassigned to other tasks, such as online customer service.

Assistant Merchandiser Job Requirements

Assistant merchandisers typically need to have the following qualifications:

Education: Entry-level assistant merchandisers are typically required to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some retailers may prefer an associate’s degree in merchandising, retail or a related field. Candidates can also opt to take classes in retail merchandising or related subjects.

Training & Experience: Most of the training for this role happens on the job. The new hire will learn the specific products and services the store offers, the layout of the store and the organization’s policies and procedures. They will also learn how to use the cash register and other point-of-sale systems.

Some retail chains may require additional training. For example, a grocery store may require additional training on how to properly stock and organize the produce department. A department store may require additional training on how to properly fold and organize clothing.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications are not usually a requirement to become an assistant merchandiser, but they can help you become a stronger candidate when applying for jobs.

Assistant Merchandiser Skills

Assistant merchandisers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: As an assistant merchandiser, you may be required to communicate with other employees and customers. You should be able to communicate effectively with others to ensure you understand each other and to complete your duties. You should also be able to communicate with customers to answer questions and help them find what they need.

Product knowledge: As an assistant merchandiser, you should have a strong understanding of the products you’re selling. This can help you answer questions from customers and direct them to the right products. You can also use your product knowledge to help the main merchandiser create displays that showcase products in the best way.

Time management: Time management skills allow you to complete tasks within a certain time frame. As an assistant merchandiser, you may be responsible for completing tasks such as preparing displays, stocking products and maintaining the cleanliness of the store. Having strong time management skills allows you to complete all of your tasks in a timely manner.

Organization: As an assistant merchandiser, you should have strong organizational skills to ensure you complete all of your tasks on time. You should be able to prioritize your tasks and complete them in the order of importance. This ensures you complete the most important tasks first and ensures you don’t leave any tasks unfinished.

Teamwork: Working as an assistant merchandiser requires you to work with other employees, including other merchandisers, supervisors and managers. You can use teamwork skills to collaborate with other employees to complete tasks and solve problems. For example, if you’re working with a merchandiser, you can help them stock shelves and check inventory while they takes breaks.

Assistant Merchandiser Work Environment

The assistant merchandiser works in an office environment, usually in a large department store or a company that specializes in selling merchandise. The assistant merchandiser works closely with the merchandiser and is responsible for helping to plan and implement the merchandising strategy for the store or company. The assistant merchandiser also works with the buying staff to select the merchandise that will be sold in the store or company. The assistant merchandiser must be able to work well under pressure and meet deadlines. The job may require some travel to attend trade shows or to visit suppliers.

Assistant Merchandiser Trends

Here are three trends influencing how assistant merchandisers work. Assistant merchandisers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Online Shopping

The growth of online shopping is a trend that is quickly changing the retail landscape. As more and more people shop online, businesses are having to find new ways to attract customers into their stores.

Assistant merchandisers can use this trend to their advantage by developing skills in online marketing and advertising. They can also work to create a positive customer experience online, which will help to drive traffic to the store.

More Collaboration Between Marketing and Merchandising

As marketing and merchandising departments collaborate more, assistant merchandisers will need to be able to work well with both teams.

This collaboration is important because it allows for a better understanding of how products should be positioned in the market. It also allows for a better understanding of what products are needed to meet customer needs.

Greater Focus on Customer Experience

As customers become more demanding, businesses are beginning to focus on providing a better customer experience. This means that assistant merchandisers will need to be familiar with customer-centric strategies and tactics.

In order to provide a great customer experience, assistant merchandisers will need to be able to understand what customers want and how to give it to them. This requires a deep understanding of customer preferences and what drives their purchasing decisions.

How to Become an Assistant Merchandiser

A career as an assistant merchandiser can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the fashion industry. As an assistant merchandiser, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the fashion business, from design to marketing. You’ll also gain experience working with different types of clothing and accessories, which will help you develop a strong sense of style.

Assistant merchandisers often move up the ladder to become buyers or designers. They may also choose to pursue other careers in fashion, such as styling, modeling, or fashion journalism.

Related: How to Write an Assistant Merchandiser Resume

Advancement Prospects

The best way to advance in this career is to get more experience. Many assistant merchandisers start out in entry-level positions and work their way up the ladder. Some may eventually become merchandisers or even store managers. With more experience, assistant merchandisers may be promoted to positions with more responsibility, such as buyer or product development manager.

Those who are interested in fashion and have a good eye for detail may want to pursue a career in fashion design. Fashion designers create clothing and accessories and often work for fashion houses or design firms. They may also work freelance, designing for individual clients.

Assistant Merchandiser Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are looking for an Assistant Merchandiser to support the Merchandiser in all aspects of the merchandise planning process. The Assistant Merchandiser will be responsible for analyzing sales data and trends, developing and maintaining item profiles, and assisting in the creation of merchandise plans. He or she will also be responsible for monitoring inventory levels and assisting in the development of strategies to maximize sales and profits. The ideal candidate will have a strong analytical background and be able to work independently to meet deadlines.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Understand and execute on the vision for each assigned merchandise category
  • Develop strong relationships with cross-functional partners to ensure successful product launches
  • Analyze sales data and customer feedback to identify opportunities to improve product assortment
  • Create and maintain SKU level plans that align to financial goals
  • Manage in-season inventory levels to maximize sales and minimize markdowns
  • Monitor trends and competitor activity to inform future product assortments
  • Partner with buyers and planners to develop product strategies that meet customer needs and drive business results
  • Prepare and present analysis to support key decisions related to product assortment, pricing, promotions, and markdowns
  • Manage day-to-day operations of the merchandising team, including workload allocation and performance management
  • Train and develop junior members of the team to build a high-performing organization
  • Serve as a subject matter expert on company systems and processes related to merchandising
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, merchandising, or related field
  • 1-3 years experience in retail buying, planning, or allocation
  • Strong analytical skills with the ability to interpret data and make recommendations
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, especially Excel
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in business, merchandising, or related field
  • Experience with retail POS systems and merchandise planning software
  • 4-5 years experience in retail buying, planning, or allocation
  • Familiarity with fashion trends and the apparel industry

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