Career Development

What Does a Retail Merchandiser Do?

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

Retail merchandisers are responsible for planning and executing the sale of products in retail stores. They work with store managers to determine which products should be featured, how they should be displayed, and how much space they should take up on shelves or racks.

Retail merchandisers may also be tasked with creating displays that help draw attention to certain products. This might include building a display case from scratch or assembling pre-made displays that can easily be moved around the store as needed.

Retail Merchandiser Job Duties

A retail merchandiser typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Planning, coordinating, and executing in-store events such as fashion shows, product demonstrations, and food tastings
  • Reviewing customer feedback and identifying opportunities for improvement based on customer preferences
  • Present new products to customers, describing features and benefits of each product
  • Developing product displays to promote products in a way that makes them easily accessible to shoppers while still being aesthetically pleasing
  • Creating marketing campaigns for new products or brands by creating displays, writing ads, and planning events such as parties or fashion shows
  • Coordinating with store managers to ensure that merchandise is displayed attractively and that inventory levels are maintained
  • Maintaining product knowledge about the different brands carried in the store to assist customers with their purchases
  • Recommending changes to product lines based on sales performance or inventory levels in storerooms
  • Measuring sales performance of products using computer software and reporting findings to management

Retail Merchandiser Salary & Outlook

Retail merchandisers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of commissions and bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $31,200 ($15/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $49,500 ($23.8/hour)

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

The growth of e-commerce has led to fewer retail workers and less demand for retail space. As a result, some retailers have closed stores or reduced their footprints by moving into smaller spaces. This will limit job growth for retail merchandisers over the next decade.

Retail Merchandiser Job Requirements

A retail merchandiser typically needs the following qualifications:

Education: Entry-level retail merchandisers are typically required to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some retailers may prefer a minimum of a two-year associate degree in a related field, such as merchandising, retailing or business.

Training & Experience: Retail merchandisers typically receive on-the-job training from their new employer. This training may include learning the company’s policies and procedures, as well as the products they sell. The training may also include a period of shadowing an experienced merchandiser to learn the basics of the job.

Certifications & Licenses: There are several certification programs available for retail merchandisers to earn as you work toward your career. These certifications allow you to prove your skills and qualifications to current and potential employers.

Retail Merchandiser Skills

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

Communication: Retail merchandisers communicate with many different people throughout their workday. They communicate with their managers and other merchandising teams to receive information about upcoming promotions and new products. They also communicate with customers to answer questions about products and promotions. Effective communication skills can help you to be an effective retail merchandiser.

Product knowledge: Retail merchandisers should have extensive product knowledge to effectively place products on shelves. This includes knowing the product’s features, how to use it and how it fits into the company’s marketing strategy. You should also know the product’s history, including how it was developed and what makes it unique. This can help you create displays that highlight the product’s strengths.

Organization: Retail merchandisers use organization skills to ensure they have the right products in the right place at the right time. This includes keeping track of product shipments, maintaining product displays and keeping track of inventory. Organization skills can also help you save time by allowing you to complete tasks more efficiently.

Time management: Retail merchandisers often work on tight deadlines, so time management is an important skill for them to have. You may be responsible for completing a large project, such as creating a display, in a short amount of time. Having good time management skills can help you meet deadlines and complete projects efficiently.

Sales: Sales skills are an important part of a retail merchandiser’s job. You may be responsible for selling the products you display to customers. This means you need to be knowledgeable about the products you sell and how to answer customer questions about them. You may also be responsible for generating sales for your company.

Retail Merchandiser Work Environment

Retail merchandisers generally work regular full-time hours in retail establishments. They may work evenings and weekends to accommodate customers’ schedules. Some travel may be required to attend trade shows or visit manufacturers. Retail merchandisers may work in a variety of settings, including small stores, large department stores, and warehouses. The work can be physically demanding, and retail merchandisers may be required to lift and carry heavy boxes of merchandise. They also may be required to stand for long periods of time.

Retail Merchandiser Trends

Here are three trends influencing how retail merchandisers work. Retail 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 Rise of the Digital Shopper

The rise of the digital shopper is a trend that is quickly changing the retail landscape. As more and more people shop online, retailers are having to adapt their strategies to meet the needs of this new customer base.

This means that retail merchandisers will need to be familiar with digital marketing techniques, such as search engine optimization (SEO) and paid advertising. They will also need to be able to create a compelling online shopping experience that keeps customers coming back for more.

More Personalization in Retail

As technology advances, retailers are beginning to use it to provide a more personalized shopping experience for their customers. This includes using data from past purchases to suggest products that may be of interest to the customer, as well as using social media to get a better understanding of their preferences.

Retail merchandisers can take advantage of this trend by becoming experts in personalizing the shopping experience for customers. This includes developing relationships with customers and understanding their needs, as well as creating a store environment that feels like it was made just for them.

A Focus on Customer Experience

Customer experience is becoming increasingly important for businesses in all industries. In retail, this means that companies are placing an increased emphasis on providing a positive experience for their customers.

As a result, retail merchandisers will need to be able to understand how to create a positive customer experience and how to measure its impact on sales. They will also need to be able to communicate the value of customer experience to other members of the company.

How to Become a Retail Merchandiser

A career in retail merchandising can be rewarding and exciting. It’s important to start off on the right foot by getting the right education and training. Many retailers offer internships, so it’s a good idea to apply for these when they become available.

You should also stay up-to-date on the latest trends in fashion and retail. Read industry magazines and attend trade shows and conferences. Network with other professionals in the field, and keep track of new developments in technology that could impact the way you do your job.

Related: How to Write a Retail Merchandiser Resume

Advancement Prospects

Retail merchandisers typically start out in entry-level positions and advance to higher-level jobs as they gain experience. Some merchandisers may eventually become buyers or store managers.

Many merchandisers start out as salespeople in retail stores. With experience, they may be promoted to assistant buyer, buyer, or store manager. Some merchandisers move into related occupations, such as advertising, marketing, or public relations. Others open their own retail stores.

Retail Merchandiser Job Description Example

As a Retail Merchandiser for [CompanyX], you will be responsible for creating and maintaining a visually appealing store environment that is inviting to customers and promotes our products. You will achieve this by stocking shelves, conducting product demonstrations, and organizing merchandise displays. You will also be responsible for conducting regular inventory checks and ordering new merchandise as needed. To be successful in this role, you must be able to work independently and be proactive in your approach. You must also have excellent time management and organizational skills.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Maintain store appearance and product displays according to company merchandising standards
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with store management and employees
  • Understand store layout and planogram changes in order to execute efficiently
  • Communicate effectively with Management and Store Personnel regarding tasks, objectives, and deadlines
  • Complete all assigned tasks within the scheduled timeframe
  • Report any out-of-stock items, damaged goods, or safety hazards to Store Management
  • Adhere to all company policies and procedures
  • Assist with unloading of merchandise when necessary
  • Maintain a positive attitude and be professional at all times
  • Be flexible and adaptable to change
  • Be able to work independently with little supervision
  • Physical requirements include lifting up to 50 lbs., bending, stooping, and standing for long periods of time

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proven experience as a retail merchandiser or similar role
  • Excellent communication, negotiation, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work independently and with a team
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills
  • Flexibility to travel and work on short notice

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree in business, marketing, or related field
  • Experience with inventory management software
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Creative thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Demonstrated success in achieving sales goals

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