Merchandisers are responsible for making sure that stores or websites are displaying the correct products at the correct time, they will research historical sales and product breakeven to make sure that the costing of the product is correct and will ensure maximum sales with maximum profit. They will also chase orders to make sure they arrive on time. The information will be used by the team to come up with a strong fashion collection which will both appeal to customers and be commercially viable (i.e., can be sold at a profit).
You can get into this job through:
You may be able to start through a retailer intermediate apprenticeship or retail team leader advanced apprenticeship before moving into merchandising.
If you already have some retail experience, you could apply to do a buying and merchandising assistant higher or degree apprenticeship.
You'll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
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You can do a degree before joining a retail company as a trainee merchandiser. Relevant subjects include:
- fashion buying and merchandising
- fashion and business
- retail business management
You'll usually need 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree.
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You could start in stock control or as a merchandise admin assistant and work your way up by learning on the job.
If you're interested in fashion retail, you could do a short course like an introduction to merchandising.
You can also take procurement and supply qualifications through the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply. These are recognised by the industry.
Career Path and Progression
You could be promoted to senior merchandiser and responsible for sales and budgetary control of a multimillion-pound department and managing a team of people. It’s typical to have reached senior merchandiser level within 7 to 8 years.
You could also become a merchandise manager, head of merchandising, merchandising director, retail business analyst or self-employed retail consultant.
Related careers you may be interested in:
- Retail Buyer
- Retail Manager
- Good at decision making
- Excellent communication and negotiation skills
- Creative flair
- Self confident
- Able to work well under pressure
- Able to work as part of a team
£16,000 to £60,000