Merchandising – What it is and the Skills Needed


Have you ever noticed how some products are displayed ion store shelves so that they attract the customers’ attention? If you like setting up display areas, then you should look into the area of merchandising as an occupation. As a merchandiser you can work with one retailer or contract your services out and take on small contract jobs. The job of a merchandiser consists of servicing product lines on behalf of retailers and wholesalers. You may have to travel to several retail stores within a chain.

Some of the common tasks associated with this type of work include:

* Setting and resetting shelving displays of products

* Assemble displays at the front of stores

* Price and tag products

* Conduct inventory of the stock of specific products

* Place reorders when necessary

* Ensure that the displays of the products is in compliance with the company and safety standards

* Provide training to salespeople on the features and benefits of the products

* Collect information related to customer satisfaction

In order to get a job as a merchandiser, you will need to obtain a college or university degree in retail merchandising in order to have a competitive edge over the other applicants. You should also have knowledge of marketing and business as well as be proficient in the use of the computer for email and for using spreadsheets. There are several fields within the category of working as a merchandiser, such as in the pharmaceutical industry, children’s toys or clothing or in the area of sporting goods, as just a few examples. You can also work as a purchasing manager in charge of deciding which products and brand names to stock in a store. If you have a flair for being creative with displays, you may catch the attention of a supervisor and be promoted to the position of merchandiser within a store.

You do need to have a positive attitude when dealing with customers in order to succeed in this field. Being able to actively listen to customers and respond to their questions I one of the greatest qualities you need to have. Merchandisers often spend a fair amount of time on the floor talking to customers and getting their opinions on the value of the products and the attractiveness of the displays.

A retails sales merchandiser is usually the connection between the manufacturer and the retail outlets to ensure that all the products are in order and are available for the customers to buy. You may work for more than one manufacturer in some cases with the goal of helping the retailer to maximize the amount of sales of the various products that you represent.

Another aspect of working as a merchandiser is that you may be hired as an analyst. This means you job will be to streamline the flow of merchandise by monitoring the store sales, identify trends in customer purchases and monitor the timing and scope of seasonal changes. Some products sell better in some seasons of the year than others, so you have to be able to maximize the potential of sales during a short period of time.


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