Fashion Merchandiser Responsibilities
Fashion merchandisers mainly work for the textile manufacturers, fashion designers, designer retail outlets, or costume suppliers. They are responsible for forecasting fashion trends, attending fashion shows, collaborating with designers for designing the costumes as per the customer's preferences, and advertising the same through various media.
Key Responsibilities of a Fashion Merchandiser
Fashion merchandising combines the likes of marketing and fashion designing, and develops a whole new business from it. It includes buying the fashion products like apparels, accessories, and footwear in bulk, and selling it to various boutiques, retail outlets, and individual customers. This process involves marketing and advertising the products in the target market, organizing attractive product display in the fashion outlet for attracting the customers, and conducting market research for studying current trends for formulating appropriate marketing strategy.
The key responsibilities of a fashion merchandiser comprise:
- Evaluating the current fashion trend by noticing the consumer buying patterns, learning about current trends for predicting the future styles, and bulking the merchandise for selling accordingly
- Creating and developing innovative ideas and strategies for occasions like fashion events, ramp shows, and corporate parties, displaying fashion products in these events for expanding customer base, and carrying out sales activities by organizing promotional exhibitions in these events
- Managing fashion supplies, planning for increasing stock levels, reviewing the performance indicators like sales profitability and discount percentage, implying new sales activities for increasing the business, and monitoring all the changes applied accordingly
- Meeting suppliers and distributors for negotiating the terms of contract, maintaining business relationship with new and existing suppliers, and collaborating with new suppliers for business expansion in future
- Collaborating with other fashion related professionals like fashion designers, catalog production managers, and merchandise display artists for designing and developing the promotional activities, and liaising with other non-fashion related departments like marketing and sales head, advertising manager, etc., within the organization for ensuring the proper completion of promotional and advertising activities
- Attending trade fairs, visiting fashion centric places, etc., for selecting and assembling new fashion merchandise collection, presenting these new ranges to retail head managers and store managers for retail marketing activities, and liaising with store managers for ensuring the optimum demand and supply of the merchandise
- Keeping records of current and previous sales reports, writing sales report for monitoring the sales activities, and monitoring all the sales records and documents for forecasting the future sales activities
- Taking customer feedback regarding the merchandise collection, asking them for their preferences and requirements, and ordering the merchandise as per the customer's interest
- Training and mentoring junior staff and other professionals related to the merchandising field
Required Qualifications and Skills
The basic qualification required to be eligible for making a successful career in the field of fashion merchandising is a bachelor's degree in business management, fashion designing, or sales and marketing. Most of the fashion merchandisers enter the market as assistant merchandisers and work under the supervision of senior merchandisers. Senior merchandisers who need assistance in fashion merchandising hire junior level merchandisers and offer them on job training and train them to detect the quality of purchased merchandise as per the fashion style.
Apart from the educational qualification, a fashion merchandiser must also show certain skills for carrying out the responsibilities effectively. Skills required for making a mark in fashion merchandising comprise:
- Excellent fashion sense for noticing the changes in current fashion trends and predicting the future trends for merchandising
- Innovative styling and great creativity for presenting the fashion merchandise efficiently
- A good fashion sense for evaluating the color schemes, patterns, and designs in an effective way
- Knowledge of various types of textiles, fabric patterns, and its criteria of identification
- Up to date information on latest fashion garments silhouettes, designs, and the method of designing
- Excellent time management, great leadership, and organizational skills
- Oral and verbal communication skills for communicating effectively with designers, store owners, and clients
- Exceptional negotiation skills for negotiating the terms and conditions effectively
- Ability to work in solitary condition or with the team
The average annual salary of an entry level fashion merchandiser falls in the range of $38,500 to $49,000. As one gains experience in this field, the average salary range increases up to $69,000.
As per the United States Department of Labor, the future prospects of this profile is not as bright as the other profiles in the fashion industry. The job market for fashion merchandising is expected to reduce in the near future. Though there is lesser scope of advancement in this field, fashion merchandisers do make a progressive career in this field. All they need is the ability to judge fashion trends and considerable business sense. So if you wish to start a career in this profile, knowing about the roles and responsibilities of a fashion merchandiser will prove beneficial in starting your career accordingly.