Merchandising Job Descriptions
Whenever you pass by a retail store and the display catches your attention or if you notice that the item on display on that day is different from the one that was on display the previous day, this is all part of the tasks that would be expected from persons applying for merchandising work vacancies. The activities that take place at the front of the store are just a fraction of the work the applicants for merchandising jobs vacancies would be charged with. There is a great deal of thought and strategizing that takes place behind the scenes involving inventory control and different ideas of promoting the product. This is what then culminates in a radical or slight change of tactic. Sometimes a single action on a display window may have taken many weeks of planning.
Actually, many retail stores develop an elaborate merchandising strategy at the beginning of each year that defines the products that will receive greater emphasis at a particular time of the year. The most frequently used approach by retail merchandising managers is tied to the different seasons of the year. In the US, retail sales will be driven by the major holidays such as Valentine's Day, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, high school graduation, summer, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, back to school shopping, Halloween and finally, the peak shopping period of Christmas that starts as early as the end of October and runs as late as February the following year.
The retail merchandising manager's role is to ultimately increase sales and thus business revenue. Applicants for merchandising vacancies must have an accurate picture on what makes the product's target demographic tick. For instance, if the product is meant for college students, there may be a need to place more emphasis on fun and excitement in the packaging and display. This is unlike if the product was meant for persons already retired or in the sunset phase of their working life who may be more interested in proof of technical functionality than anything else.
Merchandising job vacancies entail much than determining the best form of display for a given product. Product promotion can be achieved in many other ways such as handing out product flyers and offering free samples of the product. Merchandisers are heavily involved in the marketing and distribution of the product and it is not unusual to find the job description of some merchandisers will involve some elements of menial work such as lifting and moving boxes of the product.
Because of the unique knowledge combination required of a particular demographic as well as the product, many of the best performing merchandisers are often specialized in a particular product or product class. For instance, there are jewelry merchandisers, beauty product merchandisers, toy merchandisers, clothing merchandisers, bathroom accessory merchandiser’s etcetera. A skilled merchandiser can quickly transform what was initially a drab, slow moving product into something every person within the target demographic will consider a must have.
So what type of education is required for one to be eligible for merchandising jobs vacancies? An undergraduate degree in merchandising, marketing, retail management, design, art, or a related field is considered the best route to a merchandising career. However, just like with many types of sales and marketing related careers, the demonstrable ability to drive up product sales is often given more weight than academic qualifications. This is why applicants for merchandising job vacancies are usually advised to have an organized portfolio they can quickly present on demand that shows their ability to create visually appealing and easy to sell merchandise.
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