Retail merchandisers are responsible for showcasing goods in-store and in retail windows by creating attractive and commercially-driven displays.
Retail merchandisers come from many walks of life. The usual path to a senior position starts with a merchandising assistant role within a large retail organisation. However, people already working in retail who can demonstrate a natural flair for merchandising will often be offered employment by management. Some organisations will take retail staff straight from university, so a related degree is often required. Many merchandisers also get the opportunity to further their learning by studying for NVQ qualifications whilst in the workplace.
Large retail organisations such as Boots and Marks & Spencer employ regional merchandisers to move around certain regions in order to implement nationally agreed display campaigns. Applicants will need to be mobile and prepared to work unsociable hours, as a lot of this work is completed when stores are closed. Recruitment agencies and employers are looking for applicants with excellent communication skills, as merchandisers will have to liaise with local store staff in order to successfully implement merchandising campaigns.
Junior merchandising assistants will usually receive a salary of between £13,000 and £18,000. Senior merchandisers should expect to receive a salary of between £25,000 and £35,000, but regional merchandising managers and national managers will receive anything up to £70,000 per year.