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Fashion careers: What does a fashion merchandiser actually do?

By Aileen Yu


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As the fashion industry continues to evolve, so are the responsibilities of a fashion merchandiser. When most people think of a fashion brand, they may associate it immediately with the designer; however, behind the scenes, the fashion merchandiser plays an integral part in getting the consumer to buy the latest trends. Besides having a sense of style, fashion merchandisers also combine strategic analytical insights, marketing and management skills to ensure the products sold will maximize profit.

Curation and planning of merchandise

Working closely with buyers and designers, the fashion merchandiser curates and plans what merchandise to stock for a brand by analyzing the past buying behaviors of their customers. Reacting to the latest fashion trends along with insights drawn from sales data, they work within a company’s budget to plan and produce products that will drive revenue.

Analyzing data and forecasting trends

Following the development of current industry trends is just one way fashion merchandisers fine-tune their forecasting ability. On the other hand, possessing numerical skills to analyze sales data and being able to find solutions based on product insights are what top fashion and e-commerce brands look for in a fashion merchandiser. They use this data to make sales estimates and finalize stocking decisions based on the clientele’s buying patterns.

Building and maintaining relationships

A fashion merchandiser for an e-commerce brand may meet with numerous brands on a daily basis to discover which items to stock. At a multinational retailer, they could be negotiating and maintaining relations with manufacturers to oversee that the in-house collection is produced at an ideal price point.

Marketing and promotion

After stocking the merchandise in physical stores or online based on product insights, fashion merchandisers are also responsible for the promotion of the products. Drawing again on the data, they may work with visual merchandisers or marketing to conceptualize store displays and promotional campaigns.

Working with multiple departments

This dynamic role is ideal for an individual with a vast knowledge of the inner workings of the production process and able to work simultaneously with multiple departments. There is no typical day for a fashion merchandiser as they may go from working with the design team to develop the best pricing for garments to negotiating with suppliers or even developing marketing strategies.

Click here to apply for fashion merchandising jobs on FashionUnited. Photo: Pexels
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