The merchandiser is responsible for particular lines of merchandise. For example, in a department store, there may be merchandisers for menswear, women’s wear, children’s wear etc. the basic duties of the merchandiser can be divided into four areas: planning, directing, co-coordinating and controlling. Planning:
Though the merchandisers may not be directly involved in the actual purchase of merchandise, they formulate the policies for the areas in which they are responsible. Forecasting sales for the forthcoming budget period is required and this involves estimating consumer demand and the impact of changes in the retail environment. The sales forecasts are then translated into budgets to help the buyers work within the financial guidelines. Directing:
Guiding and training buyers as and when the need arises is also function of the merchandiser. Many a times, the buyers have to be guided to take additional markdowns for products which may not be doing to well in the stores. Inspiring commitment and performance in the part of the buyers is necessary. Coordinating:
Usually, merchandise managers supervise the work of more than one buyer, hence they need to coordinate the buying effort in terms of how well it fits in with the store image and with the other products being bought by other buyers. Controlling:
Assessing not only the merchandise performance, but also the buyer’s performance is part of the merchandise manager’s job. Buying performance may be evaluated on the basis of net sales maintained mark up percentages, mark down percentages, gross margin percentages and stock turn. This is necessary to provide control and maintain high performance results. As a key aspect of merchandising involves selection of merchandise or products to be sold in the retail store, the job of the merchandiser also involves visits to suppliers or manufacturers of select goods. This is likely to involve working closely with retail buyers. They...