Explain the Key Functions in Merchandising, Referencing How They Relate to Key Market Levels

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Merchandising is carried out by the area of a business which mediates marketing and production departments, such as the buyers. This process is were the product is designed and developed, and then presented to the rest of the buying team. Including overlooking the product line throughout is product development life, from start to finish. The merchandising department may have to deal with some of the costing and pricing. The merchandiser aids creating a product line that should create a profit for the company, by executing the correct costing and pricing for these particular products. They have to lead their customer forward in creating new products. This may be taking risks for the company that may include getting rid of products that do not sell, of products that have become ‘stale’ (killing the ‘dogs’). The merchandiser has lots of responsibilities from guiding product development, market and product analysis to sampling and following up on shipments. Merchandisers responsibilities also include:

Product Development
Market and product Analysis
Selling the concept
Booking orders
Confirming Deliveries
Designing and Sampling
Costing
Raw Material
Flow Monitoring
Production Follow Ups
Payments Follows
Internal & external communication,
Sampling
Lab dips
Accessories & trims
Preparing internal order sheets
Preparing purchase orders
Advising and assisting production,
Advising quality department about quality level
Mediating production and quality departments
Giving shipping instructions and following shipping,
Helping documentation department
Taking responsibility for inspections and
Following up the shipment.
(Textile school)

A main issue merchandisers have to deal with is that the consumers needs change through season to season and during the seasons too. The merchandiser has to take responsible risks to ensure that the product line will sell, fashion has to change but this has to be accepted by the consumer, if not this will have a negative effect for the business.

Therefore to be a successful merchandiser, the team have to develop skills to identify exactly who their consumers are. By creating target markets the marketing for the products becomes much more specific and directed towards the targeted consumer. These consumers have expectations and unless these are met, then they are likely to shop elsewhere. This in mind the objective of the merchandising management team is to get the correct balance between the expectations of the customer and the objectives of the company's financial strategy.

Explaining merchandising as the right merchandise, in the right place, at the right time, in the right quantities at the right price. Right Merchandise; Styles, brands, colours, sizes etc
Right Place; Which store, depending on their budget and location Right Time; Having merchandise in stores at the right time in the season. Right Quantities; Enough for the stores to make their budgets but not have to markdown stock at the end of the season The Right Price; Those that will attract customers in spite of competition yet generate a reasonable return on investment for the retailer i.e. profit (RHR)

The Merchandiser is important in the decision making process such as deciding with the buying team on the budget for each product range, the quantity and how many lines will be designed. Negotiation skills are important for a merchandiser to set the selling prices to turn a profit and also make decisions on when these products will be delivered and where they will be distributed. These skills have to put into practice everyday. Communication skills are just as important as the numerical skills, as communication is also key to success. The team that works together has to communicate through all sources from in house meetings to traveling across the world for international business meetings. Choosing three different retailers in each retail market (low, middle, high)and comparing their different...
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