What Does A Merchandiser Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Merchandisers

Merchandisers plan and erect commercial displays, such as those in windows and interiors of retail stores and at trade exhibitions.

Salary
$34550
Becoming One
Medium
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Merchandisers plan and erect commercial displays, such as those in windows and interiors of retail stores and at trade exhibitions.

  • Dress mannequins for displays.
  • Plan commercial displays to entice and appeal to customers.
  • Arrange properties, furniture, merchandise, backdrops, or other accessories, as shown in prepared sketches.
  • Change or rotate window displays, interior display areas, or signage to reflect changes in inventory or promotion.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Merchandisers place prices or descriptive signs on backdrops, fixtures, merchandise, or floor. They consult with store managers, buyers, sales associates, housekeeping staff, or engineering staff to determine the appropriate placement of displays or products.

A typical day for a Merchandiser will also include:

  • Maintain props, products, or mannequins, inspecting them for imperfections, doing touch-ups, cleaning up after customers, or applying preservative coatings as necessary.
  • Arrange properties, furniture, merchandise, backdrops, or other accessories, as shown in prepared sketches.
  • Develop ideas or plans for merchandise displays or window decorations.
  • Dress mannequins for displays.
  • Consult with advertising or sales staff to determine the type of merchandise to be featured and the time and place for each display.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Merchandisers also instruct sales staff in colour coordination of clothing racks or counter displays. They may also construct or assemble displays or display components from fabric, glass, paper, or plastic, using hand tools or woodworking power tools, according to specifications.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Merchandisers take photographs of displays or signage. They might also obtain plans from display designers or display managers and discuss their implementation with clients or supervisors.

In addition, they prepare sketches, floor plans, or models of proposed displays.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them change or rotate window displays, interior display areas, or signage to reflect changes in inventory or promotion.

To some Merchandisers, it is also their responsibility to install booths, exhibits, displays, carpets, or drapes, as guided by the floor plan of the building or specifications.

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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Average

Is this job meaningful

Low

64% said they were satisfied with their job and 35% said they found their job meaningful.


Vanessa Magdalenova
A large retail chain

My name is Vanessa and I’ve worked for a few different fashion companies before I decided to focus on Marketing within the industry.

One of the most fun fashion-related jobs I had, was being a Visual Merchandiser for a large retail chain. The work was very interesting, dynamic and no day was ever the same. What’s more, I also got to travel a lot through the country and meet so many lovely people – some of whom became really close friends of mine.

A typical day would always start with a big cup of strong coffee, together with the rest of the shop employees. We would discuss trendy items, positioning of key pieces within the shop floor, and any ideas they might have for how to improve sales on certain items that weren’t performing as well. After the morning meeting, I would look at what the briefing from my manager is for the day and get cracking! I would often spend whole days working on the front windows of the shop. Picking out the clothes and accessories, steaming everything and making sure it looks perfect, arranging the whole display…the list goes on and on.

I would also frequently go for meetings with other Visual Merchandisers for the brand, or travel to different locations to help out when there’s a new store launch for example.

Pros

The pros of the job definitely outweigh the cons in my opinion. Being a Merchandiser is a super fun and exciting job and I can guarantee that you’ll never get bored doing it. Furthermore, it allows you to explore your creativity and socialize with many other like-minded people, so you can always exchange ideas and experiences with other VMs.

Cons

The biggest con I would say is that it can be quite a time-consuming job and if you’re a perfectionist like me, you can easily get carried away with fixing every single tiny detail. You’re also constantly on your feet and carrying relatively heavy pieces of equipment, so it can be considered a somewhat physically demanding job as well.

Overall, being a Visual Merchandiser is an amazing job to have and I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in fashion!


Pros

Suitable for people who like to work with designs.

Suitable for people who value relationships between co-workers and customers and want to work in a friendly non-competitive environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

One of the lowest paying jobs.

Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week).

How much do they make

Average salary

$34550 per year

Average hourly wage

$17 per hour

Entry-level Merchandisers with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $22,440 to $26,450 per year or $11 to $13 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $51,750 $25
Senior (Top 25%) $38,890 $19
Median $30,810 $15
Junior (Bottom 25%) $26,450 $13
No experience (Bottom 10%) $22,440 $11

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Merchandisers based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing $54170 $26.04
Management of Companies and Enterprises $51150 $24.59
Automobile Dealers $48330 $23.23
Specialized Design Services $47420 $22.80
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods $44000 $21.15
Apparel, Piece Goods, and Notions Merchant Wholesalers $41650 $20.02
Museums, Historical Sites, and Similar Institutions $41640 $20.02
Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers $41580 $19.99
Gasoline Stations $41520 $19.96
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses $41440 $19.93

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Merchandisers work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Merchandisers including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services 25250 $32860 $15.80
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods 22040 $34050 $16.37
General Merchandise Stores 15880 $33610 $16.16
Beverage Manufacturing 6650 $40590 $19.52
Clothing Stores 4550 $33770 $16.24
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 4180 $32920 $15.83
Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers 3290 $29900 $14.37
Management of Companies and Enterprises 2980 $51150 $24.59
Home Furnishings Stores 2780 $35010 $16.83
Furniture Stores 2340 $37570 $18.06

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
43%

40 hours
37%

More than 40 hours
19%

Working schedule

66%

26%

8%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
17%

Every day
56%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
1%

Every day
67%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
21%

Every day
71%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
46%

Once a year
35%

Once a month
17%

Once a week
2%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
16%

Slightly competitive
8%

Moderately competitive
35%

Highly competitive
41%

Extremely competitive
0%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
11%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
89%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
61%

Once a year or more
12%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
26%

Every day
0%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
58%

Once a year or more
32%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
10%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
60%

Once a year or more
40%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Medium
You will need previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an Associate’s degree, and one or two years of on-the-job training. Similar careers include Travel Agents, Agricultural Technicians, Court Reports, and Medical Assistants.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
0%

High School Diploma or equivalent
39%

Post-Secondary Certificate
9%

Some College Courses
20%

Associate’s Degree or similar
15%

Bachelor’s Degree
18%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Fashion Modeling

A program that prepares individuals to present and display fashion, apparel, and accessories products in wholesale and retail settings, either on the person or via props and natural or artificial settings. Includes instruction in modeling skills, health and cosmetic principles, fashion show management, display design and production, and applicable aspects of advertising and fashion photography.

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
41%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
1%

3 to 6 months
7%

6 months to 1 year
16%

1 to 2 years
24%

2 to 4 years
11%

4 to 6 years
0%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
5%

1 month
50%

1 to 3 months
20%

3 to 6 months
6%

6 months to 1 year
1%

1 to 2 years
19%

2 to 4 years
0%

4 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Artist

People with this personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.

The Builder
71%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
24%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
86%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
24%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
76%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
29%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like working with forms, designs, and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

They also like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
57%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
52%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
38%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
71%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
52%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
67%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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