Merchandising managers supervise the selection, purchase and marketing of goods in a retail store. They interact with vendors and decide which items to purchase for the store’s inventory. While some managers make purchase decisions for an entire store, others focus on specific areas, such as shoes or menswear.
Depending on the size and location of the store, merchandising managers have varying responsibilities. Some procure inventory for a regional grouping or an entire chain of stores, while others make purchases for a single store only. They communicate with the marketing team, keep an eye on competitors’ products and prices, train distribution staff and oversee the activities of employees. Merchandising managers work hand in hand with the store’s marketing team to devise effective promotional strategies. They create sales goals and ensure that the regional and division managers meet these goals. Their role is crucial in satisfying customer needs while maintaining a positive and encouraging work environment for employees. It is important for merchandising managers to multitask and keep up with a fast-paced work environment. Excellent leadership, organizational skills, effective communication and negotiation skills are often necessary characteristics to qualify for the position. The ability to use database and inventory-control software is also essential.