How to Become a Retail Sales Merchandiser

If you’re good at identifying the needs of your clients and are interested in a position within retail sales, you may be interested in a career as a retail sales merchandiser. Retail sales merchandisers work with companies distributing their products rather than working for individual retail stores.

What Is a Retail Sales Merchandiser?

How to Become a Retail Sales Merchandiser

Retail sales merchandisers can become managers of entire sales districts and advance accordingly depending on their results.

Retail sales merchandisers work with a product manufacturer to put the goods manufactured by their company into stores. Merchandisers will often go directly to stores to figure out what they need and establish a sales contract. Merchandisers need to be very personable and trustworthy and need to have in-depth knowledge of their product line. A merchandiser will need to answer many questions about their company’s offerings and need to be responsible for the satisfaction of their clients.

Many retail sales merchandisers will have their own lists of accounts they service and will develop a relationship with a company. This will enable them to sell items more effectively. Retail sales merchandisers are intended to increase a company’s bottom line by selling as many goods as they can and by selling additional products to their clients as much as they can.

What Does a Retail Sales Merchandiser Do?

High School or GED
1 to 5 years
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Retail sales merchandisers will usually begin working under another merchandiser and will usually have fairly extensive on-the-job training. Many will be introduced to clients before they take the accounts on themselves. The merchandiser will need to ensure that the appropriate levels of stock are maintained throughout all stores, as a store that runs out of merchandise will not be generating profit for the merchandiser’s employer. At the same time, the merchandiser should be able to identify product tie-ins and other products that would be beneficial for the client to sell.

The retail sales merchandiser will need to go over their reports and determine whether their current strategies are lucrative and if any changes need to be made. Many retail sales merchandisers need to consistently report to their supervisor regarding their sales and many merchandisers have specific milestones and goals they need to meet. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the field is expected to grow 17 percent in the next 10 years.

How Do You Become a Retail Sales Merchandiser?

A retail sales manager will usually have several years of experience in the industry. While managerial experience isn’t usually needed, a retail sales manager needs to show that they have the skills needed to sell large accounts. Retail sales managers usually need to prove themselves throughout their careers and show that they can produce results and increase a company’s revenue.

Occasionally, a retail sales merchandiser with larger accounts may need to have a degree in marketing or in a related field. Otherwise, a retail sales merchandiser may simply need to have a background with the company and extensive knowledge about their company’s product offerings. Retail sales merchandisers need to be prepared to travel often and many of them are required to have clean driving abstracts because they will be traveling on company time.

How Do You Advance as a Retail Sales Merchandiser?

Retail sales merchandisers can become managers of entire sales districts and advance accordingly depending on their results. The results of a retail sales merchandiser are based primarily on the amount of sales they produce and the satisfaction of their personal accounts.

Retail sales merchandisers that acquire a degree in business or management will also find many opportunities within the retail sales field, and retail sales merchandisers can move into the areas of marketing and advertising. According to O*Net Online, the field of retail sales is expected to continue growing throughout the next decade.

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