ROLE OF A MERCHANDISER IN THE FASHION AND APPAREL INDUSTRY

AUTHOR: PARAMITA SARKAR MAZUMDER

Most of the people visiting FDS enquires about the scope of fashion design. What they mean is after completion of the course what kinds of jobs are available.  I have thought of writing a series of articles on the various job profiles in the fashion and apparel industry. In this article I have discussed the role of a merchandiser. I have seen after completion of the course many of my friends have joined as merchandisers in different organizations. The roles of a merchandiser may differ from organization to organization. This article will give you an idea how a merchandiser work in the industry.

The Merchandiser usually works with all departments in a company— management, design, sourcing, production and sales to make sure the finished product is executed correctly and on time. The merchandiser should have enough knowledge for determining the target population, researching the market for current trends and predicting future trends. Merchandisers works with management and sales to develop a line plan and makes sales projections for each season. The merchandising department also supervises the creation of selling aids i.e salesman samples, swatch booklets, colour cards etc. In few companies the Merchandiser is required to give presentations to the sales force to familiarize them with the concepts of the line to help them pitch to retailers. In a large company a merchandiser or design director will head up this area with the help of one or more assistants. In a small company, the owner or designer will see to these responsibilities.

The design staff of a large company may have several designers, each with one or more assistants in a small company, the designer may work alone to perform all the duties. Some companies do not have a designated designer, instead this function is performed by the owner alone or in conjunction with a stylist who provides market research and general direction. The design staff ordinarily gets direction from the merchandiser or sketches. The best of these designs. The buyer chooses the final line form these samples. The Principals of the company, the sales people and the merchandising and design staff are all involved in this final selection process.