Retail Sales Merchandiser Job Requirements

Job Responsibilities, Education, Salary, and Experience

Clothing hanging on a rack in a department store
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For a career path in retail merchandising, the requirements are as varied as the merchandising jobs themselves. This is an example of a job description for a retail sales merchandiser who works with retailers and inside brick-and-mortar retail stores, but who is generally not an employee of a retail company. 

Sample Retail Sales Merchandiser Job Description

Key Responsibilities of a Retail Sales Merchandiser:

Rather than working for one particular retail company, a retail sales merchandiser is employed by a manufacturer of products to interface with a number of different retail outlets that carry the manufacturer’s merchandise. After a sales contract has been created, it is the responsibility of the retail sales merchandiser to use service best practices to maintain a good working relationship with individual retailers.

The goal of retail sales merchandisers is to help both the retailer and the manufacturer maximize sales and increase sales volume. This goal is accomplished through retail execution, employee training, marketing promotion, and sales reporting.

Retail Execution Responsibilities of a Retail Sales Merchandiser:

As a retail sales merchandiser, you will be ensuring that a proper level of stock is maintained and that the merchandise of your employer is displayed appropriately with proper signage and favorable shelf placement. This includes setup, plan-o-gram execution, as well as the stocking, fronting, facing, and rotating of the products you're representing.

Audits will be performed regularly, and it is the responsibility of the retail sales merchandiser to resolve issues that may arise as a result of these audits. Solve problems at the store level in order to maintain the standards established in the initial sales agreement.

Employee Training Responsibilities of a Retail Sales Merchandiser:

Training is key to the success of this position because store employees who have an awareness and appreciation of certain products are more likely to recommend those products to customers. Maintaining a good rapport with employees at all levels is essential, and having effective communication with both employees and customers is critical to success.

Marketing Promotion Responsibilities for a Retail Sales Merchandiser:

Retail sales merchandisers will often be responsible for executing and overseeing special promotional campaigns created to boost sales volume. The retail sales merchandiser will introduce a promotion, gain agreement and support from the retail store managers, secure preferred product placement, re-merchandise, place signage, as well as generate awareness and enthusiasm with employees prior to the launch of the promotion.

Monitoring sales volume, inspecting inventory levels, and maintaining in-store promotional materials are key tasks that a retail sales merchandiser will complete and monitor throughout the promotional period.

Sales Reporting Responsibilities of a Retail Sales Merchandiser:

Retail or merchandising experience at the store level is preferred, but not always required to obtain a position as a retail sales merchandiser. Many positions where the ability to work independently, manage time effectively, multi-task, and problem solve are considered to be acceptable experience.

Prior experience with maintaining customer relationships or client accounts is usually required. A demonstrated ability to influence decision-makers is considered a plus. The reporting methods will vary for each employer, but basic computer proficiency and knowledge of software programs is usually necessary.

Physical Requirements for Retail Sales Merchandisers:

Because this position requires the constant handling and distribution of merchandise, retail sales merchandisers must be prepared to travel, drive, and engage in considerable physical activity. You must be willing and able to lift and move products in this job, along with the use of proper safety practices and equipment will be essential.

Educational Requirements for Retail Sales Merchandisers:

A college degree is often desired, but not required for Retail Sales Merchandisers. Retailing, marketing, or business degrees are preferred, but other degrees or even a high school diploma may be acceptable as well.

Salary, Wages, Compensation, Bonuses, and Benefits for Retail Sales Merchandisers:

Many retail sales merchandiser positions are part-time, with an hourly wage of $12-$16 per hour, oftentimes without benefits. Full-time positions have an average base salary of $35,660, according to Nov. 2018 data from Payscale and sometimes include the opportunity for additional commissions or bonuses.

Depending on the size of the assigned territory, the retail sales merchandiser may also receive a company car, car allowance, and travel expense reimbursement, along with standard employment benefits.