If you have an analytical mind and a flair for pattern recognition, you might enjoy working as a merchandiser. In this role, you will be responsible for ensuring there is enough product on the shelves and that new product is ordered at the right time. This profession can be fast-paced, with plenty of variation from day to day.
Merchandisers are responsible for keeping the shelves stocked and the warehouses full in retail operations. Beyond that fundamental responsibility, you also analyze sales figures, customer reactions, and market trends in order to anticipate demand for your products. You will also be responsible for collaborating with suppliers and distributors to negotiate quantities, prices, and time scales.
For the most part, your schedule will stick to a typical 40-hour workweek falling between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm, Monday to Friday. Unlike retail floor salespeople, you will not be dealing directly with customers, so you won't need to be available during store opening hours. That being said, overtime will be necessary from time to time. There will also likely be some travel requirements as you will need to meet with suppliers and manufacturers.
Acing your interview is the kind of thing that, for most people, will take a little planning and preparation. Of course, you can't expect to be able to prepare for every question, but you can put some thought into the most common questions you are likely to be asked. Here are some examples:
You will need to write a good cover letter, as well as a resume that contains all the relevant information, to get an interview. The anatomy of a good cover letter is a detailed topic but can be summed up by highlighting the need to keep things neatly formatted, error-free, and concise. Introduce yourself, elaborate a little on any highlights from your resume, and talk about why you feel you'll be a good fit for the organization.
Avoiding resume mistakes is important but not difficult. Mostly it is just about ensuring the relevant information about your past employment and qualifications is included. Make sure to include the following:
The job outlook for merchandisers is good, largely because the demand for this profession is expected to grow over the next decade or so, increasing the number of opportunities there are for you. This is largely because the consumer demand for goods is not expected to diminish. There are also positive prospects if you look longer term. For those who want to move on from this profession in the long run, there is lots of valuable experience to be had as a merchandiser that should serve you well when applying to other related roles.
Being a merchandiser can involve wearing many hats, so to speak. There is a good chance you will find yourself performing the functions of all of the types listed below, particularly if you work for a smaller organization. That being said, the role of merchandiser can be broken up into specific subtypes, including:
The average salary for a merchandiser in Canada is around $35,500 per year. This average stems from a typical hourly rate of $18.50 and 40 hours per week. For less-experienced and entry-level merchandiser roles, you can expect to earn at least $33,000 per year, while the highest-paid merchandisers can earn as much as $49,000 per year. Higher numbers of people employed at the lower end of that scale indicate how much turnover there is in this profession. Many people will move on to another role before reaching the level of seniority required to reach those $49,000 per year numbers.
Top paying areas for merchandisers in Canada include: Quebec, Alberta, and Manitoba.
You will have many responsibilities as a merchandiser, though the exact duties you will have may vary depending on the job. You should find that your role includes some or all of the following:
Your work environment will depend entirely on the type of merchandiser role you are filling. If you are working for an organization that exclusively sells online, your primary work environment will be office-based. If you are working for a brick-and-mortar retailer, you may still have an office, but you should also expect to spend a lot of time on the shop floor. Regardless of your primary location, you will travel as part of your job, so the road should be considered part of your work environment.
Being a merchandiser requires a number of skills if you are to succeed. Fortunately, these are all skills you can develop (if you don't already have them). They include:
Merchandising - and, indeed, most marketing-related fields - is highly competitive, which means the entry-level requirements can seem somewhat steep, especially considering the average salary for this role. You will likely need at least a bachelor's degree in marketing or a similar topic to get started as a merchandiser. You will probably also need some experience working in merchandising - typically 2 to 3 years.
It's worth noting that this role is often seen as a necessary stop on the way to other more lucrative professions rather than an endpoint in itself. Requiring years of experience and a bachelor's degree for $30,000 to $40,000 per year may seem like a lot, but the experience gained in this role will be invaluable when moving on to bigger things.