It’s always interesting to see things from a different perspective! Having been a merchandiser in my previous career I have now found it a real eye opener recruiting for entry level and junior level merchandising positions.
I’ll be honest, I sort of fell into merchandising starting as an Allocator before moving into Branch Merchandising for over 10 years before moving into recruitment.
I now recruit for Graduate to Assistant Buyers and Merchandisers across the North. I speak to numerous candidates on a daily basis particularly graduates keen to secure their first role. What I have found interesting is the majority of graduates are wanting to go into buying over merchandising.
The difficulties aren’t only at this level, finding Assistant Merchandisers with 2+ years experience that are willing to move companies is even harder. It seems that once at this level the progression and opportunities within business mean that AMs don’t have to look elsewhere to keep their career on track. This is great from an employer’s perspective that they are retaining people with the knowledge of the business and systems, however from a recruitment perspective a little bit trickier.
Why start a career in merchandising?
* Graduate starting salary of: £15k – £22k
* Typical salary after training of £25k – £45k
* There are not many jobs in an industry which can give graduates the responsibility for direct control of a multi-million pound turnover business.
* Working alongside the buyers, merchandisers must ensure that the products selected by the buying department are allocated to the right stores in the right quantities at the right time.
* Merchandisers must understand the psychology of the shopper, as they shop, and find the ultimate way of presenting products within a store. This means anything from controlling the colouring and theme of a display to its physical positioning in the store.
Do you need a relevant degree to go into merchandising?
Graduates can enter merchandising from any background. There are degrees out there that specialise in merchandising but it’s not a necessity. Having a numerical, business or psychology degree may be an advantage.
What skills do graduates need to get a job in merchandising?
You need to be strong numerically and analytically and an ability to think outside the box. Experience of Excel is a distinct advantage.
If you are currently an Allocator or Assistant Merchandiser and would like to discuss your next career move please get in touch with Michelle Wolstenholme and find out about the roles we are currently working with here. Alternatively if you are a graduate looking to start a career in merchandising please email your cv to firstname.lastname@example.org