Fashion merchandisers perform the task of purchasing lines of apparel, shoes and accessories that will be sold in a retail establishment or chain. They then promote them directly to consumers by creating attractive and stylish displays.
Like the fashion marketer, the fashion merchandiser must stay on top of trends, styles and consumer desires. Sometimes called window display artists and apparel merchandisers, fashion merchandisers are skilled at attracting consumers to the look, feel and mood of a retail store or product.
Educational requirements vary depending on the size and type of the retail establishment. In larger stores and chains, a bachelor’s degree in marketing is often required, as is formal training. A master’s degree, especially a Master of Business Administration (MBA) is essential for advancement to top-level managerial jobs and key positions in larger chains.
Many accredited schools offer bachelor’s and master’s degree programs online, which is an excellent opportunity for working professionals to earn a degree relevant to fashion merchandising.
Bachelor’s Degrees Fashion Design & Marketing Fashion Design Costume Design Fashion Merchandising
Master’s Degrees Master of Business Administration
Many entry-level employees in this field begin their career by selling merchandise, supervising sales workers, checking invoices and keeping track of stock. Fashion merchandisers must always stay up to date with other facets of the fashion industry, including fashion design and fashion marketing, as they will frequently be communicating and negotiating with fashion marketing personnel.
Through training and experience, successful fashion merchandisers become adept at creating attractive displays of the latest hot fashions and accessories, changing them frequently. Some of their displays include props, mannequins, signs and lighting, so fashion merchandisers must perfect the craft of art and design.
A fashion merchandiser should excel in such skills as trend spotting, communication, strategic thinking, eye-catching display design and promotion.
Though the salary range for fashion merchandisers can span a range from $35,000 to $80,000, fashion merchandisers can easily make over $100,000 when they have reached top-level performance. Employment opportunities are expected to be best for individuals who possess a bachelor’s or master’s degree in marketing with fashion as a specialization, and for those with relevant job experience.