A merchandiser works for companies in retail and wholesale markets. Though merchandiser responsibilities vary from employer to employer, typical duties include:
Purchasing merchandise for resale
Assessing the quality and variety of products that are available for purchase
Selecting the merchandise that will best suit the company's standards
A merchandiser also oversees the distribution of this merchandise to retail stores and outlet locations to maintain stock of the products. This requires working closely with store managers.
Merchandisers must study market reports and trade periodicals, and some travel may be required, as merchandisers often visit trade shows, factories, and showrooms of potential suppliers. Additional responsibilities may include interviewing suppliers, arranging deliveries, and negotiating prices and discounts. Merchandisers who become supervisors are also responsible for supervising the work of other buyers.
Merchandiser Job Education Requirements
The educational requirements for merchandiser jobs vary greatly depending on the employer. Usually, merchandisers must have completed high school, and sometimes a university degree in business, marketing, or related coursework is also required. Applicants with previous work experience in retail or wholesale companies will enjoy an advantage in their job search. Merchandisers may also need specific training regarding the products they're selling, and those who wish to be supervisors or senior buyers will have to complete management training and may need additional experience.
Merchandiser Job Market
According to a study by the Canadian Occupational Projection System, there were over 180,000 people employed in merchandiser jobs. For the 2011-2020 period, there is expected to be a rise in the demand for merchandisers across all sectors. In 2014, nearly 60 percent of merchandisers worked in retail, and 22 percent worked in wholesale trade. In the same year, 11 percent of merchandisers in Canada were self-employed, according to a Labour Force Survey, and 92 percent of the available merchandiser jobs were full-time positions.
Merchandiser Job Salary Information
A merchandiser earns an average of C$12.00 an hour. In 2014, the national hourly rate was between C$10.28 and C$17.50 an hour, or between C$21,000 and C$46,000 annually. An employee's work experience, however, does not have much of an effect on pay. Merchandisers with the most experience made only marginally more money than an entry-level merchandiser. Salaries are, however, affected by location. The national average salary was about C$28,000 in 2014, but merchandisers in Winnipeg, Mississauga and Ottawa made about 8 percent less, and in Montreal, merchandisers made a reported 35 percent more than the national average.