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Merchandising Assistant Duties and Responsibilities

The key term to this job title is "assist." The core of a merchandising assistant's job is helping the team in whatever capacity is needed as they go about motivating patrons to spend money. From our analysis of job postings, such duties frequently include the following:

Support Merchandising assistants get called upon to perform tasks that keep the merchandising department operating smoothly, mainly through instructions given by the merchandising manager. Actions may be as simple as sorting mail or as complex as performing research on what products and pricing competitors are offering. They may fulfill requests from other departments or from people outside of the company, such as gathering and delivering diagrams of displays. When new assistants, seasonal workers, or interns come aboard, the merchandising assistant often is the one to get them up to speed.

Recordkeeping Merchandising assistants keep tabs on information coming in from all directions and enter it into computer systems for reference. They may track inventory, monitor shipments, note pricing, spell out vendor terms, file artwork, process invoices, and handle purchase orders.

Evaluation How did a certain display affect sales? What effect did moving an item to a different location have on customer interest? Merchandising assistants assemble data on such questions, look for patterns, and write reports or create electronic presentations on their findings. This information helps the company gauge the effectiveness of its efforts and provides a basis for future decisions.


Merchandising Assistant Skills

Successful merchandising assistants tend to be highly organized and good at following directions. Other qualities that hiring managers love to see on résumés for merchandising assistant positions include:
  • Managing time well in order to complete a variety of tasks
  • Attending to detail to ensure the effectiveness of displays
  • Solving problems when unforeseen circumstances arise
  • Knowing (or being willing to learn) about best practices in the industry, such as featuring new arrivals in the front window of the store as a way to lure in shoppers
  • Exhibiting creativity and a "good eye" for visual presentation

Merchandising Assistant Education and Training

Most merchandising assistants hold an associate's degree or higher in a field such as business, marketing, design, or merchandising. Employers also like to see evidence of experience working in a retail setting.

Merchandising Assistant Resources

To learn more about the merchandising industry and its career opportunities, we've compiled this list:

Merchandising: Theories, Principles and Practice - The third edition of this textbook includes a variety of case studies that can help aspiring merchandising assistants learn more about what goes on in actual workplaces.

Mathematics for Retail Buying - Profits, inventory, cost per item, deals … merchandising involves a variety of numerical concepts. This book provides a solid introduction to the types of math skills a merchandising assistant might need to master for career advancement.

Visual Merchandising: Windows and In-Store Displays for Retail - This user-friendly reference covers all aspects of creating effective displays. It includes full-color photos, informative diagrams, and hints from merchandising experts.

Merchandising and Planning Professionals - Still have questions about a career as a merchandising assistant? This LinkedIn group of more than 49,000 members may be the place to find answers.

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