Retail Merchandiser Job Description

Retail merchandisers set up merchandise displays, manage retail products, and keep products stocked in retail store environments. Retail companies hire retail merchandisers for flexible full- and part-time work shifts during retail business hours, which may include evenings, weekends, and holidays, when retail stores are busiest. Retail merchandisers work within a geographic area that may encompass several stores, and they report to the regional manager responsible for overseeing the same area. Retail merchandisers travel frequently between various retail stores within their assigned area.


Retail Merchandiser Duties and Responsibilities

Day-to-day duties for retail merchandisers vary based on the number of stores within their geographic area and the products they manage. However, these core job tasks are common in most retail environments:

Track Inventory

Retail merchandisers track inventory and order new stock as needed. This includes writing regular inventory reports that are reviewed by upper management.

Stock and Display Merchandise

Retail merchandisers stock and rotate merchandise to ensure it’s attractively displayed. They also set up promotional displays to highlight certain merchandise in stores.

Follow Store Plan Diagrams

Retail merchandisers follow product diagrams that show where particular items should be displayed within the store. These diagrams are created by upper-level management within the company.

Change Signs

Retail merchandisers take down old signs and put up new ones for display within the store and in window fronts.

Communicate with Regional Manager

Retail merchandisers use smartphones, email, and other technology to stay in constant contact with the regional manager, keeping them updated on inventory issues and store operations.

Move Store Fixtures

Retail merchandisers set up and take down shelving, racks, and other store fixtures to change and update product displays.


Retail Merchandiser Skills and Qualifications

Retail merchandisers are detail-oriented professionals who manage inventory and products in retail store environments to increase sales and maintain stock. Employers hire retail merchandisers who have the following essential skills:

  • Physical fitness – retail merchandisers move inventory items, stand for long periods at a time, and set up merchandising displays, all of which requires physical stamina
  • Customer service – retail merchandisers interact with customers regularly while setting up displays and rotating merchandise, which requires good customer service skills
  • Attention to detail – retail merchandisers use attention to detail to ensure that items are displayed prominently and that all promotional displays look appealing
  • Communication skills – retail merchandisers use communication skills to speak with in-store employees and stay in contact with the regional manager
  • Multitasking – retail merchandisers must multitask to juggle many responsibilities and tend to several duties at once


Retail Merchandiser Education and Training

Many employers look for retail merchandisers who have a high school diploma or GED to fill this role, but this is not always a requirement. Because of the frequent travel required, retail merchandisers must have a valid driver’s license and up-to-date car insurance on a personal vehicle. Some employers look for retail merchandisers who have past retail experience.

Employers provide training to retail merchandisers, and in many companies this is considered an entry-level job. The length of this training period varies by company and depends on past experience and previous training. During training, retail merchandisers work closely with a regional manager or another supervisor learn day-to-day retail store operations and become familiar with the products sold by the company.


Retail Merchandiser Salary and Outlook

According to PayScale, retail merchandisers earn a median hourly income of $11.49. Information compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that retail sales workers earn a median annual income of $23,370, or $11.24 hourly. The BLS estimates that jobs in this field will rise by 2 percent through 2026. This growth is slower than the national average.

A majority of employers provide full-time retail merchandisers with basic medical benefits that sometimes include dental and vision insurance coverage. Because there is so much travel required for the job, many employers provide both full- and part-time retail merchandisers with travel reimbursement and a gas allowance.


Helpful Resources

Explore these books and websites to find jobs as a retail merchandiser, learn career strategies, and discover ways to succeed on this career path:

National Retail Federation – visit the career center at the NRF website to find jobs and browse additional resources. This site also contains retail news updates, a calendar of upcoming events, and career information for retail merchandisers and other industry professionals

Concepts and Cases in Retail and Merchandise Management – this books dives into common retail challenges by presenting case studies and topics pertinent to retail environments

Retail Merchandiser – this online magazine offers content for retail professionals in all fields, including information about networking events, training videos, and more

Visual Merchandising: Windows and In-Store Displays for Retail – designed to be a reference guide, this book covers all aspects of visual merchandising, including in-store and window displays

Visual Merchandising and Store Design – look for jobs, explore design galleries, and watch videos for visual merchandising tips at this website for retail merchandisers and other professionals who design promotional displays

Starting with the Shopper: Research Insights for Winning at Retail – this book offers tips and techniques to influence shoppers based on thousands of studies and real-world strategies for setting up displays and optimizing the in-store shopping experience


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