In retail, merchandising involves selecting and purchasing the goods that a store will sell. The merchandising manager supervises the activities of a store or retail chain's merchandising efforts.
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The merchandising manager makes final decisions about what a store or chain purchases and helps negotiate the cost of the goods for the store. Managers also help determine the price that the store sells the goods for in order to make a profit.
Merchandising managers follows sales trends in the store or stores they work for, monitoring what types of goods sell and what types are difficult to generate interest in. Managers also examine market trend reports to determine the type of clientele that visit stores as well as information about upcoming trends or advances in the types of products the store carries.
Successful merchandising managers possess leadership and organizational skills, the ability to both communicate and negotiate effectively and knowledge of how to read and interpret financial reports. The ability to use e-mail, spreadsheet, word processing, database and inventory-control software is generally necessary as well.
Most employers require merchandising managers to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a field like business, marketing or economics. Experience working assisting in merchandising at a similar type of retail store is usually necessary.
As of May 2008, the average annual salary of merchandising managers was £61,295, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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