Merchandisers select and purchase goods for a company to sell by reviewing statistical data, customer opinion and price comparisons. Assistant merchandisers assist the lead merchandiser in creating and maintaining a successful business strategy.
An assistant merchandiser reports daily and weekly sales, opportunities for growth and the items with the best and worst selling performance to the lead merchandiser. He must also manage inventory and distribution, proposing promotions and markdowns as necessary to move merchandise quickly and efficiently.
Assistant merchandisers work largely in retail, wholesale and grocery environments. They can carry other titles such as assistant buyer, purchasing agent or merchandise manager.
Assistant merchandisers must have previous experience in a sales-driven environment. They must also possess analytical skills and strong computer skills, especially with spreadsheet software. An assistant merchandiser should be a team-oriented worker with excellent interpersonal skills and a keen awareness of the customer and brand profile of the business for whom they are buying.
Education requirements for assistant merchandisers vary depending on the size and prestige of the company. Most large, corporate-structured businesses require a bachelor's degree in business, and a master's degree is recommended for advancement purposes. Experience is highly valued for merchandising positions, however, and can trump educational deficiencies.
As of 2010, assistant merchandisers with a salaried position can make from £19,500 to £35,100 per year, according to information compiled by Glassdoor.com. Average hourly wages hover around £10.40 per hour.