Retail visual merchandising managers are in the business of seduction. They manage the teams responsible for designing and fabricating the in-store displays in retail outlets, intended to attract customers into the store to buy the goods. Visual merchandising managers oversee window displays, point-of-sale features and the overall layout of the products in the store. They also recruit and train merchandising staff. Salary levels for the role are comparable with those of other retail management positions.
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For the purposes of its survey of national employment carried out in May 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classified visual merchandising managers alongside their fellow first-line supervisors of retail sales workers, such as those overseeing budgets and purchasing. The bureau reported that the mean annual salary across the category was £25,928; this is equivalent to an hourly rate of £12.40. Individuals among the top 10 per cent of earners received salaries in excess of £39,585, while their counterparts in the bottom 10 per cent earned mean yearly wages of less than £14,553.
Salary by Industry
The bureau also detailed how salary levels for first-line supervisors such as visual merchandising managers can vary depending on which retail environment they work in. Pay rates were comparable between managers who worked in clothing stores and grocery stores, with mean salaries of £26,052 and £25,434, respectively. Shoe stores reported a yearly mean wage of £24,316, slightly more than was offered by book, periodical and music stores, which claimed a mean salary of £23,244. Individuals employed by department stores earned a mean yearly wage of £21,547.
Salary by Location
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment opportunities for supervisors of sales workers, including visual merchandising managers, will grow by around 5 per cent over the decade from 2008 to 2018. This is slower growth than what's expected for all occupations as a whole, which is expected to fall between 7 and 13 per cent over the same period. This comparatively slow growth will likely be due to the slow recovery of the retail sector from the economic downturn of 2009, as well as retail businesses giving ordinary sales staff more responsibility. As such, salary levels are likely to increase marginally, at best.
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