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Retail merchandiser

Alternative titles for this job include

Retail merchandisers make sure that goods are in the right stores, or online, at the right time and the right price.

Average salary (a year)

£16,000 Starter


£36,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

36 to 38 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends attending events or appointments

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a retail merchandiser

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • completing private industry-recognised training


You can do a degree before joining a retail company as a trainee merchandiser. Employers recruit from a range of degree subjects. Particularly relevant subjects include:

  • marketing
  • fashion buying and merchandising
  • fashion and business
  • retail business management

It's useful to get some retail or office based experience during your studies to help you stand out when you apply for graduate roles.

Your university careers service can help you to find summer placement, internship and year placement opportunities.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information


You can take a college course to become a retail merchandiser. Courses include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Retail Operations
  • Level 3 Diploma in Fashion Retail
  • Level 3 Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information


You may be able to start through a retailer intermediate apprenticeship or retail team leader advanced apprenticeship before moving into merchandising.

If you already have some retail experience, you could apply to do a buying and merchandising assistant higher or degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information


You could start in stock control or as a merchandise admin assistant and work your way up by learning on the job.

Other Routes

If you're interested in fashion retail, you could do a short course like an introduction to merchandising.

You can also take procurement and supply qualifications through the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply. These are recognised by the industry.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a retail merchandiser from the Fashion Retail Academy.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could:

  • plan product ranges and stock plans with buyers
  • plan budgets, forecast sales and profit margins
  • present forecasts to managers
  • visit manufacturers with retail buyers to learn about production cycles
  • negotiate prices and orders with suppliers, and agree delivery terms
  • track stock deliveries, make sure goods arrive on time and meet quality standards
  • set prices and sales targets for individual stores
  • help visual merchandisers to plan store layouts to promote key lines
  • promote special offers and marketing initiatives
  • analyse sales figures and trends
  • stay aware of how competitors are performing
  • identify and sort out production and supply problems
  • manage, train and supervise staff

Working environment

You could work at a store or in an office.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could be promoted to senior merchandiser and responsible for sales and budgetary control of a multimillion-pound department and managing a team of people. It's typical to have reached senior merchandiser level within 7 to 8 years.

You could also become a merchandise manager, head of merchandising, merchandising director, retail business analyst or self-employed retail consultant.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Retail Assistant

  • Wage: £13,312.00 Annually

Retail Parts Advisor Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £13,312.00 Annually
  • Location: Bolton

Courses In England

Diploma in Fashion Retail

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: GRAYS

UAL L4 Fashion Retail -Marketing & Business

  • Start date: 02 September 2024

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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