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How to be a divisional manager on ladies merchandising

This week Nicola Wensley, associate director at Michael Page Buying & Merchandising, tells you how to land a job as divisional manager on ladies merchandising.

“A good starting point for a career in merchandising is actually working in a fashion store. The knowledge of store operation that you’ll learn here, such as the impact of markdown, availability and what customers actually want is an invaluable base for a career in merchandising. Equally as important is work experience in a merchandising role – this will give you insight into what your day-to-day role will involve and essential commercial awareness.

When trying to secure your first permanent role, look out for graduate positions in key retailers. Most of these roles will involve starting as an allocator and working up the career ladder. They are hard to get, but if you’re successful, it’s a great way to fast track your merchandising career.

The most attractive candidates are people who have a ‘can do’ attitude, excellent communication and influencing skills, as well as a solid understanding of fashion retail.

Merchandising isn’t an easy job; however the work environment is creative and fun. There is generally a clear career path to a senior level, and when you are at this level, you’ll play a hugely influential role in the fashion retailer. It’s a great job for someone with an eye for style and a head for business.

Salaries for a merchandiser range between £35-55k, plus package, depending on experience, brand and location.”

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