Charmaine Gyles Ferguson, senior consultant within the Fashion & Retail Division, Handle Recruitment
If your long term aim is to be an online merchandiser then merchandising experience in a high street fast pace fashion head office environment will definitely help.
For those who visualise themselves working within a more niche luxury brand it is easier to progress into this arena with high street training than the other way around. Some of the established high street and E-commerce retail and fashion companies offer thorough structured training programmes.
The journey towards achieving a career as an online merchandiser starts as a merchandise admin assistant (MAA) or as an allocator. From there, progression will lead to merchandise assistant (MA), online assistant merchandiser, and then online merchandiser.
Most employers will prefer a graduate education and numeracy is an absolute must-have skill set as is a detailed knowledge of Microsoft Excel and a passion and aptitude for analysis.
It’s important to recognise that the merchandiser is the person who holds the key to setting profit margins and agreeing promotional mark downs. Consequently, it’s an exciting, high pressure environment that calls for solutions-driven professionals with first class communication skills and the ability to be reactive as well as proactive.
Salary-wise, merchandise admin roles can pay anything between £18,000 and £23,000 depending on location, brand, and size of business. Online assistant merchandiser roles will pay between £24,000 and £32,000 while an online merchandiser can command between £30,000 and £50,000.