The merchandiser plays a pivotal role in the pursuit of the strategic objectives of the retailer. The merchandiser undertakes planning and controlling stock ranges and replenishment. To be successful, the merchandiser needs to maintain a close liaison with retail buyers.
Requisites for a successful merchandiser
1. The role of merchandiser requires a close liaison with consumers.
2. He should have a holistic view of the supply chain.
3. He should have regular interaction with central functions such as management accounting and distribution.
4. He needs to be an effective communicator with appropriate interpersonal skills.
5. The post of merchandiser needs administrative competence.
6. According to Gilbert, a merchandise plan is required for developing the first stage. Understanding the nature of various niche markets, collecting necessary details about competitors and plans regarding starting of new branches, taking into consideration of branding and corporate policy, accepting to merchandise budget and liaison and preliminary discussion with potential buyers.
7. The merchandiser concentrates on the budgeting process which is the key area to the role of the merchandiser. Budgeting quantities in financial terms the objectives of the retailer for a defined period of time. The financial plan or master budget monitors the performance of the business.
Retailers should buy the merchandise that can be set an acceptable market price and also provide a planned gross margin. This involves the retail value of sales and the cost value based on the purchase cost of the merchandise.
8. The merchandiser plays an important role in both planning and controlling retail activity. The merchandise budget is the tool for the financial planning and control of the investment. The master merchandise budget provides a gross sales projection, stock level requirements, retail production estimates and expected profit margins.
9. The merchandiser dis-aggregated the figures of the master merchandise budget into merchandise plans that are able to attain projected sales. The resultant process has one important dimension, managing variations in sales demand over time.