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A Day as a Fashion Merchandiser

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No day is the same when you are a fashion merchandiser. Fashion merchandising involves many hats within the fashion industry, sometimes you have to switch them around the whole day, and sometimes you have to stick to one area exclusively.

While running a bit late in the morning, luckily enough most merchandisers don’t have to be in the office at exactly 9 am, I still have time for a cup of good black coffee to kick off the day on the good foot. Passing your retail shops, you feel like someone super special, someone behind the curtain who makes everything appear as impressive as possible, you know you are someone who stock the ruched dresses, because they are the new big thing.

So, this morning is split into 30-minutes meetings with different departments. Starting with Planning and Forecasting Team, having an analytical conversation about fashion trends and previous sales analysis. Fashion merchandising is all about knowing what your customers want, even before they know it. We don’t work with products, which already out there, usually we work nine to twelve months ahead to predict what’s going to be hot and loved and what brings you the best sales.

“Fashion merchandising job require a strong mix of fashion sense and business expertise. Strategy, marketing and analytical research in the integral part of the job. It’s not just about beauty.”


Next blocks of 30-minutes meetings go to the discussion with the Styling Team and Marketing department, on topics such as how do we make this product look amazing and wanted by most of our customers, should we continue our fashion styling and visual merchandising strategy or create something totally different from scratch. Working with marketing and promotion departments is very important at this point. As once merchandise is stocked in the physical store or online based platform, I’m responsible for the promotion of the product. We go through every detail of every single style: does it need to change the fit or sleeve length? Should we concentrate on the wholesale or retail? Do we have enough units to cover minimums and meet the predicted sales targets? Do we sell nationally or our international boutiques and partners will be interested in this as well? What are our possible margins? How fast can we sell the merchandise full-price. These are some of the typical questions arising during these meetings.

Following 30-minutes meeting can be with my boss on updating, where we stand, do we meet required targets etc.

Training of my team is another big part of my job, as I need qualified people with good analytical and communication skills to communicate with our partners (from manufacturers to our customers) and to get a job done in time. Timing is a big thing in fashion merchandising as you need to be sure, that you meet the dates of fashion production calendar. Fashion system exist autonomously and if you have problems with logistic (or there was an unplanned port strike) it is only your responsibility, that your product didn’t go on sale in time. And later on, you have to come up with the idea how to cover up thousands of dollars miss in sales for the week product wasn’t presented in stores.

After that I might be out of office to meet with manufacturers discussing supplies and materials, doing quality test controls etc to make sure our customers get the best merchandise; managing retail outlets and checking on store displays. Later on I might be back in the office to develop advertising and marketing strategies, pricing garments based on quality and affordability, finding the best price to stay within budgets, determine a store’s type of clientele etc.

“You meet different kinds of amazing professional people and create great product.”


Every single day is literally different and that is what I love about being fashion merchandiser. You don’t have time to warm the seat. You meet different kinds of amazing professional people and create great product. The feeling when your product is about to set is exceptional. When you know you’ve been working with the whole team of people to get that beautiful silk jacket to the store for the past ten months and, later on, you find out it was sold out within hours – brilliant! That is the fashion merchandising job done right. This dynamic role is ideal for an individual with a vast knowledge of fashion production process and the ability to work simultaneously with multiple departments. There is no typical day for a fashion merchandiser and no typical schedule, to be honest, as well. You may work evenings, weekends and holidays. But today I finished all the planned work by 6 pm, so I don’t need to stay late to wrap things up!

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