Study on Merchandiser and Merchandising in Apparel Industry

An Overview of  Merchandiser and Merchandising in Garment Industry
Harshani Wijendra
Sri Lanka Institute of Textile & Apparel Technology (SLITA)
Email: harshani_bipasha@yahoo.com




Introduction:
In the broadest sense, merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products to a retail consumer. At a retail in-store level, merchandising refers to the variety of products available for sale and the display of those products in such a way that it stimulates interest and entices customers to make a purchase.

In retail commerce, visual display merchandising means merchandise sales using product design, selection, packaging, pricing, and display that stimulates consumers to spend more. This includes disciplines and discounting, physical presentation of products and displays, and the decisions about which products should be presented to which customers at what time.

Definition for Merchandising:
“The activity of promoting the sale of goods, especially by their presentation in retail outlets.”
In the broadest sense, merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products to a retail consumer. At a retail in-store level, merchandising refers to the variety of products available for sale and the display of those products in such a way that it stimulates interest and entices customers to make a purchase. In retail commerce, visual display merchandising means merchandise sales using product design, selection, packaging, pricing, and display that stimulates consumers to spend more. This includes disciplines and discounting, physical presentation of products and displays, and the decisions about which products should be presented to which customers at what time.
What is Merchandising?
Merchandising activities may include display techniques, free samples, on-the-spot demonstration, pricing, shelf talkers, special offers, and other point-of-sale methods. According to American Marketing Association, merchandising encompasses "planning involved in marketing the right merchandise or service at the right place, at the right time, in the right quantities, and at the right price."
Apparel Industry
Apparel Industry
In Eastern Europe, particularly in Russia, the term “merchandising” is commonly used within the trading industry and denotes all marketing and sales stimulation activities around PoS (point of sale): design, creation, promotion, care and training of the sales staff. A merchandiser is someone who is continuously involved in business promotion by buying and selling of goods. In Asian countries, such as India, this term is more synonymous with activities right from sampling and idea conception to dispatching of the shipment. It is a job description that involves leading and working with different departments within the organization, suppliers and buyers to deal with timely deadlines and accepted quality levels.

Merchandiser Responsibilities:
The person who is related in merchandising is called merchandiser. The merchandiser coordinates with the design team to effectively present the product or product line. He or she develops colors and specifications, and performs market research to determine the most effective ways to sell and promote the product. This person needs strong communication and negotiation skills and visual and analytical abilities. He or she also needs to be a creative and innovative thinker. He should plan the activities to execute and dispatch the merchandise on time taking into consideration the 4 R’s of expediting Right Quantity, Right Quality, Right Cost & Right Time.
  1. Right Quantity: To dispatch right quantity of product what buyer ordered?
  2. Right Quality: It should be with right quality as accepted both parties.
  3. Right Cost: Everybody wants more from what they are paid.
  4. Right Time: No one wants to wait idle even in a Restaurant. Keeping delivery schedule is mandatory.
A Merchandisers Key Responsibility is as follows:
  • Product Development
  • Market and product Analysis
  • Selling the concept
  • Booking orders
  • Confirming Deliveries
  • Designing and Sampling
  • Costing
  • Raw Material
  • Flow Monitoring
  • Production Follow Ups
  • Payments Follows
  • Internal & external communication,
  • Sampling
  • Lab dips
  • Accessories & trims
  • Preparing internal order sheets
  • Preparing purchase orders
  • Advising and assisting production,
  • Advising quality department about quality level
  • Mediating production and quality departments
  • Giving shipping instructions and following shipping,
  • Helping documentation department
  • Taking responsibility for inspections and
  • Following up the shipment.
Qualities of Merchandiser:
Planning Capability: Merchandiser should be capable of planning, based on the planning the order is to be followed. If the planning is not done properly it will directly affect the delivery time of the order.

Decision making: For a Merchandiser, decision making power is most important. He should think about the decision to be taken and to act in a right way.

Communication Skill: The communication is very much important to promote the business activity. The merchandiser should remember that communication must be lurid and should having face to face conversation with the buyer.

Loyalty: Loyalty is an essential character of human beings. Especially for the business people like merchandiser it is a must.

Knowledge about the field: Merchandiser should have adequate knowledge about the garments, Computer knowledge, and technical knowledge to communicate with different people in the business is a must.

Co-ordinate & Co-operate: Merchandiser is the person who is actually co-ordinate with the number of departments. To Co-ordinate with different people in the industry he should be co- operative.

Monitoring ability: Merchandiser should monitor to expedite the orders.

Other qualities: Education, Experience, Situational Management, Ability to Evaluate, Dedication, Knowledge of expediting procedures.

Why Merchandising?
“The difference between marketing and merchandising is evident. One is an extension of the other. When one markets an item it is being offered for sale; when one merchandises that product, it is spotlighted, promoted, and enhanced to eventuate the fruition of the initial goal of the marketing of that item.”
                                            - Morris H. Kushner - Morris H. Kushner on Specialty Foods

“Advertising moves people toward goods; merchandising moves goods toward people.”
                                                                     - Morris Hite

As in the above sayings by Mr. Morris who is an Author & by Mr.M.Hite who is Morris Hite was a classic American advertising man, self-educated and self-made, nowadays a merchandiser’s role is very important. Without a merchandising strategy, products on the store shelf are left to fend for themselves among a sea of competing products. With the help of a carefully formulated merchandising strategy, retail marketers can highlight the unique value and benefits of a featured brand to attain the status of a category leader.

Why Merchandising is a important part of the marketing plan, and should have a reasonable budget allocated - even for a retailer operating on a shoestring. In today's competitive retail environment a retailer cannot afford to consider merchandising as a 'frill'. Everyone is competing for the customers' dollar. There are more choices out there for consumers than ever before. So the competition in the market is more than years before. Therefore Merchandising plays a good role in the role of marketing.

The Roll of a Merchandiser……..
Is a massive, contrast with many responsibilities & working performances. Think of it this way, a product is manufactured and then sold to the public. Manufacturers are the ones who physically make the products that will be later sold. Merchandisers or Retailers are the ones who buy those manufactured products and sell them to their customers. Merchandisers are the middle man between the buyer and manufacturer... buyer wants to the product to produce and select the raw material of the cost of product. Totally all work to be carried and handle the only one person.

Typically, the role of a divisional merchandise manager, immaterial of the size of the retail organization, would involve the following functions:

1) Forecasting sales for the forthcoming budget period: This involves estimating consumer demand and the impact of changes in the retail environment.

2) Translating the sales forecast into inventory levels in terms of rupees. To do this effectively, the DMM needs to understands and provide for the inventory levels that would be needed to achieve of sales

3) Inspiring commitment and performance on the part of the merchandisers and buyers: Typically, as divisional merchandise managers are senior within the organization, it is believed that they can guide the merchandisers in terms of vendor selection, merchandise lines that can be developed and future trends.

4) Assessing not only the merchandise performance but also the buyer’s performance in order to provide control and maintain high performance results.

The roles of a merchandiser may differ from organization to organization. This article will give you an idea how a merchandiser work in the industry.

The Merchandiser usually works with all departments in a company--- management, design, sourcing, production and sales to make sure the finished product is executed correctly and on time. The merchandiser should have enough knowledge for determining the target population, researching the market for current trends and predicting future trends. Merchandisers works with management and sales to develop a line plan and makes sales projections for each season. The merchandising department also supervises the creation of selling aids i.e. salesman samples, swatch booklets, colour cards etc. In few companies the Merchandiser is required to give presentations to the sales force to familiarize them with the concepts of the line to help them pitch to retailers. In a large company a merchandiser or design director will head up this area with the help of one or more assistants. In a small company, the owner or designer will see to these responsibilities.

1 comments:

Fashion said...

Really helpful post.........

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