Merchandiser in International Retailing as a Career Option

International Retailing industry is a every green industry that will keep growing and evolving with time. Merchandizing is one of the most important functions in the Retailing Organisations. The job responsibilities and functions of the Merchandiser directly impact the success, profits and the performance of the retail Company. The job calls for multi skills, sharp acumen and understanding of the markets as well as the Supplier networks coupled with knowledge of commercial and international trade. As the job function of a Merchandiser holds such high responsibility, so is the salary paid to a Merchandiser.

For students and young professionals who find International Retailing their calling, trying to become a Merchandiser would be the best profile to aim for. The job calls for responsibility with authority and involves constant learning from the field too. We can very well say that no other job provides such depth of understanding and exposure to International Retailing as does the job of a Merchandiser.

It is a fact that Merchandisers are paid the highest perks and salaries in International Retailing Companies based on the Buyer’s performance assessment. Therefore we shall try to cover briefly some of the parameters that go into the assessing Buyer’s performance with a view to providing a complete insight into the job profile and responsibilities of a Merchandiser to the ‘want to be Merchandiser’ aspirants.

Key Performance Assessment Parameters

  1. Financial and Sales Related

    • Incremental Net & Gross Sales achieved as compared to the previous year’s Sales figures.
    • Net & Gross Margins achieved as compared to previous year.
    • Any major measurable performance in cost reduction| Cost control in Sourcing or in Logistics.
    • Supplier Network Development, Supplier relationship management & Performance.

  2. Store Related

    • Out of Stock levels at Stores [Lost opportunity for sale] - Actual against Budget.
    • Customer Complaints & Feedback on Quality and Availability of SKUs.

  3. Product Development

    • No. New Product lines Developed.
    • Innovation in Product range development, new brands and brand promotions.
    • Innovation in Quality and Product Design leading to competitive advantage over competition.
    • Market Expectation Vs Fulfilment.
    • Development of New & Alternate Supply sources |networks.

The above parameters can be measured and quantified using MIS data.

From the above performance measurements, you can draw up the profile and skill set requirements of a professional Merchandiser. The job responsibility entails both Managerial and Functional aspects. One cannot hope to become an independent Merchandiser immediately in the beginning of one’s career. The route to becoming a Merchandiser is to start with doing functional jobs in the Industry and gaining in depth knowledge of the market as well as operations and procurement. Experience and exposure coupled with knowledge can make one a successful Merchandiser in a couple of years. To be a successful Merchandiser one needs to have strong commercial acumen coupled with excellent negotiations and man management skills. Conceptual knowledge of International Trade as well as Supply chain and Logistics is also necessary. Some of the expertise can be picked up on the job while some aspects can be learnt by taking up specific subject oriented trainings.

With E commerce and Globalisation, International Retailing will get new impetus. This is the right time for young professionals to target International Retailing industry for the future years are going to be exciting times for the industry. With Online shopping and Globalisation, the profile of International Retailing is set to evolve higher and make forays into huge markets that are slowly opening up. Besides we see the new trends in procurement in terms of global exchanges being formed. With the changes in external environment, the dynamics of the International Retailing too will change. As a career choice, this is certainly one of the best industries to aim for.


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