As we get one step closer to the consumer, let’s focus on fashion merchandising management – a broad category that includes buying, allocations, planning, product development, sales managers, account executives, retail management, and marketing roles. Professionals in these roles work for the fiber and textile companies as well as apparel producers to merchandise and market the products to the ultimate consumer.
Developing a merchandising and/or marketing plan falls on your shoulders as you consider merchandise positioning, brand imagery, targeting, and segmentation of a product. The ability to choose and merchandise a product, pinpoint a target audience, develop marketing tests, and analyze results will determine the success of the business. Industry specific computer technology will be used to extract and analyze data for future planning and allocation and to manage inventory levels and sales.
If you love math (or you don’t mind it), successful reporting requires the ability to calculate, interpret, and respond to financial planning and control reports of the merchandising and store operational teams. Reports include sales analyses, maintained markup reports, gross margin, seasonal plans, and additional data as required by the company.
You will make decisions involving inventory models, inventory replenishment, and seasonal and long-term merchandising strategies. Merchandise assortment planning also falls under the merchandising umbrella. Essentially, the fate of a collection post-production is in your hands.
Furthermore, retail’s ongoing move towards an omni-channel approach offers additional opportunities for those who wish to pursue a career in this field. Omni-channel retailing is rapidly gaining momentum in the industry as consumers gain control of the shopping experience and demand to shop whenever and wherever they choose. Digital and mobile opportunities will continue to expand creating additional opportunities for those who are more technologically inclined.
Fashion merchandising management offers a range of career paths depending on the segment that interests you. The finished product is in your hands and making it desirable to your target customer is your highest priority. From buying to product development, the opportunities are endless. For the sales-oriented, account executive and retail management roles may appeal to your selling abilities. The merchandising and marketing professionals ensure the product is presented to consumers as intended by the company’s standards. Regardless of the role that you choose to specialize in, you will have a direct impact on the overall business.
By: Malicia Basdeo, New York City, @maliciaism
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