How Do I Become a Merchandise Manager?

A merchandise manager is a common sight in most retail stores, and he or she is in charge of the store’s sales and ordering, as well as the store’s staff. A bachelor’s degree in business or a related field is typically required of merchandise managers. A person who wishes to work as a merchandise manager must also possess personal qualities such as organization and leadership. He or she must be familiar with database, word processing, and product ordering software, or have the ability to learn them. The merchandise manager must also be able to work with product prices in order to ensure that the company makes sales while remaining profitable.

A bachelor’s degree is one of the most important requirements for becoming a merchandise manager. A business degree is the most common, but marketing and economics degrees can also be useful. Some companies are less picky and will hire applicants with a bachelor’s degree in any field. Other businesses will hire people without a degree if they have managerial or assistant managerial experience. The majority of the time, however, a degree is required.

Anyone aspiring to be a merchandise manager must possess certain personal qualities, the most common of which are organization and leadership. Because the manager must ensure that all products are ordered on time and that the store is profitable, organization is essential. The merchandise manager must also be well-organized so that he or she can work with other stores in the same chain to meet sales targets. Because the merchandise manager will be working with employees, he or she must also be a good leader.

To work as a merchandise manager, you’ll need a limited set of technical skills. In most cases, the applicant only needs to be familiar with word processing and database programs, as well as the ability to quickly learn new ones. It is preferred that the applicant be familiar with a product-ordering program, but this is usually learned on the job.

Working with product prices to ensure the store makes a profit is one of the most important functions of a merchandise manager. The manager needs to know what the competition is charging so that he or she can set prices that are comparable. Simultaneously, the merchandise manager must recognize when a price is too low; otherwise, the store risks losing a significant amount of money.