Fashion Merchandising Basics

by Chris Newton; Updated September 26, 2017
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Fashion merchandising revolves around the business side of fashion. Fashion merchandising careers involve buying, product development, management, and fashion marketing. This career tends to be demanding, but is a popular field in the fashion industry. Candidates should have a passion for fashion, and a degree in a fashion field or in marketing or business.

The Job

Merchandisers are involved in all aspects of the fashion merchandising process, from design to sale. Merchandisers use their creative and imaginative talents along with a combination of advertising and marketing skills. Common duties include analyzing market trends, overseeing production cost, supervising sales, creating income projections and selecting fabrics and textiles.

Merchandising Process

During the merchandising process, the merchandiser is in charge of transferring the designer and manufacturer products to the hands of the consumer. Good marketing skills are necessary to increase sales. Efficient advertising campaigns also improve income projections. Merchandisers must ensure that the fashion merchandise is presented in a way that will attract and appeal to customers. They must anticipate customer preferences and analyze behavior to determine the best campaign or approach. It is also important to efficiently track both store inventory and profits to measure the success of different merchandising campaigns.

Fashion Merchandising Fields

Various fashion merchandising fields exist, each offering a different scope of work and income opportunities. Fashion merchandisers may choose to work as fashion advertising agents or store managers. Other fields of include fashion event planning, fashion product development, fashion retail positions, window dressing and fashion promotion.

Job Outlook and Salary

Employment in fashion merchandising is projected to grow about 7 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also, the Fashion Schools website indicates that fashion merchandising careers in advertising, marketing and sales are expected to have excellent income opportunities. Fashion merchandising salaries vary greatly by location, expertise and qualifications. A merchandise buyer with two to four years of experience earns about $47,378 to $62,400 a year, while a senior merchandise buyer with four to six years of experience earns a salary ranging from $83,408 to as much as $116,750 per year.

About the Author

Chris Newton has worked as a professional writer since 2001. He spent two years writing software specifications then spent three years as a technical writer for Microsoft before turning to copywriting for software and e-commerce companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Colorado.

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