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Become A Merchandising Associate

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Working As A Merchandising Associate

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • $21,780

    Average Salary

What Does A Merchandising Associate Do

Retail sales workers include both those who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture, and cars, (called retail salespersons) and those who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts (called parts salespersons). Both types of workers help customers find the products they want and process customers’ payments.

Duties

Retail sales workers typically do the following:

  • Greet customers and offer them assistance
  • Recommend merchandise based on customers’ wants and needs
  • Explain the use and benefit of merchandise to customers
  • Answer customers’ questions
  • Show how merchandise works, if applicable
  • Add up customers’ total purchases and accept payment
  • Inform customers about current sales, promotions, and policies about payments and exchanges

The following are examples of types of retail sales workers:

Retail salespersons work in stores where they sell goods, such as books, cars, clothing, cosmetics, electronics, furniture, lumber, plants, shoes, and many other types of merchandise.

In addition to helping customers find and select items to buy, many retail salespersons process the payment for the sale, which typically involves operating cash registers.

After taking payment for the purchases, retail salespersons may bag or package the purchases.

Depending on the hours they work, retail salespersons may have to open or close cash registers. This includes counting the money in the register and separating charge slips, coupons, and exchange vouchers. They may also make deposits at a cash office.

For information about other workers who receive and disburse money, see the profile on cashiers.

In addition, retail salespersons may help stock shelves or racks, arrange for mailing or delivery of purchases, mark price tags, take inventory, and prepare displays.

For some retail sales jobs, particularly those involving expensive and complex items, retail sales workers need special knowledge or skills. For example, those who sell cars must be able to explain the features of various models, manufacturers’ specifications, different types of options on the car, financing available, and the details of associated warranties.

In addition, retail sales workers must recognize security risks and thefts and understand their organization’s procedures for handling thefts—procedures that may include notifying security guards or calling police.

Parts salespersons sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts. Most work in either automotive parts stores or automobile dealerships. They take customers’ orders, inform customers of part availability and price, and take inventory.

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How To Become A Merchandising Associate

Typically, there are no formal education requirements for retail sales workers. Most receive on-the-job training, which usually lasts a few days to a few months.

Education

Although retail or parts sales positions usually have no formal education requirements, some employers prefer applicants who have a high school diploma or equivalent, especially employers who sell technical products or “big-ticket” items, such as electronics or cars.

Training

Most retail sales workers receive on-the-job training, which usually lasts a few days to a few months. In small stores, an experienced employee often trains newly hired workers. In large stores, training programs are more formal and usually conducted over several days.

During training sessions, topics often include customer service, security, the store’s policies and procedures, and how to operate the cash register.

Depending on the type of product they are selling, employees may be given additional specialized training. For example, salespersons working in cosmetics get instruction on the types of products the store offers and for whom the cosmetics would be most beneficial. Likewise, those who sell computers may be instructed on the technical differences between computer products.

Because providing exceptional service to customers is a priority for many employers, employees often get periodic training to update and refine their skills.

Advancement

Retail sales workers typically have opportunities to advance to supervisory or managerial positions. Some employers want candidates for managerial positions to have a college degree.

As sales workers gain experience and seniority, they often move into positions that have greater responsibility and may be given their choice of departments in which to work. This opportunity often means moving to positions with higher potential earnings and commissions. The highest earnings potential usually involves selling “big-ticket” items—such as cars, jewelry, furniture, and electronics. These positions often require workers with extensive knowledge of the product and an excellent talent for persuasion.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Retail sales workers must be responsive to the wants and needs of customers. They should explain the product options available to customers and make appropriate recommendations.

Interpersonal skills. A friendly and outgoing personality is important for these workers because the job requires almost constant interaction with people. 

Math skills. Retail sales workers must have the ability to calculate price totals, discounts, and change owed to customers.

Persistence. A large number of attempted sales may not be successful, so sales workers should not be discouraged easily. They must start each new sales attempt with a positive attitude.

Selling skills. Retail sales workers must be persuasive when interacting with customers. They must clearly and effectively explain the benefits of the merchandise.

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Merchandising Associate jobs

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Merchandising Associate Career Paths

Merchandising Associate
Warehouse Associate Forklift Operator Security Officer
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Operations Manager General Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Security Officer Night Auditor
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Maintenance Technician Service Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Merchandising Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Associate Security Officer Account Manager
District Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Service Technician Service Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Merchandise Coordinator Merchandising Manager Sales Manager
General Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Senior Sales Representative Sales Manager
Market Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Merchandiser
Merchandising Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Merchandise Coordinator Merchandiser Account Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Merchandising Manager Operations Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Merchandiser Driver Dispatcher
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Technician Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Key Holder Office Manager General Manager
Regional Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Merchandiser Account Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager General Manager Account Executive
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Sales Manager
Territory Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Key Holder Home Health Aid Warehouse Associate
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Merchandising Associate Demographics

Gender

Female

58.5%

Male

39.0%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

77.4%

Hispanic or Latino

12.9%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

1.7%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

56.1%

French

10.0%

Chinese

4.6%

Mandarin

4.3%

Japanese

2.9%

Russian

2.5%

Italian

2.5%

Portuguese

2.5%

Korean

2.1%

German

2.1%

Cantonese

1.4%

Tagalog

1.4%

Polish

1.4%

Hindi

1.1%

Ukrainian

1.1%

Filipino

1.1%

Indonesian

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Urdu

0.7%

Arabic

0.7%
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Merchandising Associate Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.7%

Fashion Institute of Technology

11.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

7.1%

Liberty University

6.1%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.9%

University of Central Florida

4.6%

University of North Texas

4.3%

Pennsylvania State University

4.3%

Kaplan University

4.3%

Ohio State University

4.0%

Palm Beach State College

4.0%

Broward College

4.0%

Montclair State University

4.0%

Central Michigan University

4.0%

Temple University

3.7%

Houston Community College

3.7%

Grand Valley State University

3.7%

Fresno City College

3.4%

Tennessee State University

3.4%

Michigan State University

3.4%
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Majors

Business

24.8%

Psychology

7.0%

Graphic Design

6.2%

Criminal Justice

5.9%

Marketing

5.3%

Communication

5.2%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

5.2%

General Studies

4.8%

Nursing

3.9%

Health Care Administration

3.7%

Accounting

3.7%

Medical Assisting Services

3.5%

Management

3.2%

English

3.1%

Biology

3.0%

Computer Science

2.8%

Liberal Arts

2.7%

Kinesiology

2.3%

Fine Arts

1.9%

Social Work

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.3%

Other

30.5%

Associate

15.1%

Masters

5.8%

Certificate

4.9%

Diploma

1.7%

Doctorate

0.4%

License

0.2%
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Real Merchandising Associate Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Merchandising Associate de Beers Diamond Jewellers Us, Inc. New York, NY Nov 01, 2011 $74,000 -
$80,000
Build Merchandising Associate Sears Holdings Management Corporation Hoffman Estates, IL Sep 04, 2012 $70,429 -
$87,500
Visual Merchandising Associate Sarar USA Inc. Little Falls, NJ Feb 17, 2016 $62,754
Senior Distribution & Merchandising Associate Smarter Travel Media, LLC New York, NY Aug 20, 2015 $60,029 -
$70,000
Merchandising Associate Centro39, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 21, 2016 $58,240
Merchandising Associate Adore Me, Inc. New York, NY Sep 09, 2015 $55,000
Merchandising Associate Quidsi, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Aug 21, 2014 $55,000
Merchandising Associate Quidsi, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Aug 27, 2013 $55,000
Fashion Merchandising Associate Randall Apparel LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2012 $45,000

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Top Skills for A Merchandising Associate

NewMerchandiseCustomerServiceSkillsSalesFloorMerchandisePresentationCreditCardTransactionsStockRoomDailyOperationsSolidProductKnowledgeJewelryInventoryControlRegularBasisLossPreventionOnlineOrdersCompanyStandardsStoreMerchandiseCustomerSatisfactionStockShelvesDisplayMerchandiseSalesGoalsSort

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Top Merchandising Associate Skills

  1. New Merchandise
  2. Customer Service Skills
  3. Sales Floor
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Organize sales floor to adequately fit all new merchandise as well as mark down items.
  • Maintained excellent customer service skills.
  • Processed merchandise to floor ready standards and assisted the Merchandise Team Lead with the placement of merchandise on sales floor.
  • Display merchandise presentation Maintain housekeeping standards of designate areas including ongoing recoveries & fitting room.
  • Operate cash drawer; make change, credit card transactions, and handle cash.

Top Merchandising Associate Employers

Merchandising Associate Videos

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