Merchandise associates ensure that customers get a complete shopping experience. They pleasantly arrange and stock merchandise on shelves for customers to purchase. Also, they assemble product displays and make sure popular and on-sale products are visible to customers. Part of their duty is to place the appropriate sales tag on items and record new developments in the store's inventory. Skills required for the job include excellent customer service, being detail-oriented, and relevant experience in sales.

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Merchandising Associate Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real merchandising associate resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage e-commerce websites to maintain accurate information and maximize sales.
  • Maximize sales by displaying merchandise and maintain store cleanliness while executing superior customer service.
  • Assist customer with picking groceries in the absence of other staff.
  • Create monthly PowerPoint presentations for the team to use in high-level meetings.
  • Conduct market research in the sale of pet products, identifying consumer trends.
  • Complete reports for products end of life and prepare merchandise for shipments back to depot.
  • Receive product from shipping area, inspect product, pack product out ensuring POG adherence.
  • Participate in strategy and tactical development meetings with vendors; sample reviews and sketch reviews.
  • Put out freight in a timely fashion using ladders and store equipment while assisting customers around the store with questions.
  • Set up displays, follow plan-a-grams, do POS (point of sale), communicate with managers and associates.
  • Process customer sales transactions, returns, exchanges, and collect payment by operating cash register in accordance with POS guidelines.
  • Update and cross-reference line information in PLM and assortment forms when changes are received from designers, vendors, and merchandisers.
  • Maintain merchandise presentations in jewelry and shoe departments.
  • Provide e-Commerce team with product specifications and additional inquiries.
  • Expedite merchandise percentage markdowns and communicate relate results and data files to management.

Merchandising Associate Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a merchandising associate is "should I become a merchandising associate?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, merchandising associate careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "decline" at -2% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a merchandising associate by 2028 is -105,200.

On average, the merchandising associate annual salary is $33,201 per year, which translates to $15.96 an hour. Generally speaking, merchandising associates earn anywhere from $26,000 to $42,000 a year, which means that the top-earning merchandising associates make $18,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

It's hard work to become a merchandising associate, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming an associate retailer, cashier/merchandiser, customer service retail associate, and apparel associate.

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Merchandising Associate Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 26% of Merchandising Associates are proficient in Cleanliness, Sales Floor, and Customer Service. They’re also known for soft skills such as Selling skills, Interpersonal skills, and Math skills.

We break down the percentage of Merchandising Associates that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Cleanliness, 26%

    Retained responsibility for assisting customers, maintained store cleanliness, and upheld store standards of operations.

  • Sales Floor, 25%

    Maintained the stockroom and sales floor to maximize customer experience and store profitability

  • Customer Service, 21%

    Provided positive customer shopping experience by answering questions in polite and knowledgeable manner, and responding immediately to customer service calls.

  • Loss Prevention, 15%

    Processed returns in an organized and timely manner Implemented security and loss prevention.

  • Store Management, 3%

    Negotiated with store management for optimum space on selling floor and communicated with sales representatives regarding store-level needs and issues.

  • Visual Standards, 2%

    Assisted with register sales -Provided superior guest service -Actively worked with team members to uphold visual standards -Routinely performed closing procedures

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Merchandising Associate Resume

Some of the skills we found on merchandising associate resumes included "cleanliness," "sales floor," and "customer service." We have detailed the most important merchandising associate responsibilities below.

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a merchandising associate to have happens to be selling skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "retail sales workers must be persuasive when interacting with customers" Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that merchandising associates can use selling skills to "increased sales, reducing theft, while working beside loss prevention. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform merchandising associate duties is the following: interpersonal skills. According to a merchandising associate resume, "a friendly and outgoing personality is important for these workers because the job requires almost constant interaction with people." Check out this example of how merchandising associates use interpersonal skills: "demonstrate strong interpersonal skills, product knowledge, selling techniques, and maintaining sales floor presentation and visual standards. "
  • Merchandising associates are also known for math skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a merchandising associate resume: "retail sales workers must have the ability to calculate price totals, discounts, and change owed to customers." We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "conduct sales, provide excellent customer service, merchandising hobbies/interest/affiliations: design, fashion, mathematics, science, photography"
  • In order for certain merchandising associate responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "customer-service skills." According to a merchandising associate resume, "retail sales workers must be responsive to the wants and needs of customers" As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "assisted customers with merchandise returns while managing inventory and store loss prevention. "
  • See the full list of merchandising associate skills.

    We've found that 41.0% of merchandising associates have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 2.7% earned their master's degrees before becoming a merchandising associate. While it's true that some merchandising associates have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every four merchandising associates did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those merchandising associates who do attend college, typically earn either a business degree or a general studies degree. Less commonly earned degrees for merchandising associates include a psychology degree or a specialized sales and merchandising degree.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a merchandising associate. We've found that most merchandising associate resumes include experience from The TJX Companies, Winston Retail, and Walmart. Of recent, The TJX Companies had 2,230 positions open for merchandising associates. Meanwhile, there are 443 job openings at Winston Retail and 130 at Walmart.

    Since salary is important to some merchandising associates, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Uline, Lucky Brand, and Hinda Incentives. If you were to take a closer look at Uline, you'd find that the average merchandising associate salary is $40,646. Then at Lucky Brand, merchandising associates receive an average salary of $37,238, while the salary at Hinda Incentives is $36,328.

    View more details on merchandising associate salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a merchandising associate include Macy's, The Home Depot, and Best Buy. These three companies were found to hire the most merchandising associates from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious merchandising associates are:

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    What Associate Retailers Do

    An Associate Retailer is responsible for keeping the sales area up to standard and assisting customers while inside the store's premises. Most of the tasks revolve around keeping items on shelves clean and well-organized, greeting and offering assistance to customers, responding to inquiries and locating products, and even providing suggestions or recommendations when necessary and in adherence to the store's policies and regulations. In other stores and retail outlets, the Associate Retailer may also process payments and returns while still putting importance to customer satisfaction.

    We looked at the average merchandising associate annual salary and compared it with the average of an associate retailer. Generally speaking, associate retailers receive $4,438 lower pay than merchandising associates per year.

    Even though merchandising associates and associate retailers have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require cleanliness, sales floor, and customer service in the day-to-day roles.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a merchandising associate responsibilities require skills like "visual standards," "visual displays," "customer satisfaction," and "pallets." Meanwhile a typical associate retailer has skills in areas such as "retail store," "math," "work ethic," and "good time management." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Associate retailers tend to make the most money in the hospitality industry by averaging a salary of $29,543. In contrast, merchandising associates make the biggest average salary of $33,557 in the manufacturing industry.

    Associate retailers tend to reach similar levels of education than merchandising associates. In fact, associate retailers are 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.0% less likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Cashier/Merchandiser?

    A customer service retail associate is responsible for providing the highest customer service for the store's customers by responding to their inquiries and concerns and recommending them goods and services that would fit their needs. Customer service retail associates support the marketing campaigns and promotional strategies of the store by offering and demonstrating products to the customers, as well as arranging stock displays, and monitoring the adequacy of inventories. They also escalate high-level complaints to management for immediate resolution and assist with product replacement and issuing refunds as needed.

    Now we're going to look at the cashier/merchandiser profession. On average, cashiers/merchandiser earn a $3,433 lower salary than merchandising associates a year.

    A similarity between the two careers of merchandising associates and cashiers/merchandiser are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "cleanliness," "sales floor," and "customer service. "

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real merchandising associate resumes. While merchandising associate responsibilities can utilize skills like "store management," "visual standards," "visual displays," and "ladders," some cashiers/merchandiser use skills like "planograms," "cash drawers," "front end," and "tidiness."

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, cashiers/merchandiser tend to reach similar levels of education than merchandising associates. In fact, they're 1.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.0% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Customer Service Retail Associate Compares

    The third profession we take a look at is customer service retail associate. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower salaries than merchandising associates. In fact, they make a $3,199 lower salary per year.

    Using merchandising associates and customer service retail associates resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "sales floor," "customer service," and "loss prevention," but the other skills required are very different.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a merchandising associate is likely to be skilled in "cleanliness," "store management," "visual standards," and "visual displays," while a typical customer service retail associate is skilled in "retail environment," "bank deposits," "product line," and "retail store."

    Additionally, customer service retail associates earn a higher salary in the finance industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $32,384. Additionally, merchandising associates earn an average salary of $33,557 in the manufacturing industry.

    Customer service retail associates typically study at similar levels compared with merchandising associates. For example, they're 0.0% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.0% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of an Apparel Associate

    The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than merchandising associates. On average, apparel associates earn a difference of $9,196 lower per year.

    While their salaries may vary, merchandising associates and apparel associates both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "sales floor," "customer service," and "loss prevention. "

    Each job requires different skills like "cleanliness," "store management," "visual standards," and "visual displays," which might show up on a merchandising associate resume. Whereas apparel associate might include skills like "merchandise presentation," "front end," "customer calls," and "telephone calls."

    Apparel associates reach similar levels of education when compared to merchandising associates. The difference is that they're 1.1% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 0.2% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.