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Merchandising Director Careers

Merchandising Directors direct and create merchandising plans, pricing, and operational systems to achieve financial goals and deliver products and services that meet customer and distribution needs. They oversee the marketing, branding, and promotion of the company's products to increase customer sales. They use sales and trend analytics to develop strategies for different merchandise categories and to optimize product sales. Sometimes, they partner with other functions to foster vendor relationships, discover new vendors, and negotiate favorable contract terms. They often work in retail outlets, fashion shops, entertainment establishments, and wholesale businesses.

Merchandising directors must possess leadership, analytical, multitasking, problem-solving, teamwork, interpersonal, and communication skills. Employers don't put much consideration into formal education, but they seek work experience of more than five years. However, having an associate's or a bachelor's degree in business, merchandising, or marketing can be beneficial. The annual salary of Merchandising Directors ranges between $233,446 and $367,032, with an average salary of $285,071.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a merchandising director. For example, did you know that they make an average of $68.71 an hour? That's $142,927 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 21,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Merchandising Director Do

There are certain skills that many merchandising directors have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed creativity, interpersonal skills and organizational skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a merchandising director, we found that a lot of resumes listed 8.0% of merchandising directors included apparel, while 5.9% of resumes included sales goals, and 5.1% of resumes included product assortment. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the merchandising director job title. But what industry to start with? Most merchandising directors actually find jobs in the retail and manufacturing industries.

How To Become a Merchandising Director

If you're interested in becoming a merchandising director, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 71.2% of merchandising directors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 8.1% of merchandising directors have master's degrees. Even though most merchandising directors have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a merchandising director. When we researched the most common majors for a merchandising director, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on merchandising director resumes include master's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a merchandising director. In fact, many merchandising director jobs require experience in a role such as buyer. Meanwhile, many merchandising directors also have previous career experience in roles such as merchandising manager or store manager.

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Average Salary
$142,927
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
19,391
Job Openings

Merchandising Director Career Paths

Top Careers Before Merchandising Director

Buyer
15.8 %

Top Careers After Merchandising Director

Merchandising Director Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Merchandising Director

Merchandising Directors in America make an average salary of $142,927 per year or $69 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $202,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $100,000 per year.
Average Salary
$142,927
Find Your Salary Estimate
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
New York, NY
Salary Range136k - 233k$178k$178,260
Niles, IL
Salary Range115k - 206k$155k$154,584
Novato, CA
Salary Range113k - 210k$155k$154,566
Beaverton, OR
Salary Range105k - 189k$141k$141,327
Pittsburgh, PA
Salary Range106k - 186k$141k$141,014
Bentonville, AR
Salary Range96k - 177k$131k$130,742
$75k
$233k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Director of Merchandising
Director of Merchandising
XXX
XXX
03/04/2021
03/04/2021
$167,25003/04/2021
$167,250
Director of Merchandising
Director of Merchandising
XXX
XXX
02/16/2021
02/16/2021
$165,00002/16/2021
$165,000
Director of Retail Merchandise Planning
Director of Retail Merchandise Planning
Systems Plus Solutions USA LLC
Systems Plus Solutions USA LLC
10/22/2020
10/22/2020
$120,00010/22/2020
$120,000
Director of Retail Merchandise Planning
Director of Retail Merchandise Planning
BB OpCo, LLC
BB OpCo, LLC
10/19/2020
10/19/2020
$120,00010/19/2020
$120,000
Director of Buying and Merchandising
Director of Buying and Merchandising
Barend Haus Inc.
Barend Haus Inc.
08/14/2020
08/14/2020
$125,00008/14/2020
$125,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Merchandising Director Demographics

Gender

male

54.2 %

female

42.7 %

unknown

3.1 %

Ethnicity

White

72.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.0 %

Asian

9.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

26.9 %

Chinese

13.4 %

French

11.9 %
See More Demographics

Merchandising Director Education

Degrees

Bachelors

71.2 %

Associate

11.2 %

Masters

8.1 %

Top Colleges for Merchandising Directors

1. University of Georgia

Athens, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,830
Enrollment
29,474

2. University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, WI • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,555
Enrollment
30,360

3. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

4. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,992
Enrollment
33,495

5. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$26,756
Enrollment
6,166

6. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,726
Enrollment
45,769

7. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

8. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

9. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

10. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Merchandising Director That You May Like

Fast Track Retail Buying and Merchandising
udemy
4.4
(1,636)

The essentials of merchandise management, buying, range planning, product development and many more...

Visual Merchandising Course For Retailers and Students
udemy
4.2
(767)

Learn the key principles of great Visual Merchandising & Window Dressing...

Product and Service Management
udemy
4.1
(930)

Know the Work that is Involved in Getting a Product Onto the Shelf and a Service Ready for Effective Delivery...

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Top Skills For a Merchandising Director

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 8.0% of merchandising directors listed apparel on their resume, but soft skills such as creativity and interpersonal skills are important as well.

Best States For a Merchandising Director

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a merchandising director. The best states for people in this position are New York, Virginia, Washington, and Massachusetts. Merchandising directors make the most in New York with an average salary of $166,574. Whereas in Virginia and Washington, they would average $160,934 and $160,080, respectively. While merchandising directors would only make an average of $160,009 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New York

Total Merchandising Director Jobs:
1,390
Highest 10% Earn:
$248,000
Location Quotient:
1.6
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Rhode Island

Total Merchandising Director Jobs:
117
Highest 10% Earn:
$238,000
Location Quotient:
1.42
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Massachusetts

Total Merchandising Director Jobs:
940
Highest 10% Earn:
$239,000
Location Quotient:
1.51
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Merchandising Director Employers

1. Macy's
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$158,660
Merchandising Directors Hired: 
24+
2. Nike
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$180,198
Merchandising Directors Hired: 
22+
3. Target
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$154,577
Merchandising Directors Hired: 
15+
4. Walmart
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$152,861
Merchandising Directors Hired: 
12+
5. Best Buy
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$160,901
Merchandising Directors Hired: 
11+
6. The Home Depot
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$153,204
Merchandising Directors Hired: 
11+

Merchandising Director Videos

Updated October 2, 2020