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Become A Retail Merchandiser

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Working As A Retail Merchandiser

  • 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

  • $80,356

    Average Salary

What Does A Retail Merchandiser 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 Retail Merchandiser

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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Retail Merchandiser Jobs

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Retail Merchandiser Career Paths

Retail Merchandiser
Field Service Technician Service Manager Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Driver Instructor General Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Operations Manager General Manager
Area Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Photographer Security Officer Night Auditor
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Service Technician Operations Manager
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Driver Dispatcher Operations Manager
Business Owner
7 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Maintenance Technician Operations Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Merchandiser, Sales Account Executive Sales Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Photographer Sales Consultant Business Developer
Entrepreneur
5 Yearsyrs
Sales/Marketing Sales Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Merchandising Representative Service Representative Sales Manager
Market Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Merchandising Specialist Merchandiser
Merchandising Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Retail Sales Representative Account Executive Regional Sales Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Operations Manager General Manager
Regional Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Retail Sales Representative Retail Sales Consultant Account Executive
Sales And Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Merchandiser, Sales Account Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Merchandising Specialist Specialist Merchandiser
Sales/Marketing
5 Yearsyrs
Sales/Marketing Account Manager Account Executive
Senior Account Executive
6 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Sales Consultant Sales Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Merchandise Lead Merchandising Manager Co-Manager
Store Leader
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Retail Merchandiser?

Retail Merchandiser Demographics

Gender

Female

66.0%

Male

32.6%

Unknown

1.4%
Ethnicity

White

62.9%

Hispanic or Latino

15.0%

Black or African American

12.0%

Asian

6.4%

Unknown

3.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.1%

French

6.1%

Hindi

3.5%

German

3.5%

Chinese

2.6%

Japanese

2.6%

Bengali

1.7%

Russian

1.7%

Urdu

1.7%

Arabic

1.7%

Mandarin

0.9%

Dutch

0.9%

Hmong

0.9%

Korean

0.9%

Hawaiian

0.9%

Kurdish

0.9%

Braille

0.9%

Greek

0.9%

Carrier

0.9%

Tagalog

0.9%
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Retail Merchandiser Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

19.8%

Liberty University

6.2%

Kaplan University

5.8%

Ashford University

5.1%

Houston Community College

4.7%

University of Central Florida

4.7%

Strayer University

4.3%

University of Memphis

4.3%

Middle Tennessee State University

4.3%

American InterContinental University

4.3%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.9%

University of North Texas

3.9%

Florida State University

3.9%

Pennsylvania State University

3.9%

Northern Illinois University

3.5%

Valencia College

3.5%

Full Sail University

3.5%

Ball State University

3.5%

University of Maryland - University College

3.5%

Orange Coast College

3.5%
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Majors

Business

29.3%

Criminal Justice

6.3%

Marketing

6.3%

Accounting

5.8%

Communication

4.9%

Psychology

4.7%

Management

4.3%

General Studies

4.3%

Medical Assisting Services

3.8%

Health Care Administration

3.7%

Education

3.6%

Computer Science

3.6%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

3.1%

Liberal Arts

2.9%

Graphic Design

2.8%

Nursing

2.5%

Cosmetology

2.2%

English

2.2%

Sociology

1.9%

Medical Technician

1.8%
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Degrees

Other

35.6%

Bachelors

32.8%

Associate

17.7%

Certificate

5.4%

Masters

5.0%

Diploma

2.5%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.2%
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How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Retail Merchandiser?

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Top Skills for A Retail Merchandiser

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  1. New Merchandise
  2. Plan-O-Grams
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Completed daily merchandising tasks, including tracking and checking-in inventory, distributing new merchandise, organizing merchandise displays, etc.
  • Work with store management to assemble product displays Reorganize product according to updated plan-o-grams/schematics
  • Provided excellent customer service by ensuring merchandise is properly displayed and assist customers in locating and/or ordering desired products
  • Placed secondary displays while developing and maintaining relationships with store management and personnel.
  • Coordinated visually appealing displays of seasonal merchandise in retail stores.

How Would You Rate Working As a Retail Merchandiser?

Are you working as a Retail Merchandiser? Help us rate Retail Merchandiser as a Career.

Top Retail Merchandiser Employers

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Basic Retail Merchandising

Life as a Trainee Merchandiser

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