Introduction To Merchandising

Merchandise means the products for sale.

Merchandising is the promotion of goods and/or services that are available for retail sale. Merchandising includes the determination of quantities, setting prices for goods, creating designs, developing marketing strategies. Merchandiser is the person who does the merchandising job.

Hidden Meaning of ‘Merchandiser’

M= Managerial Capability

E= Efficient

R= Right sense of Responsibility

C= Commitment

H= Honest

A= Attitude (positive to solve any problem)

N= No negligence

D= Devoted

I= Informative

S= Sincere

E= Enthusiastic

R= Regular

Roles & Responsibilities a of Merchandiser:
Merchandising activities vary from company to company. The major duties and responsibilities of a merchandiser is to –
  • Procure order from buyer.
  • Communicate with buyers for sample development as per original sample or buyer’s product package, approval and finally order confirmation.
  • Arrange to send correct sample to buyer and follow up sampling procedure.
  • ¬†Arrange trim card & developments of lab dip, dye lot, print strike off and embroidery strike off for buyer approval.
  • Make T&A to estimate time schedule for the export of garments as per L/C.
  • Arrange all the materials needed for the garments to manufacture and export.
  • Monitor collection of raw materials as per time schedule.
  • Monitor the quantity and quality of the collected raw materials.
  • Select garment factory if required.
  • Monitor garment production progress as per time schedule.
  • Monitor desired/imposed quality level of the produced garment given by buyer.
  • Monitor garment packing instructions as per requirement of buyer.
  • Monitor shipment arrangements as per time schedule.
  • Maintain continuous liaison with the buyer.
  • Arrange final inspection at the end of production.
  • Proper sourcing of buyer, raw materials supplier etc.
  • Negotiation with the buyers and suppliers.
  • Conduct PP meeting with the factory with concerning departments and hand over production file and approved sample.
  • Calculate consumption of raw materials.
  • Calculate costing of raw materials. Order follow up with the production people of factory, suppliers buyers etc.
  • Follow up with the print factory, embroidery factory, washing factory etc.
  • Arrange fabric/garment testing from testing lab.
  • Follow up commercial activities with the commercial department.
  • And finally, to earn profit through garment export execution.

A good merchandising team is a backbone to the factory.

Merchandising Procedure:

  1. Inquiry of order from the buyer with detailed requirement.
  2. Development of sample as per requirement.
  3. Price negotiation with the buyer.
  4. Order confirmation and receive the order sheet.
  5. Make buyer requirement sample (Fit, Proto etc.) for approval.
  6. Requisition for bulk fabric.
  7. Requisition for trims & accessories.
  8. Swatch board making and approval.
  9. Collection of raw materials (fabric, trims & accessories) and also receive it in the factory.
  10. PP (pre-production) sample making with all actual materials.
  11. PP (Pre-production) meeting.
  12. Start bulk production.
  13. Collect daily production and quality report.
  14. Make online inspection by strong quality team.
  15. Sample sent to third party testing center.
  16. Make final inspection of bulk production.
  17. Shipment (if inspection is OK).
  18. Send all documents to the Buyer.
  19. Receive payment from Bank

Skills/Qualities of a Good Merchandiser:

Without understanding the merchandising job and acquiring knowledge on various field and subjects related to garments a person cannot handle any order efficiently. As such he has to equip himself with the knowledge on following:

  • He must be very smart, intelligent and courageous.
  • Should have proficiency in both written and spoken English.
  • Should have the basic of computer application.
  • Must have very good communication skill.
  • He should have the monitoring capability to expedite orders.
  • Knowledge on different types of fabrics, fabric weight (GSM), yarn count etc.
  • Knowledge on different types of trims and accessories used in garment.
  • Knowledge on lab test parameters and procedure.
  • Sampling procedure of buyer.
  • He should have the knowledge of garment construction.
  • L/C and all payment terms.
  • Must have the knowledge of different export and import documents.
  • Different types of accessories and their consumption calculating system.
  • Fabric consumption calculating system.
  • Fabric and other trims & accessories sources and prices.
  • Idea on different types of print, embroidery and wash.
  • Knowledge of garment costing.
  • Should have the negotiation skill.
  • Must be able to work in a team and work under pressure.
  • Proficient in e-mail corresponding etc.

Types of Merchandising:

Apparel Merchandising –

Apparel/ Garment merchandising means the work to buy raw materials and accessories to produce garments against a particular work order of garment and have to export these under the same work order within time schedule maintaining required quality level of buyer. In garment merchandising, there is no hard and fast rule, so it is important to be able to think on ones feet.

Fashion Merchandising-

Fashion merchandising is a rather broad term that can be used to describe the business side of the fashion industry. This field involves buying, pricing, marketing, displaying, and selling certain types of garments and accessories. Most fashion merchandisers must be able to predict future fashion and market trends. In order to do this, these professionals will often need to rely on their own research as well as current trend reports. After predicting future fashion trends, fashion merchandisers will also determine which fashions and garments that a particular store should stock.

Retail Merchandising-

The word ‘Retailer’ is originated from the French word ‘retailer’ which means ‘to cut again’. Retail merchandising involves all the activities related to direct selling of products or services to the ultimate consumers or users of the product. Retail merchandiser sells products in less quantities and they act as an inter mediator between the ultimate consumers and wholesalers. A retailer is both a marketer and a customer and he creates place, time and facilities to sell the goods.

Visual Merchandising-

Every customer wants to see the product before they do purchase. A store has to display the products what it has for sales. And the display should be done in a way so that it should attract the customer. Visual merchandising is an art of displaying the things in an attractive way so that it could attract the attention of the customer and persuade them to buy the product. Visual statements made in the store windows are the customer’s first view with the store.

Difference between Marketing and Merchandising:

Marketing Marketing is a set of activities that begin with identification of need of the product or service and ends with taking the product to the customer and keeping him happy with it. Marketing is not merely promoting a product or service to create the need for anticipating and satisfying the needs of the customers while at the same time keeping an eye upon the goals of the organization. Merchandising Merchandising is a subset of marketing. It is the process of presenting the products to the buyer in such a manner so as to affect his buying pattern. It is more specific concerning itself with the product development, execution and delivery maintaining deadline of the buyer. According to American Marketing Association, merchandising encompasses “planning involved in marketing the right merchandise or service at the right place, at the right time, in the right quantities, and at the right price”

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